Rodiq » Posts for tag 'ecology'

despre peturi

Incep acest post cu o poza reprezentativa:


Si contextul in care a fost luata:


Si continui cu tristul adevar: un procent urias de romani nu sunt educati sa nu lase mizerie in jurul lor. In comunism nu existau peturi si ambalaje din plastic, iar sticlele aveau valoare mica, aproape simbolica, insa suficient cat sa nu fie aruncate. Combinate cu lipsa de educatie – oare nu toti invatam de mici copii sa nu lasam mizerie in jur?

Si imi dau seama ca fiecare dintre noi trebuie sa faca ceva in acest sens, daca vrem sa nu mai vedem peturi peste tot. Hadeti: sa zicem oricate ori avem ocazia oamenilor din jur ca nu trebuie lasata mizerie negdegradabila, sa ne implicam in campanii de educare la scara larga, sa cerem sa se difuzeze spoturi la tv si la radio, sa cerem amenzi si inspectii si sa mergem ca voluntari la strans pet-uri. De ce nu sunt amendati oamenii care nu isi strang propria mizerie? De ce nici o firma de imbuteliat suc sau apa nu scrie pe eticheta si pe reclama ca pet-ul nu se degradeaza si nu trebuie aruncat? De ce nu sunt obligati sa puna la dispozitia oamnilor centre de reciclare? Este prea multa mizerie!

ecology: energy sources

I continue my ecology theories, in another short post, concentrating issues regarding the energy sources used by humans, continuing the previous post regarding global warming.

From an economical point of view energy has two vital characteristics: the source and the form. With the source we are familiar: coal, oil, hydro-electric, nuclear, solar, eolian. The form though is more important.

The best form of energy for current use is electric energy. It has one huge advantage: using the power grids it can be distributed almost instantly on a continental scale. Using just one step of processing, energy from all sources can be converted to electric energy. And when it is consumed it produces absolutely no residue (imagine your fridge having an exhaust pipe for smoke …) It is such a good form of energy that everything was converted to use it (home appliances, city lights, factories, office equipment).

Only in the case of machines used for transport it was not used, because as for instance a truck circulates unpredictably on a huge network of roads, it is impossible to supply it with electric current. Transportation uses lots of energy and there is no efficient technology to store huge amounts of electric energy, and also concentrated energy tends to be unstable (remember the stories about batteries that explode?). Some transportation means have been successfully converted to electric current, by making them run only on fixed paths having electric lines that allow suppling them electric current as they move: trains, tubes, tram, electric buses. But most transportation works by burning carbohydrates, which are obtained from refining oil (ro: petrol) or in recent years by growing oil or sugar cultures.

The two forms of carbohydrates used are: diesel-oil (motorina) – by diesel engines and petrol (benzina) by otto engines. Diesel is much more efficient for large engines, so it is much more important than petrol, because all economical activities use it: ships, trails (ro: tiruri), trucks, buses, coaches, tractors etc. Petrol (benzina) allows busts of power over a short period of time, and for this it is used by airplanes as kerosene, which is petrol with higher octanic value, and by many automobiles (people find acceleration very pleasant – motor bikes are a good example) and most racing cars.

The big problem with diesel and petrol for transportation is that they pollute. The burning produces lots of CO2, and also a big variety of toxic chemicals. Over the years filters were developed to clean the exhaust gases, but no technology exists to filter all CO2 ( the problem is that stronger filtering slows down the engine, so from a certain point it is difficult to make progress).

In correlation with my previous post regarding global warming, there are some clear directions in which progress should be made in order not to pollute any more:

  • green transport by:

finding a way to use electricity for most means of transport (by developing highly efficient batteries)

or by finding another source of energy for transport, that does not pollute (hydrogen engines is a promising prospect)

or by developing a method to eliminate CO2 from the exhaust gases or atmosphere

  • green energy sources

by only using non polluting energy sources to generate electricity, no coal and no oil

The good news is that oil sources have started to deplete, while the demand for energy, due to planetary economical growth, is constantly increasing. Increasing demand vs decreasing offer has and will make the price of oil higher and higher, thus green energy sources will become very profitable, so companies have started to invest huge amounts of money in technology research. More on this subject, in a following post.

ziua mobilitatii 2008

A mai trecut un an, ca de obicei, lume multa, bicle frumoase. Extra special 2008: 22 sept – zi lucratoare, am avut inevitabil numerosi spectatori, prizonieri in traficul infernal din Bucuresti.

Am fost impresionata de numarul mare de biciclisti care au reusit sa ajunga – desi multi au avut parte si de o zi de munca – si de organizarea exemplara, felicitari echipei batesaua!

Cateva poze:

luni 22 sept: ziua fara masini

22 septembrie 2008: ZiuaFaraMasini

Harta traseului defilarii din 22 Septembrie 2008

simple ecology

The humans influence the environment at a planentary scale, though I do not remember learning anything in school about ecology issues, and since i suppose i am not the only one, I try here to sumarise my knowledge on the subject, and ask for some feedback on the relevance/importance/accuracy of these ideas.

I will concentrate only on the big issues – global warming and clean energy.

How do humans generate global warming?

Humans burn fosile fuels like oil, coal and metan gas. Burning those fuels consumes oxygen and generates CO2 (carbon dioxide) and energy. The increased CO2 in atmosphere creates a warming effect – like in a greenhouse.

CO2, like water, has its own path in nature. The plants, through photosyntezis, are the only organisms that can use sun light as energy to transform the CO2 from the air and the water (H2O) from the soil into oxygen and into organic chemicals, that are rich in carbon. This way forests grow, also vegetables, fruits and cereals. For millions of years great forests took lots of CO2 from the atmosphere, grew very big, then old forests transformed into coal and oil – that we managed to burn in the last century, releasing all the CO2 back in the atmosphere at a much faster rate.

Why does biodiesel seem not to cause global warming?

Biodiesel it is almost identical with cooking oil, and obtained from plant seeds, so when burning it we release exactly the CO2 that was collected from the atmosphere by the plants (like sun flower) during the last agricultural season. We do not release in atmosphere CO2 that was before stored into the ground, as oil or coal.

Another big advantage of biodiesel is that all the infrastructure for distributing and using it by the final consumers already exists (diesel engines work with biodieasel, also all petrol stations).

Why does biodiesel is not that ecologic?

Because in the ecuation above we did not take into account that many countries cut off forests to grow cultures for biodiesel. The harm is double: the forests are burned in many cases, and the quantity of CO2 absorbed by the vegetation is incomparably smaller in case of agricultures than of a forest. Biodiesel is ecologic only if the cultivated land was used for agriculture before, but then, it will not be used any more to produce food, the food will be less, so the price of it will get higher – as it happens right this moment.

What should we do to clean the mess?

Two things:

- to use clean energy sources (that do not add CO2 to the atmosphere) – this is beginning right now. The good news here is that right now, with the increased cost of oil, finding alternative sources of energy is an economical necessity and an enormous new market, full of opportunities.

- to find a method to remove extra CO2 from the air – and this is an open subject, and unfortunately not an economical priority.