True miracles and disasters (in Energy and Climate)

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Information about True miracles and disasters (in Energy and Climate)
Education

Published on March 1, 2014

Author: slvstr

Source: slideshare.net

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Late 19th century: What invention or resource saved Europe’s forests? What invention or resource saved the whales?
Early 20th century: What was the largest environmental doom threatening large cities? And how was it solved?

Next lectures Monday 01.07 • Week 12 – Wednesday 03.07 – Thursday 04.07 • Week 13 – Monday 08.07 (last lecture) – Wednesday cancelled 10.07

Debunking Myths

“We need good cheap nuclear energy...”

Cost escalation curse

Wind turbines Solar panels “Renewables deliver electricity without carbon and for free”

Wind: ±€50/ tCO2 Solar: ±€350/ tCO2 Why install any wind, if a ton of CO2 can be abated by buying and not using a certificate - now - 12 to 96 times cheaper!?

Three true miracles

Late 19th century: What invention or resource saved Europe’s forests?

Late 19th century: What invention or resource saved the whales?

Early 20th century: What was the largest environmental doom threatening large cities?

Cities early 20th century Forests late 19th century Whales late 19th century

• HORSES • In 19th century still main source of energy

• Horse been dominant mode of transportation for thousands of years. • 19th century absolutely essential – personal transportation – freight haulage – mechanical power • Without horses, cities would starve.

Find the “fake” picture

• Horse consumes – 1.4 tons of oats – 2.4 tons of hay per year • Horse produced – 7 and 15kg of manure per day • New York & Brooklyn – in 1880: 150,000 - 175,000 horses – 1.5mil kg manure a day – 150.000 liter of urin a day

• Polluted streets – Street sweepers – Wet weather – Dry weather • Expensive: – End of 1800s stableowners had to pay to have manure removed • Flies – typhoid and “infant diarrheal

Omnibus lowered costs and increased the use of horses London Copenhagen

Introduction of rails further lowered costs Amsterdam

• 1800-> 1900 – NY • 3 times more dense • 4 times higher per capita income

• Prognosis 1894 (the Times of London) – By1930 horse manure would rise to Manhattan’s third-story windows. – by 1950 every street in the city would be buried 3 meter deep in Horse manure.

• Dangerous horses – Horses kicking, biting, or trampling • Especially children. – Chicago: in1916 17 dead by horse / 10,000 horse-drawn vehicles; – 7x more than in 1997 deads /10.000 cars! • Cadavers – life expectancy < 2 years – In 1888 in NewYork: 41 cadavers/day.

• • • • Manure +urine + flies Congestion Carcasses Traffic accidents • Solution?

• Horse been dominant mode of transportation for thousands of years. • Without horses, cities would starve. • Urban planning conference scheduled for 10 days...

Not long afterward, a solution appeared. This solution came out-ofnowhere. It was wholly unanticipated. ...and it changed everything.

• 1890 internal combustion engine • 1912 NewYork – For first time cars> horses AUTOMOBILE (& OIL) is hailed as a miraculous environmental savior.

• How did this solution come about? – Was it a choice of the government? (picking winners?) – A subsidy scheme for cars? (picking winners?) – Was it technological development embedded in a free market? • Technological fixes are often far simpler, and therefore cheaper, than the doomsayers could have imagined.

What invention or resource saved Europe’s forests?

COAL

Juan Moreno Cruz, 2012. Back to the Future of Green Powered Economies Working Papers 2013-06, Department of Economics, University of Calgary.

What invention or resource saved the whales?

OIL

Cities early 20th century Forests late 19th century Whales late 19th century

• Lewis Strauss, then Chairman of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, who in a 1954 speech to the National Association of Science Writers said: • "Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter... It is not too much to expect that our children will know of great periodic regional famines in the world only as matters of history, will travel effortlessly over the seas and under them and through the air with a minimum of danger and at great speeds, and will experience a lifespan far longer than ours, as disease yields and man comes to understand what causes him to age."[2]

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