21 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Greta is coming”

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/14/spinning-sail-reboot-cut-fuel-make-ocean-tankers-greener

    Deep ocean sailing has always shared same level of affection for me as history’s giant airships and coasting an “artic” trolleycoach through special-work without a lurch: Moving really large loads by working with Nature’s most massive forces, instead of fighting them.

    Introduced to me by my late wife who worked for Foss, a prize-winning tug boat captain once told me that main difference from the old days was that now, instead of having to go search the bars for his crew upon departing Anchorage, it’s now espresso-places.

    Making this morning’s main maritime question: Is whiskey still the life of man, or are we now talking Starbucks or Olympia Coffee Roasting Company? Thanks, Brent, and Greta, for reason to get up in spite of every single thing the radio is saying.

    Mark Dublin

    1. I remember seeing this on a Cousteau TV special many decades ago. I thought for sure with memory of the oil embargos and $5/gal gasoline it would be fitted to virturally every ocean going freighter in the world. Of course I thought when we landed on the moon we’d have landed on Mars by the time I graduated from HS. I had no idea the concept went back 50 years before Cousteau’s implementation. I’m not sure if it’s the same physics/technology. From what I remember (this was a long time ago) the Cousteau system didn’t require changing any settings; it worked like a whirly-gig roof ventilator. That might mean it would create more drag than power below certain wind speeds.

      It seems like our new WSF boats could make use of the NorsePower system. If they’re a hybrid propulsion system they could be charging batteries while docked.

  2. That’s nice.

    How about we elect some politicians who are going to:

    a) Treat homelessness like an emergency and stop the land, sea & air pollution by triage and housing the homeless? Is that Ann Davison Sattler for $100? Yes.

    b) Encourage transit use?

    c) Have the honor & decency to speak up for the environment with the courage and conviction of Hilary Franz, Barack Obama, and Ann Davison Sattler? You see, I’m sick n tired of Governor Jay Inslee who blah-blahs about the environment and then won’t have the state substantially invest in transit. Rather have Governor Hilary Franz or if necessary Bill Bryant who cares about the environment and won’t spew empty rhetoric. Talk is no longer cheap on this issue, talk without action is expensive to our future.

    1. You are correct that Governor Inslee has been terrible for the climate, just less terrible than most other governors. He signed the bill that allowed a vote on ST3 (for which the construction has an enormous carbon footprint that still needs to be offset) — a bill that also expanded the state highway system, without a vote of the people, in ways we didn’t need, and set up space for increased carbon emissions from cars in perpetuity. This blind spot for funding transit operations (like many other governors do, without falsely portraying their states as models of how to combat climate change), funding sidewalks (and hopefully getting them to be with carbon-negative concrete), and funding bike pathways makes him an unserious standard-bearer for the climate among the presidential candidates. He signed the bills Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon worked his butt off to get to his desk, but the credit for getting those passed should go primarily to Fitzgibbon. If anyone deserves to meet with Greta and not be scolded by her, Fitzgibbon ought to be on that list.

      Maybe I’m missing it, but Davison-Sattler’s website only offers one form of new housing: FEMA-style tents. If you put the neighborhood associations first as Ann advocates, not much else will be allowed. At least that has been the historical trend that has led to the housing crisis.

      I see nothing about climate action on Davison-Sattler’s website. Nor support for transit or bikes.

      Councilmember Debora Juarez, against whom Davison-Sattler is running, has been a more dependable vote for allowing the construction of more housing than even O’Brien and Johnson. It is no wonder the NIMBYs hate her.

      That pedestrian/bike bridge that will connect North Seattle College to Northgate Station is largely a product of Juarez’ work (with support from many advocacy groups, but she had the job of negotiating getting it funded).

      She was also key in pushing to build 130th St Station sooner rather than later, despite opposition from CEO Rogoff. It is pretty clear and obvious that that station should open with the rest of Lynnwood Link, and not require a long partial shutdown of the line for later construction work. I don’t know what Rogoff was thinking in trying to push back construction of that station.

      I do hope Juarez will be more forceful in her second term on behalf of the Bicycle Master Plan. If we want to de-carbonize our roads, human-powered transport is the best, and battery-powered mass transport is a distant second, given that producing those lithium batteries is hardly carbon-free. ABC lanes are heavily carbon-negative, in perpetuity, just by reducing the travel space available for cars. If you take Davison-Sattler’s approach of putting neighborhood associations first, do you really think we will get any more bike lanes or bus lanes in this town?

    2. “producing those lithium batteries is hardly carbon-free”

      And charging/discharging them is not very efficient.

  3. I have an honest question. If the solution to high rents is to make more housing, then why isn’t the solution to high CO2 levels to make more sky? Or, find a way to vacuum out bad air from the sky and blow it in to space?

    1. How does one simply “make more sky?” We don’t have the technology to simply manufacture more oxygen and nitrogen; it has to come from somewhere. And even if it were possible, we’d end up increasing the air pressure which would cause many other problems. We could theoretically extract oxygen from the ocean by electrolyzing it into hydrogen and oxygen, but then that just causes more problems too (and also takes a lot of energy, and that energy has to come from somewhere).

      And you can’t just “vacuum out bad air and blow it into space” either; doing that would take a lot of energy and deplete the atmosphere as well.

      Carbon sequestration is a thing, however, and there’s a lot of work going into that. But the simplest way to do that is to reforest the Earth and stop using so much energy in the first place.

    2. “I have an honest question.”

      You might want to read the story about the boy who cried wolf again.

      “why isn’t the solution to high CO2 levels to make more sky?”

      What does “make more sky” mean?

      “vacuum out bad air from the sky and blow it in to space?”

      We almost have that, they’re called scrubbers, but they blow it into the ground or mix it into glass or something. If we blew it out to space we’d permanently lose the oxygen we need to live.

    3. Why invest in technology to vacuum carbon out of the atmosphere? Wouldn’t it be smarter to invest in technologies that prevent excess carbon from entering the atmosphere in the first place? Mother Nature really does have the best method of sequestering carbon. As fluffy said, it’s called a forest.

      1. It might not be called a forest. There is a lot more ocean than land, so much so that the first time something started converting CO2 into cell parts (proteins, lipids, sugars) and dumping O2 back out, it caused the earth to freeze almost solid without a single land plant to aide. We think that thing managed to happen two more times probably before multicellular life and for sure before a single root system. And if we manage to poison all the things that eat those little single celled carbon converters, we might be in for a surprise: after warming things up too much for most ocean life, we might rapidly find things cooling too much for much land life.

        But if we can turn those little machines into something that can store carbon (carbon uptake) or be used as fuel (renewable energy), there is a lot of open ocean to harvest them from, and if we do it in a way that doesn’t kill off all the things that eat those little machines, we also hopefully won’t find ourselves swinging between uncontrollable climate extremes but instead can just ease in and ease out without completely toppling the existing systems.

        Anyway, just putting it out there that we shouldn’t get too stuck in any one box in how we deal with humankind’s greatest failure.

      2. My understanding is that there’s a lot more biomass that does photosynthesis in the oceans than in the forests, but the oceans are currently hurting really bad due to the huge glut of carbon they’re picking up, which is the cause of ocean acidification. I’m not a climatologist and I have no idea how much reforesting the planet will help, but anything that stops us from double-dipping into the Earth’s carbon stores (by both destroying our friendly angiosperm carbon sinks and burning it up as fuel) is an improvement, and it’s certainly an easy thing for laypeople to wrap their heads around.

      3. Replanting forests is great, unfortunately they can’t work fast enough, even if we suddenly had hundreds of thousands of acres more tomorrow, to prevent more temperature rise. Thus we have to stop all carbon emissions. Which is why LNG is such a bad thing to expand, sure it’s less carbon intensive than coal, but *any* is too much at this point.

        Unfortunately people don’t want to hear that.

      4. LNG is bad for another reason: Methane is a more intense, if shorter-lived, greenhouse gas.

      5. There’s some speculation that the oceans have been quietly absorbing a large part of the carbon emissions and masking the impact of climate change. If they become saturated and can absorb no more, it would dramatically accelerate the impacts on land. There’s also the problem of warming/acififying oceans damaging coral reefs on which many species depend.

      1. It doesn’t look like it.

        TriMet is phasing theirs out as the HOP card readers work with NFC payments on phones so they really don’t have a need for two mobile phone solutions., ORCA is a generation older so PT still has a reason to maintain a separate phone payment system until ORCA II comes.

  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg

    Greta, you can use your well-earned international position of respect to rescue Seattle Transit Blog’s valued contributor Sam, who has just been named Acting US Secretary of Air.

    With departure to DC delayed by airport elevator problems involving a Rapid Ride transfer to Tacoma and back, official who appointed him has now decided that because Sam even thinks there COULD be a problem with either CO2 or sky supply, it would look weak not to throw him in detention at Angle Lake.

    Your well-earned Nordic connections should enable you to persuade your neighbor Iceland to activate its solemn age-old ethnic protection tradition for its beloved trolls. Whereby Sam’s Icelandair flight can be guaranteed to arrive at Keflavik early enough to spare him the sorry fate that befell his countryman underneath the Aurora Bridge.

    Poor creature never even got to taste the car he was about to eat for breakfast when that sunray petrified him! If not actually made out of gold, probably something at least with fox fur seats. Over the ages, trolls’ big-ticket affection causes a lot of mountain ranges.

    What I like about you and so many of your compatriots, Greta, is your gift to the world’s current political generation of exactly the amount of respect its habitual response to major and foreseeable trouble presently deserves.

    School strikes are tempting at one level, but here’s better: Students motivating a citizen initiative for State law mandating solid training and experience running Government itself hands-on as high school graduation requirement.

    Fire-arms training in the Second Amendment’s own context, discipline, tourniquets and all. Emergency civilian medicine. General disaster recovery. Done right, likely wouldn’t require conscription. And some proof you can handle elected office as hundred percent condition of high school graduation. Same with at least a year’s study overseas.

    About your word”autistic” Greta. Lately our country’s current political far right has adopted the term “Deep State” to describe what they see as incurably evil in the present condition of our country.

    Personal and maybe an age thing, but watching present Administration in action since Inauguration, I’ll fight for an intensely concentrating Deep State over a Shallow one any weekend.

    Mark Dublin

  5. To the person who wanted the 372 routed to UW Station both directions, your wish has been granted.

    “From Wednesday, August 21, through Friday, August 30, at all times, Metro routes 31, 32, 65, 67, 75, 78 and 372 will continue to be rerouted off the University of Washington campus, but will be revised to serve the south campus and UW Link Station. During this time, these routes will travel instead via Montlake Blvd NE, NE Pacific St and 15th Av NE in both directions between NE 45th St and NE Campus Parkway. Buses will no longer be rerouted via NE 45th St. The Route 277 reroute has not been revised. This route will continue to be rerouted off the campus, but is making its regular stops on NE Pacific St and 15th Av NE.” (Metro email alert.)

    It starts tomorrow (Wednesday).

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