mfioretti: environmental footprint*

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  1. A recent report suggests that at current prices, Bitcoin miners will consume an estimated 8.27 terawatt-hours per year. That might sound like a lot, but it’s actually less than an eighth of what U.S. data centers use, 1 and only about 0.21 percent of total U.S. consumption. It also compares favorably to the currencies and commodities that bitcoin could help replace: Global production of cash and coins consumes an estimated 11 terawatt-hours per year, while gold mining burns the equivalent of 132 terawatt-hours. And that doesn’t include armored trucks, bank vaults, security systems and such. So in the right context, bitcoin is positively green.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articl...oin-is-greener-than-its-critics-think
    Voting 0
  2. Ti sei mai chiesto quali tipologie e quante tipologie di traffico illegale sostieni con la tua alimentazione?
    In che modo riesci a non essere un peso per l’ecosistema e per gli altri tuoi simili, alimentandoti?

    Spero tu non abbia mai addentato una fettina di carne, perché esiste un vero e proprio sfruttamento dei lavoratori anche nell’industria dello smontaggio animale.
    Pensa, nel 2013 si parlò di operai pagati 3 euro l’ora, una paga quasi inferiore a quella percepita dagli operatori dei call center. Con la differenza che nei call center non c’è puzza di budella né ci si sporca di sangue.
    Spero tu non abbia mai digerito un chilo di carne, perché in quel momento hai privato ai tuoi simili ben 15 kg di cereali e 15000 litri di acqua potabile. Sempre riferendomi alla carne, spero non sia fra i tuoi consumi anche per motivi ambientali: secondo la Fao(Food and Agricolture Organization of the United Nation) l’allevamento determina una quantità di emissioni di gas serra (18%) più alta dei trasporti (13%). Altri studi invece stimano che considerando tutto il ciclo dell’allevamento l’impatto possa addirittura superare il 50% del totale.

    Mi auguro tu non abbia mai gustato una tartina coi gamberetti: mangiandola avresti sentito il retrogusto di schiavitù minorile, della tratta di umani costretti a lavorare sui barconi o di persone buttate in mare e ammazzate se osano ribellarsi. Gamberetti che finiscono poi dritti nei mangimi impiegati negli allevamenti di animali nei paesi ricchi.
    Hai mai mangiato animali allevati che a loro volta hanno mangiato questi mangimi?

    Avrai sicuramente evitato come eviteresti un vegano a cena l’acquisto di un qualsiasi tipo di alimento o bene di consumo proveniente da multinazionali che incatenano esseri umani e devastano l’ambiente. Giusto? Oppure no?

    Se rifletti bene, tu, ma anche gli altri che come te hanno in qualche modo provato soddisfazione nel credere veritiere le cose che hai scritto, in questa gara a chi è meno etico non hai alcuna vittoria contro quelli che tu definisci “adepti”.

    La verità è che è troppo facile vedere gli errori altrui dimenticandosi dei propri.
    Fino a poco prima dell’impennata che ha avuto l’alimentazione vegan eravate tutti impegnati a fare altro. Magicamente, adesso che esistono milioni di persone a cui importa seriamente qualcosa, vi sentite minacciati.
    Ed essendo molto più semplice criticare quell’ipotetico “poco” fanno gli altri anziché muoversi e dimostrare di saper fare di meglio, state li a criticare.
    Perché agire, anziché parlare, fa fatica.
    https://carmenluciano.com/2017/09/20/...in-risposta-allarticolo-di-the-vision
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  3. The implications of this study are important. Only 2% of Americans do not eat any animal products. (This number has not changed appreciably for 20 years). Further, the fact that five out of six vegetarians go back to eating meat suggests that an all-veggie diet is very hard for most people to maintain over the long haul. Hence, the authors of the report argue that animal protectionists would be better off concentrating their efforts to persuade “the many” to reduce their consumption of flesh than trying to convince “the few” to take the absolutist route and give up meat completely. Sounds right to me.
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...egetarians-and-vegans-return-meat-why
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  4. Bitcoin's incredible price run to break over $7,000 this year has sent its overall electricity consumption soaring, as people worldwide bring more energy-hungry computers online to mine the digital currency.

    An index from cryptocurrency analyst Alex de Vries, aka Digiconomist, estimates that with prices the way they are now, it would be profitable for Bitcoin miners to burn through over 24 terawatt-hours of electricity annually as they compete to solve increasingly difficult cryptographic puzzles to "mine" more Bitcoins. That's about as much as Nigeria, a country of 186 million people, uses in a year.
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    This averages out to a shocking 215 kilowatt-hours (KWh) of juice used by miners for each Bitcoin transaction (there are currently about 300,000 transactions per day). Since the average American household consumes 901 KWh per month, each Bitcoin transfer represents enough energy to run a comfortable house, and everything in it, for nearly a week. On a larger scale, De Vries' index shows that bitcoin miners worldwide could be using enough electricity to at any given time to power about 2.26 million American homes.
    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/ar...mption-ethereum-energy-climate-change
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  5. Altro esempio di questa ossessione si può trovare nel ricettario-bibbia della comunità vegana italiana dal titolo “La cucina etica”. Scopo dei suoi tre autori è quello di proporre ricette “etiche, salutiste, ecologiche, spirituali, legate allo sviluppo sostenibile”. Uno dei primi capitoli è dedicato alla quinoa.

    La quinoa è considerata uno degli alimenti più nutrienti in natura ed è utilizzata di frequente nelle diete vegane per l’alta concentrazione di proteine che contiene; viene coltivata nei due Paesi più poveri del Sud America – Perù e Bolivia – e da quando è stata scoperta nelle “diete etiche” ha completamente stravolto l’esistenza degli abitanti di entrambi i Paesi. Dal 2006 al 2011 il prezzo della quinoa è triplicato, fino a raggiungere i 3mila euro la tonnellata, ma alcune varietà più pregiate – rossa real e nera – possono superare i 4mila e gli 8mila euro.
    http://thevision.com/scienza/vita-di-un-vegano-non-etica
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  6. Aviation is a golden goose for politicians. In the UK, where sources of future post-Brexit economic growth are hard to identify, the industry looks set to continue its enviable historic growth-rate of 4-5% annually. The main problem for airlines now is finding enough space to accommodate planes at crowded airports such as Heathrow. Airlines’ seductive message to politicians is “If you build it, they will come.”

    And the primary reason that they will come is because flying is kept artificially cheap, while trains and cars become more expensive. The main reason for this is the so-called “Chicago Convention”, agreed in 1944 by a then much smaller air industry, which prohibits countries from imposing jet fuel tax and VAT on international flights. Taxes on other forms of transport have increased dramatically since 1944 but thanks to the convention aviation has remained almost unscathed. Things have actually moved in the other direction since the 1990s, when an influx of low-cost carriers led to big cost savings and even lower ticket prices.

    What is to be done? Aviation, along with shipping, was given special status and excluded from the Kyoto and Paris climate change agreements. The industry was tasked to come up with its own solutions instead. After much foot-dragging, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), finally addressed aviation emissions in 2016, proposing a market-based mechanism, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

    Under CORSIA, countries’ airlines are given allowances to emit carbon, and if they exceed their allowances (which they will) then they must buy offsets from other sectors. Yet the plan is not nearly radical enough. It doesn’t even come into power for another decade, and it does nothing to stifle demand – unlike a carbon tax.

    As we can see, regulating the environmental impact of flying is a complex business. Ignorance and inaction is an appealing reaction to complexity, but we need to act before aviation gobbles up more of the increasingly small wriggle-room for emission cuts. We can try and reduce the number of flights taken, buy carbon offsets for unavoidable flights, and question the broader logic of allowing the industry to grow ad infinitum. Just using a carbon calculator to learn about the carbon impact of our sunny escapades is a good start.

    If citizens remain blissfully unaware of aviation emissions, then airlines and governments are unlikely to do anything about them. Alternatively, if governments ever wish to place a global carbon tax on flights, then they will need to create political “buy-in” from citizens who increasingly see cheap flights as a right.
    https://theconversation.com/its-time-...t-flying-has-on-the-environment-70953
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  7. The paper argues that such consumption-based emissions accounting is important to consider alongside the territorial, production-based emissions typically required to be reported by governments, since they highlight the links between local consumption and its global environmental consequences.

    The breakdown into regional data could also empower regions to implement more focussed mitigation strategies, the paper argues.

    The results show that people living in Eastern Europe, such as in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, have some of the lowest carbon footprints in the EU, with the per capita average in some regions just a third of that in several British regions and in Luxembourg.

    Carbon Brief explores the trends and drivers behind the data.
    http://www.resilience.org/stories/201...embodied-emissions-footprints-compare
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  8. For its nutrition Soylent 2.0 is perhaps the most ecologically efficient food ever created. You may think me smug but I and many other people have poured their lives into creating something amazing and we have every right to be proud of it. Using algae ingredients over farmland, avoiding refrigeration, spoilage, animal products, retail, cooking, using entirely recyclable packaging and considering the long term potential of synthesising the whole thing biologically off grid provides unprecedented environmental savings and potential. It is sterilized and packaged in a continuous, automated, scalable process with negligible human labor. It really is amazing. Soylent makes up about 80% of my calories and I eat out the rest of the time. This lifestyle is absolutely affordable to the mass American market, with people on average spending $600 / month on food 1 » . The time savings could be used for economic gains from studying, or just allow people to relax more or catch up on some sleep, which America needs a lot more than organic produce. I never plan to give up traditional food and don’t expect others to. I love meeting people that are passionate about food. I want food to be made by people that enjoy making it, and are good at making it. I’m just not one of them. Having fewer kitchens that are more heavily utilized is leagues more efficient than everyone having their own kitchen and ingredient inventory sitting around unused most of the time.

    Similarly, ridesharing is obviously more sustainable than individual car ownership. Automobile utilization in the United States is as low as 3% according to some studies. UberPool alone could yield enormous savings by moving twice as many people per car per gallon. Not only is the price broadly accessible, it could save millions from the debt and risks that come with car ownership. I do take public transit when it makes sense. For the record I think Los Angeles mayor Garcetti is doing a fantastic job of investing in public transit. Sharing also accelerates the adoption of newer technologies since the aggregate savings are so great. Consider how quickly Uber drivers adopted hybrid cars to save fuel. A personal vehicle may stay on the road for 25 years, leading to “clunkers” with soft tires wasting fuel. Every Uber driver I’ve spoken to enjoys the job for its flexibility. However, part of me knows that they will soon be replaced by self driving cars. More on that later.

    Finally, asserting that every factory in China is a sweatshop is prejudiced. I have personally seen factories in the United States (Las Vegas if you’re wondering) with worse working conditions than what I saw when I lived in China. Surely we both have room to improve, but every supplier I use is audited by third parties. Where do you think the clothes in American retail stores come from now? I find it more efficient and cheaper to buy direct and actually use the product than to have clothes sit around in warehouses and retail outlets for months or years. When I donate my clothes they get washed, which takes energy, but it’s in a larger centralized facility so more laundry gets done per person per machine. Again, higher utilization. It would be wasteful for me to run entire loads of wash with my few pieces of clothing. And shipping via ocean is shockingly efficient.

    Let’s take the Emma Maersk container ship for example, even though the newer Triple E class ships are 35% more efficient. A trek from Hong Kong to Los Angeles takes about 14 days and burns 1,209,600 gallons of fuel. That’s a lot but it’s moving 15,000 shipping containers, each capable of fitting 36,864 t shirts. So, each shirt is responsible for 8mL of oil, which is what I would burn driving a car 266 feet. Shipping a container from China to LA uses even less fuel than trucking it from San Francisco. Buying “local” is ineffective from a sustainability perspective. It’s just ingroup bias.

    On the production side I lean mostly toward polyester, which is not only easily recyclable, it has a negligible water footprint. For energy, a polyester t shirt takes about 12.5MJ to make, which is 3.5kWh, less than half a cycle in a washer and dryer. So if you’re not washing a bunch of clothes at once it can be more efficient to make new clothes than to wash them. 2 » 3 » 4 » 5 »
    http://robrhinehart.com
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  9. Although the analysis above has much room for refinement and development in context and household specific ways, it has been demonstrated that what we have called low-tech options have the potential to significantly reduce the energy intensity (and water intensity) of our ways of living. Our personal experience practising all of these low-tech options at times, many of them often, and some of them always, also gives us confidence that the results above are broadly correct. Indeed, when low-tech ‘demand side’ strategies are applied in conjunction with hi-tech ‘supply side’ strategies (e.g. solar PV), our personal experience confirms that people can be net-producers of renewable electricity, provided ordinary consumption of electricity is significantly reduced. Moreover, we know that this can be done without diminishing quality of life, although low-tech practices do often demand a greater time investment than their conventional alternatives, which can call for broader lifestyle changes to accommodate this increased time commitment.
    http://www.resilience.org/stories/201...sponse-to-climate-change-and-peak-oil
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  10. Less Meat, Fewer Emissions

    Of the solutions modeled in the book, the food sector has more impact than energy. Reducing food waste ranks third or fourth on the list of solutions, depending on the scenario. Globally, around a third of food is thrown out before it’s eaten (in developing countries, this often happens because food can’t be refrigerated before it gets to consumers; in the U.S., much of the waste happens after it gets to consumers). In the most conservative scenario modeled in the book, reducing food waste could avoid 70 gigatons of emissions.

    If half of the world’s population can eat less meat–a challenge as the global population grows, and more people in lower-income countries can afford to buy it–that would also have a significant impact; the book ranks a plant-based diet fourth in one scenario and fifth in another. (In the unlikely event that everyone becomes vegan, the world could reduce food-related climate emissions by 70%, according to a 2016 Oxford University study.)

    A variety of different farming practices make the list, and one makes the top ten: silvopasture, or deliberately growing trees on pasture where cows graze. The trees, and the soil beneath them, can sequester five to ten times as much carbon as a treeless pasture. Growth of the practice has been limited so far because the up-front costs are higher, and many farmers still believe that treeless pastures will grow more fodder for their cattle. But silvopasture actually helps support more livestock, partly because the trees give cattle shade and protection from wind. If farmers adopt it, they may also be able to avoid deforestation.

    That’s particularly important in places like the Amazon, where beef production is a major driver of deforestation. The book ranks the protection and restoration of tropical forests as another of the most impactful solutions. On its own, tropical forest loss is responsible for as much as 19% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
    It’s Time To Talk About Refrigerant Management

    Wind power ranks first or second as a solution, depending on the scenario. (In the “plausible” scenario, which is optimistic but conservative about the adoption of each solution, wind power reaches 16.7% of global electricity use by 2050; the Global Wind Energy Council predicts that number could be as high as 41%).

    Maybe most surprising is what ranks first in the “plausible” scenario–refrigerant management. The chemicals used in refrigerators and air conditioners for cooling can have a global warming potential thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide. In a deal struck in 2016, the world agreed to phase those chemicals out; over the next 30 years, if the deal is enacted, that can avoid 89.74 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

    The list follows the 80/20 rule: the top 20 solutions are responsible for 80% of the impact. “The next 80 are 20%,” says Hawken. “But that 20% of the impact is what puts you from going over the top.” In other words, the full list of solutions is necessary; there are no silver bullets here.
    https://www.fastcompany.com/3068250/t...-need-to-do-to-reverse-global-warming
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