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Post Oil Age: another speculative essay

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  • De Clarke
    http://www.oriononline.org/pages/om/03-5om/Ehrenfeld.html some interesting thoughts on the Post Oil Age and how to make a less traumatic transition to it. de
    Message 1 of 30 , Sep 30, 2003
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      http://www.oriononline.org/pages/om/03-5om/Ehrenfeld.html

      some interesting thoughts on the Post Oil Age and how to make a
      less traumatic transition to it.

      de

      --
      .............................................................................
      :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
      :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
      :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
      :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
    • Jym Dyer
      ... =v= GHAWWWD, but that s a pointless, tedious argument that s been regurgitated a million times already. Yeah, everything we do pollutes, so anybody who
      Message 2 of 30 , Oct 1, 2003
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        > Everything we do in our lives, for the most part, pollutes the
        > earth in one way or another.

        =v= GHAWWWD, but that's a pointless, tedious argument that's
        been regurgitated a million times already. Yeah, everything we
        do pollutes, so anybody who ever says anything about anything
        that pollutes needs to be reminded about that. A million times.

        =v= Meanwhile, here in the real world, there are nagging little
        details such as, (1) what pollutes the most? and (2) what can we
        do about it? In this case, the answers are pretty clear: (1)
        according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, driving cars
        is the #1 polluting thing individuals do, and it gets worse the
        bigger they are; and (2) we can at the very minimal least, not
        buy Humvees.

        > ... but that does not give him the right to vandalize it.

        =v= That's as may be, but completely beside the point I was
        making, that the author of the article seems to think that
        participating in recycling somehow exempts people from having
        any responsibility for purchasing planet-wrecking SUVs.
        <_Jym_>
      • tomfrostjr
        Yes it is peachy fine, Mr. Dyer. Look in any search engine and you ll see how few aluminum cans one needs to rescue from the trash can to save the energy
        Message 3 of 30 , Oct 1, 2003
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          Yes it is peachy fine, Mr. Dyer. Look in any search engine and you'll
          see how few aluminum cans one needs to rescue from the trash can to
          save the energy equivalent of a gallon of gas.

          The rest area near me has enough aluminum cans going into its
          dumpster to probably run a Hummer 50,000 miles per year on the amount
          of energy that's being wasted by not recycling them. Perhaps the guy
          bought a Hummer because he figured he could rescue more of them that
          way than a guy like me with my sporadic bikeloads can.

          But then, such application of logic and respect for an individual's
          priority-ordering choices is an alien concept to some of the people
          on this list.


          - Tom Frost Jr.
        • Lorenzo L. Love
          Here s a question: Who harms the planet more, someone who drives a Hummer and has no kids or someone who doesn t drive at all and has bred a half dozen kids?
          Message 4 of 30 , Oct 1, 2003
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            Here's a question: Who harms the planet more, someone who drives a
            Hummer and has no kids or someone who doesn't drive at all and has bred
            a half dozen kids?

            Lorenzo L. Love
            http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove

            "We have been God-like in our planned breeding of our domesticated
            plants and animals, but we have been rabbit-like in our unplanned
            breeding of ourselves."
            Arnold Joseph Toynbee
          • David Hansen
            ... Well http://www.cashforcans.co.uk/site/who/work_place/who.htm sounds persuasive with its claim of saving 95% of the energy needed to produce aluminium from
            Message 5 of 30 , Oct 1, 2003
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              On 1 Oct 2003 at 17:54, tomfrostjr wrote:

              > Yes it is peachy fine, Mr. Dyer. Look in any search engine and you'll
              > see how few aluminum cans one needs to rescue from the trash can to
              > save the energy equivalent of a gallon of gas.

              Well http://www.cashforcans.co.uk/site/who/work_place/who.htm sounds
              persuasive with its claim of saving 95% of the energy needed to produce
              aluminium from bauxite. However, it does not compare the energy used in
              such an operation with the energy used in the things one should try
              before recycling, which are reduce and reuse.

              That is not to say that recycling is wrong, but sometimes it is over-
              emphasised and it seems to me that this is partly because it is easier
              to incorporate into an energy intensive lifestyle than thinking about
              reducing and reusing. In the case of drinks do they really need fiz?
              Could one get some concentrated squash and dilute it with water from
              the tap instead? It happens that I am currently drinking some Pepsi
              Cola, so I am not whiter than white, but drinking that drink is a rare
              event.

              > But then, such application of logic and respect for an individual's
              > priority-ordering choices is an alien concept to some of the people
              > on this list.

              I have not noticed many people taking a dogmatic position. However, if
              messages are too long then my eyes tend to glaze over and I press the
              button for the next message.


              --
              David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
              I will *always* explain why I revoke a key, unless the UK
              government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
            • RIIN GILL
              Some of these either/or questions are a little farcical. Why the presumption that only FUV drivers recycle? Who disturbs the planet more? An FUV driver who
              Message 6 of 30 , Oct 1, 2003
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                Some of these either/or questions are a little farcical. Why the
                presumption that only FUV drivers recycle? Who disturbs the planet more?
                An FUV driver who doesn't recycle and has two kids or a cyclist who
                recycles religiously and doesn't have kids? Hello?! (Riin the child-free
                cyclist who picks the recyclables out of the trash that people shouldn't
                have thrown there, waving her arms wildly over here!) From what I've been
                able to tell, FUV drivers are far less likely to recycle. And it seems
                like most of 'em are breeders. Silly to compare non-breeding FUV drivers
                to breeding non-drivers. FUV drivers are breeders. Just like they don't
                recycle.

                I'm not saying that no one should ever have children. I definitely *do*
                think the population needs to decrease. But thinking FUV drivers are
                going to be environmentally conscious and choose to play their part in
                that is a joke. The most environmentally conscious thing they ever do is
                *not* run the AC sometimes.

                ***********************************************************
                Riin Gill
                Interlibrary Loan 734-615-6168
                Taubman Medical Library fax 734-763-1473
                University of Michigan
                ***********************************************************
                If you were riding your bike, you'd be having fun by now.
              • cresfield
                ... What ticked me off was the assumption that SUV pig has anything at all to do with the environment. SUVs are piggish in a lot of ways: they take up
                Message 7 of 30 , Oct 1, 2003
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                  --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, Jym Dyer <jym@e...> wrote:
                  > | Frank Thomas might be a dedicated recycler, but some
                  > | environmentalists apparently have a problem with him. Or more
                  > | specifically, with his car. Chicago police said an unknown
                  > | vandal scratched the words "SUV pig" on the side of his 2003
                  > | Hummer on Sunday while it was parked on Altgeld Street in
                  > | Lincoln Park.

                  What ticked me off was the assumption that "SUV pig" has anything at
                  all to do with the environment. SUVs are piggish in a lot of ways:
                  they take up 50-100% more road and parking space than other cars (and
                  500-1500% more space than bicycles and pedestrians), they block
                  others' views of the road, they are roughly twice as likely to kill
                  others upon impact, etc.

                  Even if they were all powered by fuel cells tomorrow, they'd still be
                  piggish: arrogant, self-centered, so callous towards others as to be
                  insulting. The Hummer, in particular, is sold with a very arrogant
                  message: "When Only the Biggest Penis Extension Will Do." There is
                  categorically no reason to buy one *except* to buy into its marketing
                  hype about being the "baddest" thing on wheels. Other vehicles out
                  there have faster engines, more interior space, higher price tags,
                  lower fuel economy, boxier profiles, smoother rides, better handling,
                  etc.

                  As for environmental impact, YES, OF COURSE every living being has an
                  impact on the environment. No one disputes that. What we all should
                  seek to do is to minimize our own impacts. However, the single most
                  important environmental choice most Americans make every single day
                  is, "How should I get to work today?" It's NOT "paper or plastic,"
                  not "where's the recycling bin for my one can," not "no, I don't need
                  plastic utensils with that." For most Americans, the lion's share of
                  one's personal impacts on air pollution and climate change come from
                  personal transportation, and for most Americans, that means driving.
                  Simply giving up driving would cut the average American's ecological
                  footprint by roughly a third:
                  http://www.earthday.net/footprint/index.asp
                  - pc
                • Baniak
                  ... be ... be ... marketing ... Well, this is how people are convinced to buy anythingthese days - what will this thing do for ME? Very few people buy anything
                  Message 8 of 30 , Oct 1, 2003
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                    > Even if they were all powered by fuel cells tomorrow, they'd still
                    be
                    > piggish: arrogant, self-centered, so callous towards others as to
                    be
                    > insulting. The Hummer, in particular, is sold with a very arrogant
                    > message: "When Only the Biggest Penis Extension Will Do." There is
                    > categorically no reason to buy one *except* to buy into its
                    marketing
                    > hype about being the "baddest" thing on wheels.

                    Well, this is how people are convinced to buy anythingthese days -
                    what will this thing do for ME? Very few people buy anything because
                    it will make them a better person.

                    People don't respond to "negative" arguments anymore in respect to
                    issues or personal choices - it might have had an effect in the
                    1920's with Sinclair Lewis and slaughterhouses, or in the 1960's with
                    Rachel Carson and DDT - but not anymore. Today, people are sick and
                    tired of feeling bad about the things they do.

                    If you say "You shouldn't buy a Hummer/SUV because you will destroy
                    the environment" that won't make an effect, because you haven't
                    suggested a positive alternative.

                    In order to make a movement against SUVs (or cars in general)
                    successful you need to say - "Alternative X is better than an SUV -
                    because it's the 'Baddest'" Show people how they will benefit from
                    the alternative, and they just might buy (into) it.

                    > As for environmental impact, YES, OF COURSE every living being has
                    an
                    > impact on the environment. No one disputes that. What we all should
                    > seek to do is to minimize our own impacts.

                    This is the only way you are going to make any change, by people
                    changing their behavior to minimize their impact. This is up to us to
                    change our behavior, but it is also up to us to talk to our close
                    friends and family (people who actually listen to us...) and spread
                    the word about changing consumption habits, etc.

                    We shouldn't expect large circulation newspapers to carry our
                    opinion, nor TV... this is not what the First Amendment is about.

                    Nor should we expect your congressperson to be your mouthpiece,
                    because they have 600,000 other people to worry about, each with
                    different concerns. Besides, it's extremely ineffective to legislate
                    behavior change.
                  • De Clarke
                    ... this is, I think, why recycling is the only popular energy-saving or environmental strategy in the US -- it s the only one compatible with voracious
                    Message 9 of 30 , Oct 2, 2003
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                      David Hansen (davidh@...) wrote:
                      > On 1 Oct 2003 at 17:54, tomfrostjr wrote:
                      >
                      > Well http://www.cashforcans.co.uk/site/who/work_place/who.htm sounds
                      > persuasive with its claim of saving 95% of the energy needed to produce
                      > aluminium from bauxite. However, it does not compare the energy used in
                      > such an operation with the energy used in the things one should try
                      > before recycling, which are reduce and reuse.

                      this is, I think, why "recycling" is the only popular energy-saving
                      or environmental strategy in the US -- it's the only one compatible
                      with voracious consumer culture. a strong sense of the virtuousness
                      of recycling helps us to ignore more fundamental questions like whether
                      it was worth doing the original consuming from which the recycling
                      is an attempt to recoup some small percentage.

                      sometimes the "virtue of recycling" strikes me as rather like the
                      old joke about the guy who goes into the store and decides to buy
                      a dozen bottles of expensive wine, then changes his mind and decides
                      to buy only half a dozen instead. he then feels so virtuous about the
                      money he just "saved" that he rewards himself by spending it on some other
                      luxury item. actually I think this joke was more traditionally told at
                      the expense of the "woman shopper" who at the last minute decides not to
                      buy the designer blazer as well as the designer pantsuit and skirt, which
                      "saves" her 100 bucks. so she rushes off to the shoe store to buy shoes
                      with the "windfall" of 100 'free' dollars. I wouldn't be surprised at
                      all if some of us had heard several variations on this joke in our youth,
                      on I Love Lucy or other silly sitcoms -- the visual punch line being
                      the put-upon husband sinking his head into his hands as he absorbs this
                      loony explanation of where the housekeeping money went.

                      but whether used as a misogynist putdown or not, the old joke does
                      say something astute about human nature, about our ability to convince
                      ourselves that we're "entitled" to whatever we feel like doing, so that
                      any slight reduction of our self-proclaimed entitlement equals virtue --
                      and therefore further entitles us to a reward for being so virtuous!
                      "I need my SUV so I can haul the recycling to the recycle center."

                      once the decision is made to consume a certain (appalling) amount of
                      energy and resources (that we feel entitled to), we pat ourselves on the
                      head for any savings we can "get back" -- rather than asking whether we
                      needed to consume so much in the first place.

                      > I have not noticed many people taking a dogmatic position. However, if
                      > messages are too long then my eyes tend to glaze over and I press the
                      > button for the next message.

                      <grin> as a chronic verbosity offender I apologize for the daunting
                      line-counts.

                      --------------

                      now, about driving that Hummer to the recycling center...

                      I became rather interested in the energy-equivalences of "saved" energy
                      from using recycled Al for cans, vs gasoline to power a Hummer. here's
                      my best guesstimate -- and someone else should go over these numbers to
                      make sure I haven't dropped an oom somewhere!

                      one gallon of unleaded gas is equivalent to 114,000 BTUs. [of course,
                      when burned in an ICE vehicle only 1/10th of this energy actually goes
                      to moving the wheels around and the rest is dissipated in heat one
                      way and another, but since we know approx MPG for most vehicles we
                      can just accept their gross inefficiency and work in Miles].

                      the aluminium industry claims a 95 pct energy savings in using recycled
                      alloy over refinement and smelting of raw bauxite ore, so "20 cans can
                      be made from recycled alloy for the energy cost of making 1 can from
                      new ore." it is harder to get figures on real energy expenditure to make 1
                      can, but a puff-piece from the industry claims that "Recycling one aluminum
                      can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four
                      hours or run your television for three hours." so let's take them at
                      their word for the moment -- 100 watts times four hours is a number we
                      can use.

                      400 watt/hours is .4 KWH ... and (hmmm)

                      kWh x 3.6 = MJ x 0.2778 = kWh

                      and

                      Btu x 1.05506 = kJ x 0.9478 = Btu

                      so if 3.6 KWH is a MJ and 1.055 BTU is a kJ, then
                      1055 BTU is a MJ is 3.6 KWH

                      which means that 293 BTU (1055/3.6) is 1 KWH

                      so now we're getting someplace at last. we now know that

                      400 watt/hours is .400 * 1KWH, or .400 * 293 BTU, or 117.2 BTU.

                      and we remember that there are 114K BTU in a gallon of gas. so...

                      to "save" enough energy to be the equivalent of 1 gallon of gas, we need
                      to recycle on the order of 114,000/117.2 or 972.7 cans [assuming we accept
                      the peculiar notion of "saving" which means that the *more* cans we make
                      out of recycled metal, the more we "save" -- "the more you spend, the more
                      you save!" but let us assume for the moment, for sake of the thought
                      experiment, that the making of cans is a categorical imperative and our
                      only choices are whether to make them out of virgin metal or recycled metal...]

                      we think a Hummer gets 10 MPG; so to drive a Hummer 10 miles on the energy
                      saved by recycling cans takes one gallon, or 972 recycled cans-worth of
                      energy savings. the average American drives about 10,000 miles per year
                      (or so I have read), so the Hummer-owning American would need to buy 1,000
                      (10,000Mi/10MPG) gallons of gas per year, or 1000 * 972 recycled cans,
                      or

                      972,000 cans

                      now, tomfrostjr recently guesstimated that

                      The rest area near me has enough aluminum cans going into its
                      dumpster to probably run a Hummer 50,000 miles per year on the amount
                      of energy that's being wasted by not recycling them.

                      which is how I got to thinking about this little problem in the first place.

                      50,000 miles would be 5x the estimate above, or 4.86 million cans. now we
                      need another rough metric. how many cans can one individual account for per
                      year?

                      99 billion aluminum cans, or 374 cans per person were used in 1995.

                      http://www.green-networld.com/tips/aluminium.htm

                      so to run one Hummer 50,000 miles on "aluminum can recycling energy savings"
                      would require the total aluminum can discard of 12,994 people (as of 1995) to
                      be recycled. (4.86M/374)

                      while it's quite possible for 13K people to visit a rest area on a major
                      insterstate highway in one day, let alone one year, they obviously only pass
                      through briefly and discard only a few, at most, of the hundreds of cans
                      they would use in one year -- the rest end up in home garbage cans, tossed
                      out the window onto the verge, or at other rest areas etc.

                      if we posit that each person would throw away an average of, say, 2 cans
                      at the rest area during a brief stop, then we only need 2.43 million
                      people to use the rest area in a year, callously discarding recyclable
                      cans, for its dumpster(s) to yield enough wasted can-energy to run
                      that Hummer 50K miles. [if the rest area has recycling bins as well
                      as dumpsters then the problem becomes intractable, as we have a hard time
                      estimating the percentage of people who will use the recycle bins vs those
                      who will just toss a can into the garbage; so let's assume there are no
                      recycle bins at the rest area.]

                      given all this, 13,315 cans per day would have to be tossed, or 459 lbs of
                      alloy per diem (I think there are about 29 cans to a pound of metal these days),
                      in order to waste enough energy in a year to drive that Hummer 50K miles.
                      that does seem like rather a lot of cans, but I guess it could be a very busy
                      and popular rest area.

                      of course only *one* Hummer could be driven 50,000 miles on the saved
                      energy if those 2.43 million people all recycled their cans properly at
                      the rest area. GM, on introducing the H2, hoped to sell 40,000 of them in
                      the first year. to fuel all those Hummers at 10MPG and 50K miles per year
                      each, busy little recycling bees would have to "save" the energy from the alloy
                      cans used by (hmmm) 2.43 million people per year using 40,000 major rest areas.
                      a sobering thought... especially since the H2 has been on the market for more
                      than one year.

                      if a Hummer gets 10 MPG and 40,000 Hummers drive 50K miles per year, then
                      collectively they consume 5000 gallons * 40K or 200 Mgals per year.
                      and since 972 cans roughly equals a gallon, that means 200M * 972 or
                      194K-million (billion) cans... which is almost twice the total number
                      of cans produced in the US in 1995 (99 billion vs 194 billion). another
                      sobering thought -- Hummers are a niche vehicle and represent only one
                      small elite slice of FUV-dom; we can breathe a sigh of relief because
                      they don't all drive 50K miles per year, only to gasp in dismay as we
                      realise how outnumbered they are by the legions of other FUVs on the road.

                      a perhaps more interesting sidelight is this: if you have to drive
                      10 miles in your Hummer to the recycling centre and 10 miles back, how
                      many cans must you carry with you for recycling in order to make the
                      trip a net energy savings?

                      looks like the answer is: 20 miles round trip, 10 miles is 972 cans,
                      so 20 miles is 1944 cans, or the average yearly can-consumption of 5.2
                      people. so if the trip is made any more than once yearly for a family of
                      5, or if each person in the family doesn't consume their quota of 374
                      cans per annum, the trip would be a net loss. (and of course we're not
                      counting the trips made to the grocery store at 10 MPG to buy the cans
                      in their filled incarnation...)

                      more vividly yet, if you were to drive a 30 mpg car rather than a 10
                      mpg car, you might then buy only 300 gallons rather than 1,000 gallons
                      of gas for your average-American 10K miles per year of driving. the 700
                      gallons you didn't buy would be the equivalent of recycling 700*972 or
                      680,000 cans that year, at 972 recycled cans per gallon -- or 1819
                      years' worth of your average American alloy can consumption at 374 cans
                      per annum.

                      oh well... enough fun with numbers. like I say, someone should double-check
                      'em because it's late at night and zeroes can get misplaced when one is sleepy.

                      on the whole I'd say a pretty good case can be made that no matter how
                      much you recycle, your gasoline consumption is likely to be a far bigger
                      contributor to your net energy footprint -- even scrupulous recycling
                      for a family of 5 would only "pay" for one 20 mile round trip per year
                      in the Hummer...

                      de

                      --
                      .............................................................................
                      :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
                      :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
                      :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
                      :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
                    • David Hansen
                      ... My eyes don t glaze over with your messages though. Most are interesting enough to read at least once. However, I did skim the aluminium can
                      Message 10 of 30 , Oct 3, 2003
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                        On 2 Oct 2003 at 23:16, De Clarke wrote:

                        > > However, if
                        > > messages are too long then my eyes tend to glaze over and I press the
                        > > button for the next message.
                        >
                        > <grin> as a chronic verbosity offender I apologize for the daunting
                        > line-counts.

                        My eyes don't glaze over with your messages though. Most are
                        interesting enough to read at least once.

                        However, I did skim the aluminium can calculations:-)



                        --
                        David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
                        I will *always* explain why I revoke a key, unless the UK
                        government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
                      • Steven Schoeffler
                        ... From: De Clarke ... Online sources seem to agree that the conversion factor is 3413 BTU / KWH:
                        Message 11 of 30 , Oct 3, 2003
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "De Clarke" <de@...>

                          > 400 watt/hours is .4 KWH ... and (hmmm)
                          >
                          > kWh x 3.6 = MJ x 0.2778 = kWh
                          >
                          > and
                          >
                          > Btu x 1.05506 = kJ x 0.9478 = Btu
                          >
                          > so if 3.6 KWH is a MJ and 1.055 BTU is a kJ, then
                          > 1055 BTU is a MJ is 3.6 KWH
                          >
                          > which means that 293 BTU (1055/3.6) is 1 KWH

                          Online sources seem to agree that the conversion factor is 3413 BTU / KWH:

                          http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&q=%22btu+per+kwh%22+conversi
                          on

                          So you would need to deflate your can counts by a factor of about 11.6. So a
                          Hummer owner needs to recycle 84 cans to drive 10 miles on the energy saved.

                          Thanks for the number fun. Someone will be along any minute now to correct
                          me.

                          Steve


                          >
                          > so now we're getting someplace at last. we now know that
                          >
                          > 400 watt/hours is .400 * 1KWH, or .400 * 293 BTU, or 117.2 BTU.
                          >
                          > and we remember that there are 114K BTU in a gallon of gas. so...
                          >
                          > to "save" enough energy to be the equivalent of 1 gallon of gas, we need
                          > to recycle on the order of 114,000/117.2 or 972.7 cans [assuming we accept
                          > the peculiar notion of "saving" which means that the *more* cans we make
                          > out of recycled metal, the more we "save" -- "the more you spend, the more
                          > you save!" but let us assume for the moment, for sake of the thought
                          > experiment, that the making of cans is a categorical imperative and our
                          > only choices are whether to make them out of virgin metal or recycled
                          metal...]
                          >
                          > we think a Hummer gets 10 MPG; so to drive a Hummer 10 miles on the
                          energy
                          > saved by recycling cans takes one gallon, or 972 recycled cans-worth of
                          > energy savings. the average American drives about 10,000 miles per year
                          > (or so I have read), so the Hummer-owning American would need to buy 1,000
                          > (10,000Mi/10MPG) gallons of gas per year, or 1000 * 972 recycled cans,
                          > or
                          >
                          > 972,000 cans
                          >
                          > now, tomfrostjr recently guesstimated that
                          >
                          > The rest area near me has enough aluminum cans going into its
                          > dumpster to probably run a Hummer 50,000 miles per year on the amount
                          > of energy that's being wasted by not recycling them.
                          >
                          > which is how I got to thinking about this little problem in the first
                          place.
                          >
                          > 50,000 miles would be 5x the estimate above, or 4.86 million cans. now we
                          > need another rough metric. how many cans can one individual account for
                          per
                          > year?
                          >
                          > 99 billion aluminum cans, or 374 cans per person were used in 1995.
                          >
                          > http://www.green-networld.com/tips/aluminium.htm
                          >
                          > so to run one Hummer 50,000 miles on "aluminum can recycling energy
                          savings"
                          > would require the total aluminum can discard of 12,994 people (as of 1995)
                          to
                          > be recycled. (4.86M/374)
                          >
                          > while it's quite possible for 13K people to visit a rest area on a major
                          > insterstate highway in one day, let alone one year, they obviously only
                          pass
                          > through briefly and discard only a few, at most, of the hundreds of cans
                          > they would use in one year -- the rest end up in home garbage cans, tossed
                          > out the window onto the verge, or at other rest areas etc.
                          >
                          > if we posit that each person would throw away an average of, say, 2 cans
                          > at the rest area during a brief stop, then we only need 2.43 million
                          > people to use the rest area in a year, callously discarding recyclable
                          > cans, for its dumpster(s) to yield enough wasted can-energy to run
                          > that Hummer 50K miles. [if the rest area has recycling bins as well
                          > as dumpsters then the problem becomes intractable, as we have a hard time
                          > estimating the percentage of people who will use the recycle bins vs those
                          > who will just toss a can into the garbage; so let's assume there are no
                          > recycle bins at the rest area.]
                          >
                          > given all this, 13,315 cans per day would have to be tossed, or 459 lbs of
                          > alloy per diem (I think there are about 29 cans to a pound of metal these
                          days),
                          > in order to waste enough energy in a year to drive that Hummer 50K miles.
                          > that does seem like rather a lot of cans, but I guess it could be a very
                          busy
                          > and popular rest area.
                          >
                          > of course only *one* Hummer could be driven 50,000 miles on the saved
                          > energy if those 2.43 million people all recycled their cans properly at
                          > the rest area. GM, on introducing the H2, hoped to sell 40,000 of them in
                          > the first year. to fuel all those Hummers at 10MPG and 50K miles per year
                          > each, busy little recycling bees would have to "save" the energy from the
                          alloy
                          > cans used by (hmmm) 2.43 million people per year using 40,000 major rest
                          areas.
                          > a sobering thought... especially since the H2 has been on the market for
                          more
                          > than one year.
                          >
                          > if a Hummer gets 10 MPG and 40,000 Hummers drive 50K miles per year, then
                          > collectively they consume 5000 gallons * 40K or 200 Mgals per year.
                          > and since 972 cans roughly equals a gallon, that means 200M * 972 or
                          > 194K-million (billion) cans... which is almost twice the total number
                          > of cans produced in the US in 1995 (99 billion vs 194 billion). another
                          > sobering thought -- Hummers are a niche vehicle and represent only one
                          > small elite slice of FUV-dom; we can breathe a sigh of relief because
                          > they don't all drive 50K miles per year, only to gasp in dismay as we
                          > realise how outnumbered they are by the legions of other FUVs on the road.
                          >
                          > a perhaps more interesting sidelight is this: if you have to drive
                          > 10 miles in your Hummer to the recycling centre and 10 miles back, how
                          > many cans must you carry with you for recycling in order to make the
                          > trip a net energy savings?
                          >
                          > looks like the answer is: 20 miles round trip, 10 miles is 972 cans,
                          > so 20 miles is 1944 cans, or the average yearly can-consumption of 5.2
                          > people. so if the trip is made any more than once yearly for a family of
                          > 5, or if each person in the family doesn't consume their quota of 374
                          > cans per annum, the trip would be a net loss. (and of course we're not
                          > counting the trips made to the grocery store at 10 MPG to buy the cans
                          > in their filled incarnation...)
                          >
                          > more vividly yet, if you were to drive a 30 mpg car rather than a 10
                          > mpg car, you might then buy only 300 gallons rather than 1,000 gallons
                          > of gas for your average-American 10K miles per year of driving. the 700
                          > gallons you didn't buy would be the equivalent of recycling 700*972 or
                          > 680,000 cans that year, at 972 recycled cans per gallon -- or 1819
                          > years' worth of your average American alloy can consumption at 374 cans
                          > per annum.
                          >
                          > oh well... enough fun with numbers. like I say, someone should
                          double-check
                          > 'em because it's late at night and zeroes can get misplaced when one is
                          sleepy.
                          >
                          > on the whole I'd say a pretty good case can be made that no matter how
                          > much you recycle, your gasoline consumption is likely to be a far bigger
                          > contributor to your net energy footprint -- even scrupulous recycling
                          > for a family of 5 would only "pay" for one 20 mile round trip per year
                          > in the Hummer...
                          >
                          > de
                          >
                          > --
                          >
                          ............................................................................
                          .
                          > :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory,
                          UCSC:
                          > :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid
                          :
                          > :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
                          > :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9
                          E76E:
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > To change your settings (such as receiving CarFree in digest form or read
                          the archive: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CarFree
                          > To Unsubscribe by email; CarFree-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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                          >
                          >
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                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                        • De Clarke
                          ... interesting! told you there could be an order of magnitude error at that time of night :-) but I wonder, why the discrep between the conversion table I
                          Message 12 of 30 , Oct 3, 2003
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                            Steven Schoeffler (steve@...) wrote:
                            >
                            > ----- Original Message -----
                            > From: "De Clarke" <de@...>
                            >
                            > > 400 watt/hours is .4 KWH ... and (hmmm)
                            > >
                            > > kWh x 3.6 = MJ x 0.2778 = kWh
                            > >
                            > > and
                            > >
                            > > Btu x 1.05506 = kJ x 0.9478 = Btu
                            > >
                            > > so if 3.6 KWH is a MJ and 1.055 BTU is a kJ, then
                            > > 1055 BTU is a MJ is 3.6 KWH
                            > >
                            > > which means that 293 BTU (1055/3.6) is 1 KWH
                            >
                            > Online sources seem to agree that the conversion factor is 3413 BTU / KWH:
                            >
                            > http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&q=%22btu+per+kwh%22+conversi
                            > on

                            interesting! told you there could be an order of magnitude error at
                            that time of night :-) but I wonder, why the discrep between the conversion
                            table I found (above) and the 3.4K BTU number from your other source?
                            if it were exactly a factor of 10 I would think "simple typo", that
                            whoever set the table I was looking at got a dp in the wrong place. but
                            a factor of 11.6 is odd.

                            > So you would need to deflate your can counts by a factor of about 11.6. So a
                            > Hummer owner needs to recycle 84 cans to drive 10 miles on the energy saved.

                            so they can go recycling more often :-)

                            > Thanks for the number fun. Someone will be along any minute now to correct
                            > me.

                            thanks for the new data. I'll try to find out the reason for the discrep
                            between the kJ-MJ table of conversions I was using, and the 10x greater
                            factor that you found.

                            de

                            --
                            .............................................................................
                            :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
                            :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
                            :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
                            :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
                          • De Clarke
                            ... too bad, it looks like they needed some proof reading! I ll have to resolve that BTU to KWH issue for my own satisfaction as well as to improve the
                            Message 13 of 30 , Oct 3, 2003
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                              David Hansen (davidh@...) wrote:
                              > On 2 Oct 2003 at 23:16, De Clarke wrote:
                              >
                              > > > However, if
                              > > > messages are too long then my eyes tend to glaze over and I press the
                              > > > button for the next message.
                              > >
                              > > <grin> as a chronic verbosity offender I apologize for the daunting
                              > > line-counts.
                              >
                              > My eyes don't glaze over with your messages though. Most are
                              > interesting enough to read at least once.
                              >
                              > However, I did skim the aluminium can calculations:-)

                              too bad, it looks like they needed some proof reading! I'll have to
                              resolve that BTU to KWH issue for my own satisfaction as well as to
                              improve the thought experiment -- since energy is the only real currency
                              of civilisation, it seems like we all should be at least as conversant
                              in energy units as we are in nickels, dollars, pounds and pennies, etc.

                              it's rather sad to me that we all come out of school with a pretty good
                              grasp on feet and yards, pounds and gallons (well most of us anyway), but
                              relatively few people I know -- including myself -- have a good grasp on
                              quantitative energy. it would be fun to put up an educational web page
                              for people who want to "think green", documenting useful unit conversions
                              and equivalences. how hard would you have to pedal a bicycle for how
                              long in order to generate enough power to run a 27 inch TV for 1 hour?
                              if you leave a 100w light bulb burning all night, how many square feet
                              of Nevada desert under direct noon sunlight would recapture that
                              amt of energy? how efficient is a solar panel, and how many MORE sq
                              feet of Nevada desert would be needed to *really* recapture that energy
                              with technology available to us today? how much energy do I save by
                              buying a local piece of fruit vs a long-distance piece of fruit? what
                              are the energy inputs in petro fuels per food calorie produced, for
                              an organic farm vs an industrial farm?

                              tomfrostjr's initial speculation about the waste of potential energy
                              savings incurred by tossing Al cans into the trash, opens the door to
                              a whole set of vexing questions which the average person doesn't have
                              enough information to answer. the fact that we are not schooled from
                              an early age in energy units the way we are in other units of time,
                              distance, volume and weight, imho says something about the societal
                              assumption that energy is "free", but also about a deliberate erasure
                              of the real-world energy economy, in favour of that collective fantasy
                              or game called the money economy. we "use" physical units all the time
                              in building stuff, figuring out whether a new couch will fit in the
                              living room, deciding whether we can lift that heavy sack of taters,
                              etc. but we don't "use" energy units in a meaningful way unless we
                              are off-the-gridders or longhaul sailors counting milliamps and tweaking
                              our windmills/solar panels.

                              most people (self included) are equally illiterate in water consumption.
                              I had a hose burst in the garden a while back and was embarrassed to realise
                              afterwards that I didn't have in the front of my brain (or even the back)
                              a basic sense of "gallons per hour lost from wide-open tap." I didn't know
                              my local water pressure and even if I had known this number, I had no idea
                              how to guesstimate the number of gallons wasted -- other than "really a lot"
                              and "I feel very bad about this," which was not useful. in the end I settled
                              for empiricism and measured the time needed to fill a 5 gallon container,
                              then guesstimated the number of hours (!) that elapsed while the hose was
                              burst. the answer was a large scary number. but it illustrated for me that
                              while I know that "leaving the tap running" wastes water, I have no
                              quantitative idea how much water is lost per minute from my kitchen tap,
                              bathroom tap, etc.

                              the inability to do basic resource accounting is imho a major cause/result
                              of the engineered divorce between consumer society and physical reality...
                              one reason why people don't understand the true cost of driving.

                              de

                              --
                              .............................................................................
                              :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
                              :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
                              :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
                              :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
                            • Steven Schoeffler
                              ... From: De Clarke ... Don t megaflops count?
                              Message 14 of 30 , Oct 3, 2003
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                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: "De Clarke" <de@...>

                                > since energy is the only real currency
                                > of civilisation

                                Don't megaflops count?
                              • De Clarke
                                ... rediscovered source of this table:
                                Message 15 of 30 , Oct 3, 2003
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                                  De Clarke (de@...) wrote:
                                  > Steven Schoeffler (steve@...) wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > ----- Original Message -----
                                  > > From: "De Clarke" <de@...>
                                  > >
                                  > > > 400 watt/hours is .4 KWH ... and (hmmm)
                                  > > >
                                  > > > kWh x 3.6 = MJ x 0.2778 = kWh
                                  > > >
                                  > > > and
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Btu x 1.05506 = kJ x 0.9478 = Btu

                                  rediscovered source of this table:

                                  http://www.actionenergy.org.uk/NR/exeres/000012cduuelfposuwdqqjky/main_template.asp?NRMODE=Published&NRORIGINALURL=%2fActionEnergy%2fInfo%2bcentre%2fFacts%2band%2bfigures%2fConversion%2bfactors%2fConversion%2bfactors%2ehtm&NRNODEGUID=%7b464AEB47-132F-4480-9E1D-A7C3239C227F%7d&NRQUERYTERMINATOR=1&cookie%5Ftest=1

                                  (sorry about the hideous URL).

                                  yes, these additional quotes resolve the problem.

                                  "The equivalent imperial measure to joules is British Thermal Units (BTU).
                                  One kilojoule = 0.9478 BTU."

                                  http://www.santos.com.au/investor/conv_calc/default.asp

                                  1055 Joules = 1 Btu
                                  252 calories= 1Btu
                                  1 kilowatt-hour of electricity = 3413 Btu's
                                  1 cubic foot of natural gas = 1030 Btu's
                                  1 Therm = 100,000 Btu's

                                  http://www.unep.or.kr/highlight/energy/main/reenergy.htm

                                  1 kWh means 1 kW of power being used for 1 hour.

                                  Kilowatt-hours relate to megajoules as follows:

                                  1 kWh = 1 kJ/s x 3600 s = 3600 kJ = 3.6 MJ

                                  http://www.seav.vic.gov.au/glossary.html

                                  it's quite obvious when fully awake :-) stupid me -- I was reading the
                                  LHS of the table when I shoulda been reading the RHS.
                                  "BTU *times* 1.05506 = Kj", not "1.0556 BTU make a Kj"...

                                  OK, so, having got our East and West sorted out :-)

                                  1 MJ is .2778 KWH, not 3.6 KWH.
                                  1 MJ is 947.8 BTU, not 1055 BTU.

                                  and 947.8/.2778 is... 3411.80705544 BTU/KWH

                                  or 3412, which is quite close enough to 3413 to keep us all happy.

                                  and the factor of 11 was a compound error, not a single error.

                                  and I'd-a known (at the gut level) that the numbers were wrong, if
                                  (reverting to my subsequent grumbling) we were all fundamentally
                                  energy-literate -- just as I'd know that a price label was wrong if I
                                  found a loaf of bread in the local market marked $32.50 instead of $3.25.
                                  my ability to read a table wrong (even in haste and when sleepy) and not
                                  immediately suss the oom+ error, is more evidence of not having the same
                                  basic grasp on energy units that we all do on weights, measures, etc.
                                  even half asleep I would know that the loaf of bread was mispriced, or
                                  that a sack of potatoes of a certain size has to be 5 lbs, not 50 lbs;
                                  and if the human race is to survive I think we'd all better learn to
                                  know in our guts how much everything costs in kJ and BTU :-) [project
                                  for this winter: work on that energy units and equivalences webpage].

                                  speaking of units, how many folks I wonder have an intuitive grasp of disk
                                  storage space, now that computers are so ubiquitous among the middle and
                                  upper classes? I suspect that many of us are far more gut-level comfortable
                                  with units of MB and KB, floppies and thumbdrives and MP3 player NVRAM and
                                  so forth, than we are with watt-hours. we know what "big" is and about
                                  how many files of size X will fit on our floppy/hard drive/palmpilot etc.

                                  we also, as "consumers," know how long batteries last (thinking in Time
                                  units, not Energy units) and how long (Time again) it takes to recharge
                                  one. but I bet we don't know the efficiency of our charger and how many
                                  real-world energy units E1 it takes to recharge a battery in order for
                                  that battery to yield us discharge units E2 over the useable period.
                                  lossiness in particular is something we neither know nor care (yet!)
                                  about.

                                  similarly, drivers know how far (Miles) they can get on a tank of gas,
                                  or how long (Time) they can drive between refilling the tank. they may
                                  know how many dollars (Money) it takes to fill up. but they have no idea
                                  how much energy they use, or how efficient (inefficient!) their car is.

                                  de

                                  --
                                  .............................................................................
                                  :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
                                  :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
                                  :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
                                  :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
                                • Whitney Turner
                                  ... Sure do! How many megaflops/watt-second does your box do? ;-)
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Oct 3, 2003
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                                    At 01:21 PM 10/3/03 -0500, Steven Schoeffler wrote:
                                    >Don't megaflops count?

                                    Sure do! How many megaflops/watt-second does your box do? ;-)
                                  • De Clarke
                                    ... Hmm, I think I can work that out. ah, but how many furlongs per fortnight can you travel on your bike? and how many MPB (miles per bagel) can the average
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Oct 3, 2003
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                                      Whitney Turner (wturner@...) wrote:
                                      > At 01:21 PM 10/3/03 -0500, Steven Schoeffler wrote:
                                      > >Don't megaflops count?
                                      >
                                      > Sure do! How many megaflops/watt-second does your box do? ;-)

                                      Hmm, I think I can work that out. ah, but how many furlongs per fortnight
                                      can you travel on your bike? and how many MPB (miles per bagel) can the
                                      average cyclist achieve, without a head wind and on flat paved surface?

                                      :-)

                                      de

                                      --
                                      .............................................................................
                                      :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
                                      :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
                                      :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
                                      :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
                                    • Steven Schoeffler
                                      I ve thought about this a little.... to the extent of noting that a pound package of spaghetti contains 8 servings of 15% each of the Daily Value of calories
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Oct 3, 2003
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                                        I've thought about this a little.... to the extent of noting that a pound
                                        package of spaghetti contains 8 servings of 15% each of the Daily Value of
                                        calories on a 2000 calorie diet: so 1 pound of spaghetti will approximately
                                        run one human for one day.

                                        Steve

                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: "De Clarke" <de@...>

                                        > how many MPB (miles per bagel) can the
                                        > average cyclist achieve, without a head wind and on flat paved surface?
                                        >
                                        > :-)
                                        >
                                        > de
                                      • RIIN GILL
                                        ... Eew. Meet http://tinyurl.com/ It converted the hideous thing to the nice short http://tinyurl.com/pmmv
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Oct 3, 2003
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                                          On Fri, 3 Oct 2003, De Clarke wrote:

                                          > http://www.actionenergy.org.uk/NR/exeres/000012cduuelfposuwdqqjky/main_template.asp?NRMODE=Published&NRORIGINALURL=%2fActionEnergy%2fInfo%2bcentre%2fFacts%2band%2bfigures%2fConversion%2bfactors%2fConversion%2bfactors%2ehtm&NRNODEGUID=%7b464AEB47-132F-4480-9E1D-A7C3239C227F%7d&NRQUERYTERMINATOR=1&cookie%5Ftest=1
                                          >
                                          > (sorry about the hideous URL).

                                          Eew. Meet http://tinyurl.com/

                                          It converted the hideous thing to the nice short http://tinyurl.com/pmmv

                                          ***********************************************************
                                          Riin Gill
                                          Interlibrary Loan 734-615-6168
                                          Taubman Medical Library fax 734-763-1473
                                          University of Michigan
                                          ***********************************************************
                                          If you were riding your bike, you'd be having fun by now.
                                        • tomfrostjr
                                          Steven Schoeffler corrects De: (snip) ... 11.6. So a ... energy saved. TF: Thank you. 84 is at least in the ball park of the number I got: 20 (aluminum cans
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Oct 4, 2003
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                                            Steven Schoeffler corrects De:

                                            (snip)
                                            > So you would need to deflate your can counts by a factor of about
                                            11.6. So a
                                            > Hummer owner needs to recycle 84 cans to drive 10 miles on the
                                            energy saved.


                                            TF: Thank you. 84 is at least in the ball park of the number I got:
                                            20 (aluminum cans needing to be recycled, to save the energy
                                            equivalent of a gallon of gas; that's what my guesstimate of how far
                                            a Hummer could be run on the energy savings, was based on).

                                            Here's how I got the number 20 (or 21 1/3 now that I've aroused
                                            nitpickers): You don't have to look far in aluminum can recycling
                                            propaganda to see the boast that recycling an aluminum can saves the
                                            energy equivalent of half its contents in gas. Well that's 6 ounces.
                                            6 goes into 128, 21 1/3 times.

                                            In short, the _real_ Enemy of the Environment in the news story that
                                            started this thread, was the vandalizer of the recycler's Hummer.


                                            Also, part of De's calculations had included:

                                            (snip)
                                            > > if the rest area has recycling bins as well
                                            > > as dumpsters then the problem becomes intractable, as we have a
                                            hard time
                                            > > estimating the percentage of people who will use the recycle bins
                                            vs those
                                            > > who will just toss a can into the garbage; so let's assume there
                                            are no
                                            > > recycle bins at the rest area.


                                            TF: You mean you have that much faith in the kind of bureaucrats who
                                            run rest areas? The rest area does indeed have several "aluminum cans
                                            only" containers, but the attendants are instructed to just throw the
                                            contents thereof into the dumpster!


                                            - Tom Frost Jr.
                                          • De Clarke
                                            With corrected figures, and with briefer text (for which I m sure all and sundry will be grateful ) let s re-do the can math. I d like to get this as
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Oct 4, 2003
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                                              With corrected figures, and with briefer text (for which I'm sure all
                                              and sundry will be grateful <grin>) let's re-do the can math. I'd like
                                              to get this as close to right as possible, 'cos it could be the first
                                              example of energy-literacy for the proposed web page [one of my astrophysics
                                              buddies at work is rather interested in this and is working on a set
                                              of questions involving equivalents of work done, weight moved, heat
                                              dissipated, etc, such as "how many bricks would you have to lift to
                                              the roof of your 1-storey home in order to store/use as much power as
                                              your TV set uses in an hour?"]

                                              so, back to our cans, Hummers, and gallons:

                                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                                              ONE GALLON OF GAS 114,000 BTU

                                              ALLEGED E-SAVINGS OF .4 KWH
                                              RECYCLING ONE AL CAN

                                              BTU PER KWH 3413 BTU

                                              BTU SAVED PER RECYCLED CAN .4 * 3413 or
                                              1365 BTU

                                              CAN-SAVINGS-EQUIV per GALLON 83.5 CANS

                                              MPG of HUMMER 10 MPG

                                              BTU to drive HUMMER 10 MILES 114,000 BTU
                                              = 1 GALLON

                                              CAN-SAVINGS-EQUIV to drive HUMMER 83.5 CANS
                                              10 MILES (1 GALLON)

                                              CSE to drive HUMMER 10,000 MILES 84,000 CANS
                                              (Average American driver's
                                              annual mileage)

                                              CSE to drive HUMMER 50,000 MILES 420,000 CANS
                                              (TFJ thought experiment
                                              referencing rest-area
                                              can discards)

                                              NUMBER OF AL CANS PER YEAR PER 374 CANS
                                              PERSON (1995 datum)

                                              NUMBER OF AL CANS MFRD PER ANNUM 99,000,000,000 (99B) CANS
                                              (1995 datum)

                                              NUMBER OF PEOPLE'S annual 1122 PEOPLE-YEARS
                                              CSE NEEDED TO
                                              drive HUMMER 50K miles

                                              NUMBER OF CAN DISCARDERS at rest 210,000 PEOPLE
                                              area (at 2 cans per person)
                                              needed to drive HUMMER
                                              50K MILES, in 1 year

                                              NUMBER OF CSE PER DAY to drive HUMMER 1150 CANS
                                              50K miles in one year

                                              NUMBER OF CAN DISCARDERS per day 575 PEOPLE
                                              to achieve this rate at
                                              rest area

                                              NUMBER OF CSE needed to drive 3,360,000,000 CANS
                                              40,000 HUMMERS (one years'
                                              projected unit sales)
                                              10K MILES per year

                                              NUMBER OF CSE needed to offset 167 (83.5 * 2) CANS
                                              20 MILE round trip in
                                              10 MPG HUMMER

                                              NUMBER OF CSE achieved by driving 58,450 CANS
                                              30 MPG car intstead of 10
                                              MPG car 10,000 MILES

                                              YEARS OF INDIVIDUAL CAN CONSUMPTION 156.3 YEARS
                                              equiv to above CSE

                                              NUMBER OF CSE achieved by not driving 333 GALLONS = 27,805 CANS
                                              a 30 MPG car as opposed to
                                              driving one, for one year at
                                              an assumed 10,000 miles

                                              NUMBER OF PERSON/CAN/YEARS equivalent 74
                                              to above

                                              [once again, I invite y'all to double check these figures]

                                              In English: 1122 people would have to recycle every single Al can
                                              they use in one year, to "save" enough energy to offset the energy consumption
                                              of driving one Hummer 50K miles. (And those people would have to recycle
                                              their cans without incurring any further energy costs, such as driving
                                              to the recycling centre or using an electric can-crusher). If that Hummer
                                              only drove the national average of 10K miles in one year, then "only"
                                              1/5 as many people -- 224 people -- would have to dedicate their recycling
                                              lives to compensating for the gas consumption of this Hummer. As my
                                              yuppie neighbour memorably said, some years ago "Oh, it's so nice that
                                              you're conserving water -- that means we can use more!"

                                              You would have to recycle every Al can you use for 156 years, to produce
                                              the same "energy savings" benefit you would achieve by driving a 30 MPG
                                              car rather than a 10 MPG car for just one year. Since you won't live
                                              156 years, it appears you'll need a friend or two to participate in this
                                              justification of a 10 MPG car :-)

                                              The Hummer driver who drives 20 miles r.t. to recycle cans must carry
                                              at least 167 cans per trip to make the "savings" from the cans offset
                                              the energy cost of the trip -- for a zero-sum game. The cyclist who
                                              eats organic and locally-grown food would have a much higher "profit
                                              margin" on this trip (not to mention the benefits of exercise and
                                              improved humour) for far fewer cans.

                                              And we are still begging the question of why the H we "need" to manufacture
                                              99 Billion cans per annum to contain watered-down sugar syrups with fizz,
                                              produced and marketed via an insanely wasteful web of long-haul transit.
                                              We wouldn't need high-tech light containers for drinks if the drinks weren't
                                              being hauled by air and truck several thousand miles before reaching their
                                              consumers... glass (also recyclable, at lower temps) would work fine if
                                              we weren't obsessed with reducing freight weight and packing more cans in
                                              each cu ft of container space, or making the containers proof against the
                                              violent stresses of longhaul transit and repeated middleman handling.

                                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                                              So, to dwell a little longer on the implications of the above:
                                              The Hummer driver who thought better of it and decommissioned his Hummer
                                              in favour of a 30 MPG compact, would save more energy than he could ever
                                              achive in 2 lifetimes of recycling cans, in just one year of average
                                              driving mileage (10,000 miles).

                                              Or looked at another way: if a person could, by reason or wheedling
                                              or flattery or shaming or tax disincentives, be persuaded to trade in
                                              their 10 MPG Hummer for a 30 MPG compact -- then the carping critic, nagging
                                              spouse or preachy enviro who persuaded them to take this step would have
                                              achieved 2 lifetimes' worth of can recycling activity in energy savings,
                                              in just the first year of that Hummer's inactivity, and the same savings
                                              for every year thereafter. That seems worth nagging about.

                                              The person who refrains from driving their 30 MPG car for *one year* or
                                              10,000 miles, choosing to walk or bike instead, achieves an energy savings
                                              in just that one year, equivalent to the average can-consumer recycling
                                              every single can they use, faithfully, for 74 years (or an average lifetime).

                                              The person who persuades, bribes, shames, begs or ridicules even one other
                                              person to stop driving their 30 MPG car and ride a bike or walk instead,
                                              has contributed to an energy savings in the first year that is equivalent
                                              to a 74-year lifetime of faithful recycling.

                                              The lesson I draw from this is that it is very much worth our while to
                                              make every kind of outreach and effort to "uncool" gas guzzling SUVs and
                                              encourage at least a return to moderate gas frugality, and at best, an
                                              increased popularity of carfreedom. Each year of the difference between
                                              Hummer and subcompact or moped is worth 2 lifetimes of can recycling,
                                              and each year of the difference between subcompact and feet/bike is worth
                                              1 recycling lifetime.

                                              And the choice of vehicle we make seems to outweigh the importance of
                                              our recycling activity by about the ratio of 1 or 2 lifetimes to one year.

                                              [ BTW, "recycled" Al cans are not made from 100 pct recycled alloy. some
                                              virgin metal is also introduced into the process. the "savings" is a reflection
                                              of the percentage of recycled material and the E-cost of resmelting it as opposed
                                              to the cost of refining virgin ore. but virgin ore is still dug and refined
                                              and smelted in the making of "recycled" cans.

                                              Axiomatically, the savings accrued not *not making 1 can* will always be far
                                              larger than the savings accrued by making 1 can partly out of recycled metal. ]

                                              de

                                              --
                                              .............................................................................
                                              :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
                                              :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
                                              :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
                                              :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
                                            • tomfrostjr
                                              ... (snip) ... consumption ... TF: But 1121 of them don t. Therefore, those of us who do it for them are justified in using a cage to haul the cans. If De
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Oct 5, 2003
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                                                --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, De Clarke <de@u...> wrote:
                                                (snip)
                                                > In English: 1122 people would have to recycle every single Al can
                                                > they use in one year, to "save" enough energy to offset the energy
                                                consumption
                                                > of driving one Hummer 50K miles.


                                                TF: But 1121 of them don't. Therefore, those of us who do it for them
                                                are justified in using a "cage" to haul the cans.

                                                If De says I need to recycle 84 cans instead of 21 to save the energy
                                                equivalent of a gallon of gas, that's no problem; I easily get 84 on
                                                a bikeload. After I save up a few hundred cans, I use my 30 mpg
                                                "cage" to take them to the deposit-law state that I live 30 miles
                                                from, N.Y., to cash them in.

                                                I also have an 8 mpg truck that I use for other things - things that
                                                are _also_ permitted under 1) De's arithmetic, 2) the Bicyclists'
                                                Rights Triad http://www.newmilfordbike.com/Triad.htm , and 3) this
                                                list's own description at its homepage,
                                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CarFree (which, for the information of
                                                my latest attacker Jason Neiss, includes the words "or reduce").


                                                - Tom Frost Jr.
                                              • Special Offers
                                                ... Not me, though I did have a pretty good grasp of the far more sensible metres, kilogrammes and litres. ... I agree that it is relatively few. However,
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Oct 6, 2003
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                                                  On 3 Oct 2003 at 10:41, De Clarke wrote:

                                                  > it's rather sad to me that we all come out of school with a pretty good
                                                  > grasp on feet and yards, pounds and gallons (well most of us anyway),

                                                  Not me, though I did have a pretty good grasp of the far more
                                                  sensible metres, kilogrammes and litres.

                                                  > but
                                                  > relatively few people I know -- including myself -- have a good grasp on
                                                  > quantitative energy.

                                                  I agree that it is relatively few. However, those of us with a good
                                                  grasp do not always want to do the same thing in our leisure as we do
                                                  during work time.
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