[GWSG] O drops at sea; new EPA regs; wet-bulb explained; Spain's drought program; robot builders; in whose backyard?

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Sat May 13 10:37:02 EDT 2023

1. Acidification and growing heat are problems for sea life. A greater problem, though, is the drop in oxygen—down 2% in the oceans since 1960, and headed further down. As water warms it holds less dissolved oxygen; since currents must take up oxygen from the atmosphere and carry it to the depths, a slowing of the currents is a slowing of oxygenation. Finally, bacteria, fed by fertilizer runoff and indirectly by plastics, consume oxygen. As with many of our problems, we would spare the oceans if we ceased burning gas, coal, and oil.  https://e360.yale.edu/features/as-ocean-oxygen-levels-dip-fish-face-an-uncertain-future

2. For years the fossil fuel industry has touted carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) as the most sensible climate action—remove carbon from the exhaust stream and store it so that the coal/gas plant will have only minor greenhouse gas emissions. It has always been a shuck, expensive and ineffective. Even if you do remove the C, where can you store it safely and permanently? (And anyway, what about the other greenhouse gasses involved? What about the gas leakage in production, transmission, and use?) Now the administration’s EPA has called the industry’s bluff with regulations requiring that coal and gas plants remove nearly all the carbon from their emissions by 2040, presumably with CCS. Or, of course, we can produce power cleanly and much more cheaply with renewables. The gas and coal corporations are uncomfortable with the new regulations. More direct measures may be in store, but this will do for now.  https://grist.org/energy/is-carbon-capture-viable-in-a-new-rule-the-epa-is-asking-power-plants-to-prove-it/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=daily

3. A 10-minute video from PBS explains wet-bulb temperature and sketches the growing areas vulnerable to life-threatening heat stress. https://climatecrocks.com/2023/05/12/pbs-more-areas-too-hot-to-work-too-hot-to-live/

4. Spain is taking measures against growing heat and drought. Outdoors workers will be taken off duty during heat alerts. Water reuse, desalination, and supply regulation will generally favor agriculture. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/may/11/spain-approves-unprecedented-drought-recovery-plan

5. Terabase Energy is manufacturing robots which construct utility-scale solar farms quickly and cheaply.  https://electrek.co/2023/05/12/robots-solar-farms/

6. Where will these giant solar farms be built? Perhaps in a countryside near you. For many of us, the default reaction is to defend the countryside against development. The situation now is complex. Bill McKibben tells a personal story and comes up with some thoughtful rules to guide us. https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2023/04/yimby-nimby-progressives-clean-energy-infrastructure-housing-development-wind-solar-bill-mckibben/?utm_source=mj-cultivation&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=membership-cultivation-05-13-2023

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