Voici la question qui me guide dans mes recherches...

L’appât du gain manifesté par les entreprises supranationales et certains groupes oligarchiques, de même que le contrôle des ressources naturelles par ceux-ci, dirigent l’humanité vers un nouvel ordre mondial de type féodal, voir même sa perte. Confronté à cette situation, l’être humain est invité à refuser d’accepter d’emblée une pseudo-vérité véhiculée par des médias peut-être à la solde de ces entreprises et groupes. Au contraire, il est invité à s’engager dans un processus de discernement et conscientisation afin de créer sa propre vérité par la confrontation de sa réalité nécessairement subjective à des données objectives, telles que révélées par la science, par exemple.

The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves. - Plato

mercredi 8 octobre 2014

How much global warming will I save with my Electic Nissan Leaf ?

A few months ago, I bought a Nissan Leaf, full electric car.  Very nice car, fun to drive, fun not to go to gas station.  Faster acceleration than my Jetta TDI.  Nice equipment, GPS, Carwings, remote control and others.

So, I was interested to see how much "global warming" I would save with my Nissan Leaf.

I knew from intuition that it would be a very small number of °C.  So I did the calculation to see how many cars would be needed to "remove" 1 ppmv of CO2 from the atmosphere.

And from this 1 ppmv, I could calculate the number of °C I would save by using the "climate sensitivity" of a doubling of CO2.

So... here's the basic information I needed.

1. How much kg of CO2 is "saved" with my Leaf.

This is approximated with the Carwings Nissan application.  So after 4179 km, I saved 761 kg.  Extrapolating this to 24,000 km per year (lease contract), I can calculate I will save 4370 kg

2. Now I need to know how much kg of CO2 is equal to 1 ppmv of atmosphere. 
For this, I used this information:
Using 5.137 x 1018 kg as the mass of the atmosphere (Trenberth, 1981 JGR 86:5238-46), 1 ppmv of CO2= 2.13 Gt of carbon.
So from there, I calculated that 1.93E12 kg of CO2 = 1ppmv

3. How much CO2 is really saved compared to gas cars ?
It's not because you can save x amount of kg with an electric car that you saved it compared to a gas car.  For starters, it is more complex to build a Leaf compared to a simple gas car.... there's a good discussion of this topic here:
To make a long story short... we save around 20% of CO2 compared to a gas car...
So the above figure of 4370 kg for 24,000 km (1 year) comes down to : 874 kg.

4. How many Leaf is needed to "reduce" the CO2 content of the atmosphere by 1 ppmv ?
Ok now we can simply take the number from 2: 1.93E12 kg of CO2 = 1ppmv and divide by 3: 874 kg
=== > we would need 2,210,735,217 Nissan Leaf on the road per year to cut 1 ppmv of CO2!

Wow, that's a lot of electric cars!  Not sure if we have enough resources, like Lithium, to build all that!

5. How many °C did we save with all those Leaf on the road ?
To calculate this, we need to know the "climate sensitivity"... this is the number of °C increase for a doubling of CO2.  Here's one source of many for informations on this...
Number from latest IPCC AR5 report is 1.5°C.  Ranges are from 1.5 to 4.5... So I will take the latest number from IPCC AR5... 1.5 °C.  This is for a doubling of CO2 from pre industrial level of 280 ppmv.... so... we have a double of 280 ppmv... will give 1.5 °C.  So this is:
1.5 °C / 280 ppmv = 0.005 °C per ppmv of CO2.

We would need 2.2 billions Nissan Leaf to cut 1 ppmv that would reduce global warming by 0.005 °C .... This is for 1 year of all Leaf doing 24,000 km compared to gas cars.

If we where able to build those 2.2 billions cars NOW and use them for 8 years... we would save 8x0.005 or 0.04 °C total global warming.

So my Leaf, leased for 4 years, by itself, would save:
0.000000000009 °C of global warming!

That's why I bought it, not to save the environment, but other reasons... but that would be for another time!

Comments ?


vendredi 14 mars 2014

Coors Light Saint Sauveur Challenge 2014 - Sam Beauchesne & Vince Prévost

Crazy things my kid do! Please share!

dimanche 2 mars 2014

Plastic or reusable bag?

February 28th 2014, I posted this on Twitter...

And got this response

This warrants a bit more explanation than just 140 chars twitter feeds contains.

The news I linked to is this:
Plastic bags can be recycled into diesel fuel
Here's some excerpt from this new:
  • Given that each year an estimated 100 billion shopping bags are thrown away in the US alone, this is great news indeed.
  • we can recover almost 80 percent fuel from it through distillation.”
  • The process works by heating the plastic bags in an oxygen-free chamber to obtain the oil.
  • through pyrolysis into different petroleum products, and have achieved their goal of producing a fuel that meets the standards for ultra-low-sulfur diesel and biodiesel fuels.
So this is indeed great news, we can now recycle those plastic bags and renew them.

One may ask...
Does this become a renewable resource?

This is a complex question... like Atomik Rabbit commented... on Ethanol and Nuclear.

The important concept here to understand is about physical economy. Physical economy has nothing to do with money or maybe a little bit, since money is a mean to exchange work. But let's not get into this now.

Humans consume resources, that we understand.  What is less understood is that for each resources we use and "consume", we need energy to transform it.  I put consume in quote here because we don't really consume resources in the sense that the resources is gone (apart from energy), we only transformed it.

Take for example your toast in the morning.  You used energy to grow, extract, transform wheat in the form of bread, need energy again to cook it.  Then you consume the toast.  Did we loose that resource, the original wheat? No, we simply transformed it.  We did loose part of the energy in the process, because we probably used a mix of energy from fossil fuels, nuclear, hydro to do the transformation.  Part of the energy used was also transformed, like burning fossil, you create CO2 which is used by plants through photo-synthesis to grow.  The more they have the happier they are.

Other source of energy like hydro, you simply moved water around in a endless cycle.  For nuclear, you use the energy stored in unstable atoms by a fission process and created new elements, this is another type of transformation, but the energy used in the process, is lost in a sense, you cannot simply re-used once the work is done.  You may have added energy in form of heat to the system, but in the end, this will be lost in space.

So the question is, what type of energy make sense to use and which process/type is better for the whole physical economy of the planet ?   This seems a complex question, but in the end, you can boil it down to a simple "black box"!  Energy in - Energy out.

Here we see that for any energy system, you will have:
  • An input of energy
    • To create the system: Metal, concrete and other basic elements
    • To feed the system: Wind, Solar, Nuclear, Fossil sources
  • And output of energy
    • In the form of resources (heat and elements) and electrical energy
The system that make more sense from a physical economy point of view is where the ratio of Out/In is the largest. This equate to energy density. The more dense the energy source, the more OUT you will get for the IN you put in.  This transform in cost, normally cents/kWh.

You also need to take into account the following:
  • Availability of the resource to feed the system
  • Impact on other system (humans, nature, , etc)
From a physical point of view, Nuclear fission used today in over 450 nuclear power stations, is the most dense form of energy.  Wind and Solar is the less dense. There's a factor of 6 million between Solar and Fission.

So from a physical economy point of view, the more dense you are the better.  This graph tells it all. I needed an exponential Y axis to compare all sources since the difference is so great!

So to get back to the original question, is it good that we can recycle plastic.. I would say, sure it's good, but at what cost.  We have for now plenty of Fossil resources, but for how long?  So from a storage perspective, it's probably better to recycle plastic if the cost is not prohibitive, but it would not make sense to use energy from fossil fuels (low density) to recycle plastic... If we could use the high density electricity from Nuclear to recycle all the world plastic cheaply to use in transportation where we don't have a good solution yet on the electric side... that would make sense. 

There's also the pyrolysis process that can recycle about anything... A plant is in operation in Ottawa, Canada from the company Plasco Energy.

For the question about ethanol... For sure, this has been proven many time that using corn (that uses large amount of fossil) to produce ethanol does not make sense in any way... it's been called a crime against humanity by the UN food program.

You will find on this blog many article about energy, nuclear and other types... Again, we need to have the best ratio of IN/OUT in any human endeavor.  Having a ratio close to 1 for solar/wind, does not make sense.  The ratio is greater for coal and gas, but why would you want to burn a limited resource where you can use a higher density one like nuclear.  Unfortunately, the anti nuclear and all the regulations have push the price point of nuclear over that of cheap shale gas... but this cheap shale gas will not stay cheap and available for ever.  So like any greedy wall street banker can tell you... there's money to be made now on the shale gas, but from a physical economy point of view, we should keep this resources for all other usage outside electricity generation.

About the reusable bag thing...  Here's an interesting information from wikipedia:
One reusable bag requires the same amount of energy as an estimated 28 traditional plastic shopping bags or eight paper bags. "If used once per week, four or five reusable bags will replace 520 plastic bags a year" according to Nick Sterling, research director at Natural Capitalism Solutions. [1] A study commissioned by the United Kingdom Environment Agency in 2005 but never published found that the average cotton bag is used only 51 times before being thrown away.[2]
So you need to use your reusable bag, 28x.  And people use it only 51 times!  So if you recycle those plastic bags and recover 80% of the energy to be re-used in diesels transport, than not sure you save a lot with re-usable bags.... Again, the whole IN/OUT black-box need to be calculated to see what makes more sense... But for sure, I like better the re-usable bags... Can put more stuff in them and better handles!

So here's my quick answer to a simple 140 char comment!

Comments are welcome.


lundi 17 février 2014

Vélo à Holguin, Cuba

Vélo à Holguin - Petit Guide

Voici la carte de la région
Les plages près du point A vous permettent d'aller vers deux directions principales.
B: Banes (montagneux et parsemé de petit villages) - mon parcours préféré.
C: Holguin (plus roulant et droit)

Voici une vue agrandie du point A
A gauche, Playa Pesquero contient 3 hôtels et à droite vous trouverez la playa Yuraguanal avec un hôtel.  De ces deux plages, vous pouvez prendre le chemin "Entrada a Pesquero" pour rejoindre la route principale 421 pour aller à gauche vers Banes ou à droite vers Holguin.

Route B vers Banes

Détail de la route vers Banes sur Garmin Connect

Route C vers Holguin
Détail de la route sur Garmin connect

Route vers Fray Benito
Cette route est une alternative plus coute pour relaxer vos jambes et trouver la superbe playa blanca.
Détail de la route sur Garmin Connect

Bon vélo... et n'oubliez pas, apporter des pièces de vélo, soulier, vêtements pour vos amis cubain... plusieurs jeune vont offrir leurs services de guide à vélo...

mercredi 25 décembre 2013

Are Wildfires in the USA really increasing because of "climate change"

According to the "union of concerned scientist" who sees dire scenarios everywhere... YES.  but it all depends on how you interpret the data.

Here' what they publish that the public accept without questions.

Look at the details of this nice graph.
  1. They used "Science connections"
    1. This look very serious, based on science...right!
  2. They made sure to add CLIMATE CHANGE
    1. How is this working exactly... not clear here, but the general public will think automatically that the more "human CO2" we put in the atmosphere, the more wild fire there is... the graph show it clearly! Right?
  3. They then state "Western US".
    1. This is the first cherry picking of the data
    2. What about the whole US
  4. Then they say: Average number of LARGE wildfires per year
    1. This is the second cherry picking of the data... LARGE overt 1000 acres.
    2. What about all wildfires
    3. What about the numbers of firefighters, the money they have to work or any other reasons.
  5. Then you compare 3 time periods. First and second is 9 years, third is 2 years... This is statically false, you cannot do that.  In high school, you would fail an exam for doing this. This is the UNION of SCIENTIST doing this, nice job!
    1.  They should have split the data set in 3 equal part, from 1989 to 2012 or 3 equal parts of 7.7 years or so.  At least go by months.
  6. Then they talk about average length of season starting in 1970!
    1. Why in the 1970 when the other data starts in 1980 and up?  Cherry picking again?

As you see, you need a lot of cherry picking and data manipulation to draw a conclusion and even there, what are you saying?  Increase Human CO2 causes more fires?  We need to cut our consumptions of fossil fuels to cut CO2?   All this is not said on the published graphs, but its CLEARLY the message that is pushed forward here.

So how much more warm is the US since 1980? The closest I can find related to this "study" is the RSS TLT for continental US.  This shows a temperature change of 0.175K/10 years or around 0.5 K for the 32 years covered.   But when look closely at the average monthly temperature, we have today around the same "swing" of high and low as in 1980.  So for temperature, not much change that would explain this.

What about More WET or DRY... again, not much change here on data available

 Ok what about DROUGHT? From available data... not much correlation.

Now, what if we check the data source and plot all fires size and number of acres burned.  I had to extract the data from here and plot it myself, since it was not available.  The other thing is, that data starts in 2004 up to today.  So from this, you can see that there's a down trend on both Acres burned and number of fires.

From the NIFC, we can find the same data used by the union of concerned scientist on large fires but only from 1997.  Sorting through this and calculating trend, you can see this the following. So yes there seems to be a upper trend of total Acres Burned, but only on large fires and over that time frame, from 1997 to 2012.  When you look closely, you see that the 2012 bar is around the same as 2004, 2006, 2007and the 2011 bar is lower that 2002.  Not sure we can come to any clear conclusion based on this data and even less certain that we can link human CO2 to more forest fires.


Always be very skeptical when you see "organization" jump to conclusions. Check the data, ask yourself lots of questions.  And above all, always remember that correlation does not mean causation.

For sure, forest fires are bad, people lose their properties, people are killed.  Many have their lives changed forever.  We definitely need more resources to this issue but jumping to conclusions that climate change is responsible for this and that we only need to cut fossil consumption and everything will be all nice and good, is not only misleading but irresponsible and only serves some agenda.

Remember this related to human CO2 (from my twitter feed)