Wednesday, October 27, 2021

solar panel recycling is a problem


Part of the problem is that solar panels are complicated to recycle. They’re made of many materials, some hazardous, and assembled with adhesives and sealants that make breaking them apart challenging.

"The longevity of these panels, the way they’re put together and how they make them make it inherently difficult to, to use a term, de-manufacture," said Mark Robards, director of special projects for ECS Refining, one of the largest electronics recyclers in the U.S. The panels are torn apart mechanically and broken down with acids to separate out the crystalline silicon, the semiconducting material used by most photovoltaic manufacturers. Heat systems are used to burn up the adhesives that bind them to their armatures, and acidic hydro-metallurgical systems are used to separate precious metals.

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Oh boy.  Nothing is as easy as it seems.  For a long time I thought solar panels lasted basically forever.  Nope.


Sunday, October 24, 2021

Farmers can sell carbon credits if they do it right


"Carbon farming, on the other hand, seeks to capture emissions, not create them. The challenge has been to make this form of regenerative farming financially viable, paying landowners to rejuvenate degraded soils by turning their fields into vast CO2 sponges.

Achieving this requires a range of regenerative techniques. Cover cropping is particularly popular – fields blanketed with grasses, cereals, legumes and other plant life that pull carbon from the air during photosynthesis, then store it in the soil below. After a couple of years and some meticulous measurements to show the changing carbon content of the soil, the sequestered carbon is certified and transferred into credits, before being sold.

For its proponents, carbon farming promises a bold new agricultural business model – one that tackles climate change, creates jobs and saves farms that might otherwise be unprofitable."


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I'm not sold on the idea of carbon credits, but this looks like a win-win for farmers.


Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Get the grid ready for its new job!


"Converting the nation’s fleet of automobiles and trucks to electric power is a critical piece of the battle against climate change. The Biden administration wants to see them account for half of all sales by 2030, and New York state has enacted a ban on the sale of internal combustion cars and trucks starting in 2035.

But making America’s cars go electric is no longer primarily a story about building the cars. Against this ambitious backdrop, America’s electric grid will be sorely challenged by the need to deliver clean power to those cars. Today, though, it barely functions in times of ordinary stress, and fails altogether too often for comfort, as widespread blackouts in California, Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere have shown."

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Didn't anybody notice this problem?  Are we screwing ourselves with eyes wide open?

Monday, September 20, 2021

How the US can save $1.2 trillion!!!


Modernizing the nation’s Cold War-era capacity to deliver nuclear weapons by air, land and sea -- the so-called nuclear triad -- remains a key Pentagon priority under the Biden administration after it was jumpstarted by President Barack Obama and continued by President Donald Trump. The effort is expected to cost as much as $1.2 trillion through 2046 for development, purchase and long-term support, the Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2018.

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I can't understand why we need more than 2 nukes.  Seriously.  So here's a place to save a lot of money!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Do homeless calls take up 65% of police resources?


The police chief agrees.

“We are not going to be able to arrest our way out of homelessness,” says Hedrick

Hedrick says that for a long time the criminal justice system has been called upon to solve low-level things like substance abuse, alcoholism and mental health issues.

“As a police agency,” Hedrick says, “we’re not going to be able to address those issues effectively.”

 He says they just end up ferrying folks to jail, often times repeat offenders, and not providing any real solutions.

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Is this how it is in your community?  Wouldn't it make more sense to let professional social workers handle the homeless, and provide them with actual help?  Could it help reduce the actual cost of police and other services in your community?

Sunday, August 8, 2021

where will we plug in our electric cars?


First spotted by photovoltaics industry trade journal PV Magazine, the program calls for installation of 240-volt Level 2 charging stations integrated with streetlight poles at locations throughout the Missouri city.

The program began its design phase in 2018, then ran through a feasibility analysis, which ended in 2020. The MEC is now conducting community outreach and beginning charging-station installations, which are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Charging at these stations will cost the same $0.22 per kilowatt-hour as at existing Kansas City public charging stations...

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This is one of the biggest problems for switching everybody to electric.  Also, are there plans with how to de-commission all the gasoline stations?  




Friday, August 6, 2021

How to help the poor? Give them a small income.


Participants used the money on essentials like food and medication and transportation. One person used it to adopt a service dog to help prevent seizures. Another helped his daughter pay for college tuition. Sixty-four percent of participants said that the money helped reduced their stress and worry about finances. And despite the relatively small amount of assistance, more than a third of the participants were able to move into housing.

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Try things out, see what works, do that.  This seems to work.