Author Topic: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article  (Read 4500 times)

GodlessCommie

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #50 on: January 26, 2022, 05:17:10 PM »
How many of those involve "hoping the next administration doesn't change things"?  Quite a few.  Looks good on paper, actual outcome will vary.

I address this very point in the post that you quoted.

PDXTabs

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #51 on: January 26, 2022, 05:37:17 PM »
There is ample evidence that what we really really want (in the transportation realm) is to get to at least 20 dwelling units per acre (1) to sustain frequent bus service.

Hah.  Fourty "dwelling units" on our property.  Hard pass.

Q.E.D.

Syonyk

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #52 on: January 26, 2022, 05:55:13 PM »
*shrug*  Ok.  Good enough time to start my Lent forum fast, I might be back after Easter, maybe not.

mm1970

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #53 on: January 26, 2022, 06:48:01 PM »
Quote
We’ve got a Subaru Impreza, and I definitely could not fit a month’s worth of groceries in there easily.
I have a matrix and a teenaged boy...it would be a challenge.

Weisass

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #54 on: January 26, 2022, 07:42:38 PM »
*shrug*  Ok.  Good enough time to start my Lent forum fast, I might be back after Easter, maybe not.

Well, I hope you come back. You aren’t screaming into the void with everyone here.

BicycleB

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #55 on: January 26, 2022, 10:38:05 PM »

(I'll make my standard offer here, if anyone wants to send some funds for renewable energy homeowner DIY installation in southwest Idaho, happy to route 100% of funds received to people installing solar themselves, with a goal to having a fund that can install solar for people who don't have the funds)

I'm trying to translate funding someone to install solar themselves (say $1000 worth or 800 watts?) vs how much carbon they'd have emitted without the installation. How should I calculate that?

I tried using Google with terms like "energy intensity Idaho" and found a claim that 85% of Idaho energy is renewable, mostly hydro. Would this install replace more than 15% of the carbon emissions the recipient would otherwise have made?

Cranky

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #56 on: January 27, 2022, 05:32:31 AM »
There is ample evidence that what we really really want (in the transportation realm) is to get to at least 20 dwelling units per acre (1) to sustain frequent bus service.

Hah.  Fourty "dwelling units" on our property.  Hard pass.

I'm all for doing more than just voting, but there is no equivalence. Climate-related executive action so far:

How many of those involve "hoping the next administration doesn't change things"?  Quite a few.  Looks good on paper, actual outcome will vary.

Now I’m sad that I somehow missed out on the outlet insulation consortium!

PM me your address and I'll shove the rest of what I have in an envelope your way.




I'm having trouble understanding your comment about a truck above.

I'm going to guess you're rather urban/suburban at best?

In the context of South Dakota, you're forgetting that snow is a thing, and that road maintenance in terms of snow removal in rural areas is... often less than great.  Even out in farm country where we are, the main roads get plowed, the secondary ones may get a blade on them once, if that.  They mostly just pack down.  But they get more traffic than many S Dakota and such roads.

If you need a winter-capable vehicle to get out of your driveway several months of the year, it's entirely possible that it's going to be cheaper to just use that vehicle for the rest of the year than to have multiple vehicles.  There's a more or less annual fixed-cost-per-vehicle consisting of registration, insurance, time-based repairs, etc, that is constant even if you never drive it.  And if you're only doing long trips once a month, the cost to run a larger vehicle that you need anyway isn't going to justify a second, more efficient vehicle - in many cases.  Though I'd argue that a large truck and an EV pair well together, I entirely understand just having a truck if it's only used infrequently.

If I use my numbers, the Volt costs about $1 (less with solar) to run 30 miles round trip into town and back.  My truck, closer to $9 - so call it an $8 difference.

I make a trip into town for my own reasons about twice a week - so call it 100x/yr.  That's only $800 savings/yr between the Volt and the truck, were it just me doing the trips.  I'd just combine all my other stuff with the trips I already make.

Do it less frequently, the savings is less.

Now, we have the Volt because it's not just me making trips, but there are cases where it's very much cheaper to run a large vehicle for everything as opposed to having another car, insurance, etc, and I expect that "infrequent trips from very rural South Dakota" would be one of those situations.  Consider that for a good chunk of the year, a Civic probably can't even get out of the driveway.

I'd like to know more about your ground based solar project. I have a very good western facing spot for such a thing. I don't really want to mount anything to the house.

You can see my wood frames over at my blog, but we're working to make them out of steel and rather a lot cheaper.  Follow over there, I'd hope to have more details up later this year.  The 100 panels I've ordered have all been claimed, so I have some diagram work to do.

We we interested to see that most of the entrances/exits to the freeway had gates that could be closed when the highway was closed, presumably for winter weather. I had never seen that setup before, and we live someplace pretty wintery.

Also, there was *one* high school for the county. So, yeah, people are pretty spread out.

It was just interesting to us, how different it was even though it wasn’t really all that far away. We understood better why people make different choices and how we need to work with that.

Weisass

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #57 on: January 27, 2022, 06:40:45 AM »

(I'll make my standard offer here, if anyone wants to send some funds for renewable energy homeowner DIY installation in southwest Idaho, happy to route 100% of funds received to people installing solar themselves, with a goal to having a fund that can install solar for people who don't have the funds)

I'm trying to translate funding someone to install solar themselves (say $1000 worth or 800 watts?) vs how much carbon they'd have emitted without the installation. How should I calculate that?

I tried using Google with terms like "energy intensity Idaho" and found a claim that 85% of Idaho energy is renewable, mostly hydro. Would this install replace more than 15% of the carbon emissions the recipient would otherwise have made?

Legitimately curious: are you asking this question in good faith, or are you just trying to antagonize? Hard to read tone on a computer, can only go off your previous posts…

BicycleB

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #58 on: January 27, 2022, 09:06:57 AM »

(I'll make my standard offer here, if anyone wants to send some funds for renewable energy homeowner DIY installation in southwest Idaho, happy to route 100% of funds received to people installing solar themselves, with a goal to having a fund that can install solar for people who don't have the funds)

I'm trying to translate funding someone to install solar themselves (say $1000 worth or 800 watts?) vs how much carbon they'd have emitted without the installation. How should I calculate that?

I tried using Google with terms like "energy intensity Idaho" and found a claim that 85% of Idaho energy is renewable, mostly hydro. Would this install replace more than 15% of the carbon emissions the recipient would otherwise have made?

Legitimately curious: are you asking this question in good faith, or are you just trying to antagonize? Hard to read tone on a computer, can only go off your previous posts…


Good faith. They’re buyer’s questions. I’m only a small donor (the $1000 is my budget for now; includes shifting current allocation to assuage Syonyk’s emotions) but am sincere.

My main contributions ecologically have been:
1. living below my means;
2. consciously replacing 3 dwelling units for the last 30 years by consciously deploying a single family home as residence for 4 adults (me and 3 renters/roommates; finally sold house this month). Yes, the environmental impact was part of the decision from the get-go;
3. In recent years, some personal habit changes;
4. Small donations to data and advocacy groups, such as Union of Concerned Scientists;
5. Unknown but significant hours reading on environmental topics, concluding that personal acts are useful but the biggest impact is influence attempts;
6. Due to 5, in recent years a couple hundred hours of environmental advocacy.

So no need for antagonism - we’re fellow long term workers in the same cause, it’s always a relief to meet more of the team. We’re many in gross numbers but few in percentages, friends in the cause are always welcome, even more so when they bring skills and knowledge to table. Syonyk brings these in spades, which is fantastic.

From my viewpoint, the financial contributions I make have smaller impact than my advocacy, but $250 to $1000 donations are in the plan this year. I have a deficit in what from my viewpoint is carbon offset but if we include Syonyk as part of my personal circle because I see him as an individual person who I respect and care about from his posts, he is the person in my circle best suited to solve the trust problem in offsets while applying serious skill. So I’m legit trying to calibrate whether the tons of CO2 prevented are remotely comparable to offset options findable elsewhere.

It doesn’t have to be mathematically equal - I assume the official offsetters’ numbers are too optimistic. I would also consider donating to get something started in hopes it gets better later but still would like to get some understanding.

PS. I considered PMing, but maybe quieter readers have similar questions and more donations could occur. It wouldn’t be the first time I made the first donation to something that grew. A few years ago I knew a guy who was frustrated nobody cared about his plans to help a segment of the homeless. I showed him how to form a 501c3 and kicked in the first $100. Now he is running a thriving shelter of sorts with about 50 clients weekly, with the unique service focus he was trying to accomplish.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 10:16:20 AM by BicycleB »

Raenia

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #59 on: January 27, 2022, 09:15:45 AM »
I'm trying to translate funding someone to install solar themselves (say $1000 worth or 800 watts?) vs how much carbon they'd have emitted without the installation. How should I calculate that?

I tried using Google with terms like "energy intensity Idaho" and found a claim that 85% of Idaho energy is renewable, mostly hydro. Would this install replace more than 15% of the carbon emissions the recipient would otherwise have made?

I'm not an expert, but my intuition is that you're thinking about it wrong with the 15% idea.  If 85% of Idaho's energy is hydro (simplification I'm sure) that energy is going to be produced regardless of how much solar is added.  If an individual moved to solar, the hydro power that they would have used can now go to other customers, thus decreasing the total load generated by fossil fuels.  All power in the grid is fungible.  I think it would be fair to count the full energy output of the solar array against the non-renewable portion of the state's energy production (whether it be coal or natural gas, etc.)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 09:26:09 AM by Raenia »

BicycleB

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #60 on: January 27, 2022, 09:21:19 AM »
I'm trying to translate funding someone to install solar themselves (say $1000 worth or 800 watts?) vs how much carbon they'd have emitted without the installation. How should I calculate that?

I tried using Google with terms like "energy intensity Idaho" and found a claim that 85% of Idaho energy is renewable, mostly hydro. Would this install replace more than 15% of the carbon emissions the recipient would otherwise have made?

I'm not an expert, but my intuition is that you're thinking about it wrong with the 15% idea.  If 85% of Idaho's energy is hydro (simplification I'm sure) that energy is going to be produced regardless of how much solar is added.  If an individual moved to solar, the hydro power that they would have used can now go to other customers, thus decreasing the total load generated by fossil fuels.  All power in the grid is fungible.  I think it would be fair to count the full energy output of the solar array against the non-renewable portion of the state's energy production (whether it be coal or natural gas, etc.)

@Raenia, thank you! That makes sense. I consider the replace-more-than-15% answered, unless Syonyk says the situation is different - for example, maybe the user would have been on a propane generator off grid or something. Which would still be 100% replacement I guess, just a different base. Anyway, I now expect that part will be ok; the main hurdle now narrows to how to estimate effective quantity of carbon emissions saved (not sure if I’ve stated that correctly).
« Last Edit: January 27, 2022, 09:54:29 AM by BicycleB »

Just Joe

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #61 on: January 27, 2022, 09:29:35 AM »
You can see my wood frames over at my blog, but we're working to make them out of steel and rather a lot cheaper.  Follow over there, I'd hope to have more details up later this year.  The 100 panels I've ordered have all been claimed, so I have some diagram work to do.

Thank you I will follow along.

Weisass

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #62 on: January 27, 2022, 12:04:35 PM »

(I'll make my standard offer here, if anyone wants to send some funds for renewable energy homeowner DIY installation in southwest Idaho, happy to route 100% of funds received to people installing solar themselves, with a goal to having a fund that can install solar for people who don't have the funds)

I'm trying to translate funding someone to install solar themselves (say $1000 worth or 800 watts?) vs how much carbon they'd have emitted without the installation. How should I calculate that?

I tried using Google with terms like "energy intensity Idaho" and found a claim that 85% of Idaho energy is renewable, mostly hydro. Would this install replace more than 15% of the carbon emissions the recipient would otherwise have made?

Legitimately curious: are you asking this question in good faith, or are you just trying to antagonize? Hard to read tone on a computer, can only go off your previous posts…


Good faith. They’re buyer’s questions. I’m only a small donor (the $1000 is my budget for now; includes shifting current allocation to assuage Syonyk’s emotions) but am sincere.

My main contributions ecologically have been:
1. living below my means;
2. consciously replacing 3 dwelling units for the last 30 years by consciously deploying a single family home as residence for 4 adults (me and 3 renters/roommates; finally sold house this month). Yes, the environmental impact was part of the decision from the get-go;
3. In recent years, some personal habit changes;
4. Small donations to data and advocacy groups, such as Union of Concerned Scientists;
5. Unknown but significant hours reading on environmental topics, concluding that personal acts are useful but the biggest impact is influence attempts;
6. Due to 5, in recent years a couple hundred hours of environmental advocacy.

So no need for antagonism - we’re fellow long term workers in the same cause, it’s always a relief to meet more of the team. We’re many in gross numbers but few in percentages, friends in the cause are always welcome, even more so when they bring skills and knowledge to table. Syonyk brings these in spades, which is fantastic.

From my viewpoint, the financial contributions I make have smaller impact than my advocacy, but $250 to $1000 donations are in the plan this year. I have a deficit in what from my viewpoint is carbon offset but if we include Syonyk as part of my personal circle because I see him as an individual person who I respect and care about from his posts, he is the person in my circle best suited to solve the trust problem in offsets while applying serious skill. So I’m legit trying to calibrate whether the tons of CO2 prevented are remotely comparable to offset options findable elsewhere.

It doesn’t have to be mathematically equal - I assume the official offsetters’ numbers are too optimistic. I would also consider donating to get something started in hopes it gets better later but still would like to get some understanding.

PS. I considered PMing, but maybe quieter readers have similar questions and more donations could occur. It wouldn’t be the first time I made the first donation to something that grew. A few years ago I knew a guy who was frustrated nobody cared about his plans to help a segment of the homeless. I showed him how to form a 501c3 and kicked in the first $100. Now he is running a thriving shelter of sorts with about 50 clients weekly, with the unique service focus he was trying to accomplish.

Thank you ! That is helpful, and I personally appreciate the dialogue, and the engagement over best practices. I am with you that the best thing we can do for the environment is use less, and be more mindful of how we deeply what we use. Helping others start cost efficient projects that will make a dent in the power problem seem smart to me too.

Abe

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #63 on: January 27, 2022, 06:18:44 PM »
This discussion is great! I am also interested on how to most effectively apply money to this problem, with all the caveats about using less mentioned above. In Texas and a few other states, industrial-scale renewable energy facilities are going up. Though I installed solar panels because I wanted for various reasons, financial effectiveness wasn’t one of them. Now I have some extra money lying around again, and have been trying to invest in companies with reasonable technology goals.

My overall impression is that market forces are accelerating the switch to renewable on a larger scale, and individual solar installation isn’t the most cost effective for most situations as others noted many times. So is supporting community-level advocacy groups a good use of money? Or state-level? Or grants / VC programs for next-generation battery technology?

 

Just Joe

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #64 on: January 28, 2022, 08:38:35 AM »
Quote
We’ve got a Subaru Impreza, and I definitely could not fit a month’s worth of groceries in there easily.
I have a matrix and a teenaged boy...it would be a challenge.

Rocket box on the roof? ;)

Glenstache

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Re: Carbon footprint/spending for 4 families: Time magazine article
« Reply #65 on: January 28, 2022, 10:35:22 AM »
Quote
We’ve got a Subaru Impreza, and I definitely could not fit a month’s worth of groceries in there easily.
I have a matrix and a teenaged boy...it would be a challenge.

Rocket box on the roof? ;)
That might also smell better in the car....