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View Diary: Spoiled Earth: Slouching Toward Climate Catastrophe (88 comments)

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  •  Too bad we can't see CO2 (4+ / 0-)

    as it plops out of our tailpipes, a 20lb turd for every mile travelled, 400+lbs for every tankfull, instead of invisibly floating away, out of sight and out of mind. Then maybe we'd do something about it.

    Global warming is going to (already is) rock our world. The disturbance of agriculture by heat, droughts and flooding will cause food supply problems long before sea level rise affects most of us. These effects are already in the pipeline and are accelerating due to overlooked feedback inputs from aldebo change and methane release from melting permafrost.

    We could make a difference with a massive program of renewable energy and conservation but I doubt very much that we will.

    •  honest question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      not does the math work to have 400 lbs per tankful, or 20lbs per mile of CO2 emissions?  

      I'm honestly curious - gasoline weighs an average of 6lbs per gallon (varies depending on air density and temperature, but that is a good average).  I also know that the combustion engine is only about 30% efficient in terms of energy usage (I know quite a bit is lost in heat creation alone), but how does the math add up to this figure?  I'm missing something.  I'm not sure I understand how a byproduct of combustion that is in gas form weighs so much more than the liquid form of the fuel itself?  I know air is pulled in through the intake in order to give the spark and fuel (combined with pressure created in the combustion chamber) its necessary infusion of oxygen in order to create the controlled reaction in the first place, but does it add that much weight to the overall byproduct coming out the tailpipe?  Maybe there is a formula I'm missing somewhere....

      Obama saw this a**hole coming a mile away.

      by MusicFarmer on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:44:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I haven't worked the math, and you bring up a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        good point, but part of the answer lies in the fact that the O2 part of the CO2 is not stored in the tank, but is sucked in through the air cleaner.

        "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

        by Bisbonian on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 06:22:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the math, unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Yes, it does seem counter intuitive, but its a chemical reaction that also uptakes lots of O2 and ends up converting 7lbs of carbon loaded gasoline into 20lbs CO2.  Roughly 20lbs per mile. Its an easy google.

        The good news is that there is an American designed and made-in-USA car that does 0 - 60 in 4 seconds, has a range up to 270 miles, charges in 1 hour for free on a solar powered Supercharger station (6 now in California, 3 on the East Coast, 100 more coming), and it emits no turds locally, is more efficient even if using conventional generation and is easily transferable to renewable sources.

        We could, but will we act?

    •  That's good food for thought, actually. Some way (0+ / 0-)

      to display it, real-time & graphically on, say, city websites, based on a few laser CO2 sensors? You would only see gross citywide figures rather than the 'turd from the tailpipe' but it might start waking up a few more people.

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