Summer sucks because either you spend mega bucks watering the lawn and pissing off conservationists or you don’t and the grass just turns yellow-brown like the neighbors’. (Trees can also get significant damage from drought, and I’m something of a tree-hugger – I love me a great tree.) In general, late August and early September are my loathed periods.
What the conservationists tend to ignore is that my grass and my trees reduce carbon dioxide (the dreaded green-house effect) and give them better air to breathe with higher oxygen concentration.
Screw 'em; I’ll live better and longer with my green landscape, and my yard and house will stay cooler, though I won’t be able to go to their Starbucks and drink as many lattes as they.
Want to curtail climate change? Where do you think a lot of that carbon in the atmosphere is coming from? California and the left coast have probably contributed as much this summer as India. I’ll offer my infrastructure spending plan to Biden free of charge: BUILD PIPELINES. As in to move massive amounts of water inland, after desalination. Reforest and then WATER them with irrigation. That’ll reduce sea level some and put carbon back into the trees, instead of burning it out. (Ever try to put a green limb into a cooking fire? They don’t burn very well.) Virtually every inland state is worried about their declining water table vs rising population. Start planning and acting and give them hope for sufficient water NOW. The Romans had engineers who were great at moving water – I think we could do the same, on a much more immense scale.
@phendrick I think you’ve brought up a really interesting idea - but if you desalinate sea water, where do you put the salt? Just find a designated dump spot? I mean it’s going to be a LOT of salt, right?
@Kyeh When you think about it, if you put it right back into the sea, that means there will be just as much as before (not any extra). Rising sea level is from more water, not more salt. If you are worried about the concentration being too high locally, you can ferry it out a few miles (better for the environment than the trash barges of NY or NJ!) Alternatively, I haven’t paid any attention for where it comes from, but isn’t “sea salt” trendy for cookery right now? (Make some money from the by-product, assuming you can remove mercury and other dreck.) My memory isn’t the greatest lately, but in the back recesses of my cranium, it seems like there was some industrial electrical use for solid blocks of salt (& I’m too lazy to search for it). One last use, maybe @alacrity will make us some margaritas.
@Kyeh@phendrick there are a myriad of uses for desalination byproducts- everything from rare metals & minerals to complex proteins can be extracted and refined- Israel has been doing it successfully for years.
and yes- even margarita salt can be made from it.
as to why we’re not doing it here- nobody’s willing to pony up the lucre to get it going yet.
that’ll change soon- look for big agg to pour tons of money into it when they finally acknowledge that climate change is going to cripple their profit structure in the west by drying up the very ground that feeds them.
Evidently it’s already being done for drinking water in many countries, but there are a lot of problems with it:
“…such facilities’ intake pipes essentially vacuum up and inadvertently kill millions of plankton, fish eggs, fish larvae and other microbial organisms that constitute the base layer of the marine food chain.
…the salty sludge leftover after desalinization for every gallon of freshwater produced, another gallon of doubly concentrated salt water must be disposed of can wreak havoc on marine ecosystems if dumped willy-nilly offshore.” https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-impacts-of-relying-on-desalination/
@alacrity@Kyeh I’m definitely not a big government type of guy, but I do want to see it doing the kinds of things that private entities would tend to muck up. Fund the highways (private companies are building way too many tollways in Texas to suit me), keep my city streets pothole free, provide national defense, oversee elections, etc., as long as politics and special interest groups are kept out of it as much as possible. I’m happy with the private company entry into the space business – they will no doubt do it cheaper than the feds ever thought of, just hope the safety issues will continue to be regulated. But two competing rocket launchers can co-exist; I don’t see that being a good idea with parallel pipelines, not to mention the economies of scale. Plus, these will be interstate as well as intrastate. I’d like to see Congress wake up some day and forget what political parties are, smell the roses, and do what’s best for their constituents and not themselves. (I was a big believer in the movement to limit terms and make Congress critters subject to their own laws, but that idea seems to have fizzled lately.)
I want to see this as a big national infrastructure push. Government funding. Let them sell bonds (federal or state), if necessary (war bonds worked). Private contracts for design and construction. Inventors get to keep patents, but govt has free use rights. States, subject to their voters, control down-line operations. RENEWABLE bids on contracts for the operation every four years or so. Avoid Texas ERCOT type issues. Consumers pay as a utility, income goes back up chain to municipalities, states, feds to pay off bonds.
@chienfou@Kyeh@phendrick minor detail- there’s a shit-ton of fresh water being poured into the oceans every second as the ice age ends- glacier melts are dumping 20 billion gallons daily, and that number will go up exponentially as we continue to thaw out.
as to the unfortunate intake of other sea life, that is simply the cost of our existence, and mitigations can be made.
again, the byproducts of desalination have yet to be fully utilized, but their potential is weighed only by the commitment to use them to their greatest advantage- put profit structure into it and watch.
@Kyeh Thanks for the SA article link. 12 1/2 yrs old – I didn’t realize it was such a big deal already that long ago. I also somehow had the idea that most desalination plants operated via solar, not fossil.
@phendrick Well, I certainly haven’t researched it much - I just remember hearing that there were some major problems with it. But there are problems with any technology, of course, and maybe there’s been progress made already in the past 12 years, and it would be exciting if they could find a way to make it work.