Greenhouse


Landfill Garbage Methane Gas Counterpoint

One of the biomass fuels that have been given little attention is methane gas generated from garbage in Waste Management dumps. Waste Management is converting methane gas from rotting trash into electricity power. The gas powers turbines that turn generators, producing electricity for a power grid. In the U.S. the number of methane gas projects has grown to 510 and generate more than 1.563 megawatts per year, or supply energy to power 1.6 million homes. A landfill will produce gas for 20 to 30 years, and is a reliable consistent source. Economics, energy legislation mandates, and technology advancements are the reason for the fuels development. At the present, landfill gas power cost is about the same as from wind, but is still more expensive than from coal-generated power (Cents per kilowatt-hour: Coal=3 to 8, Landfill gas=7 to 10, Wind=5 to 11).

Methane is the second most important green house gas after carbon dioxide. Reducing its emissions in the atmosphere, and using it for energy power generation and a component of natural gas are good reasons landfill methane-electricity projects made up 10.8% of the country’s renewable energy output. The EPA says, landfill methane becomes a greenhouse gas at least 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, the principle greenhouse gas, when it rises in the atmosphere.

The 1.6 billion tons of garbage, 550 lbs per person, is a growing potential source for clean energy. The methane generated in the landfills should be used for energy power instead of being released to the atmosphere.

Other Reference info:

EPA Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP)

A look at Waste Management and landfill gas energy resources

Sources of Energy-the fossil fuels

FEC harnesses methane gas to create energy

Garbage to gas

Fun Facts about Fungi

California garbage trucks fueled by…

Global Warming and Energy Reserves Counterpoint?

The science is clear, “climate change is happening, and it is linked directly to human activities that emit greenhouse gases”. A number of technological options exist to avert dangerous climatic change by dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions both now and into the future. Business Solutions, International Action, State Action, and Local Action describe how business and government leaders at all levels have recognized both the challenge and the vast opportunity climate change presents. These leaders are responding with a broad spectrum of innovative solutions: Dell moves up the timeline, and South Africa has a way to make oil from coal.

Scientific evidence paints a clear picture, and it will have many serious and potentially damaging effects in the decades ahead. Scientists have confirmed that the earth is warming, and “those greenhouse gas emissions from cars, power plants and other manmade sources—rather than natural variations in climate—are the primary cause”.

“Evidence of CO2 and other greenhouse gases can be seen from the following observable impacts”:

  1. Polar ice is melting
  2. Glaciers around the globe are in retreat
  3. Storms are increasing in intensity
  4. Ecosystems around the world already are reacting\
  5. Plant and animal species struggle to adapt to shifting climate
  6. New climate-related threats emerge

A report states 2004 U.S. greenhouse emissions of CO2 equivalent million metric tons are:

  1. Electric generation-2338 (32%)
  2. Transportation-1995 (28%)
  3. Industry-1377 (20%)
  4. Agriculture-491 (7%)
  5. Commercial-460 (7%)
  6. Residential-391 (6%)

The same report states achieving the necessary total reductions will require a combination of strategies:

  1. Producing cars with higher gas mileage
  2. Displace coal power with other means (wind, water, light)
  3. Build with nuclear power
  4. Decrease car travel per year
  5. Capture and store carbon emissions
  6. Improve energy efficiency buildings and appliances
  7. Increase ethanol output

However, it is estimated in the report that increased CO2, with the increased energy requirements of the world’s developed nations, by 2030 are:

  1. U.S. 60%
  2. China 120%
  3. India 100%
  4. Europe 20%

All other developing nations are expected to surpass those of the developed nations. This means that the increasing energy requirements are occurring at a faster rate than the total reductions that are deemed necessary.

It has been estimated that there is enough energy reserves accessible, using current mining technology, to provide the following for the entire planet:

  1. Oil-57 years
  2. Coal-67 years
  3. Natural gas-167 years

It has been reported in “An Inconvenient Truth” that if we do nothing concerning Global Warming, in about 10 years the planet may reach a “tipping point” and begin a slide toward destruction of our civilization, and most of the species on the planet. After that point is reached, it would be too late for any action: a dire prediction.

The estimated energy reserves leaves only about 150 years until the planet runs out of electric generation, transportation, and industry as we now know it, for our heating and air conditioning, travel, and work conveniences we now take for grant it: a dire prediction, but a limit to activities that emit greenhouse gases.

Scientists, engineers, professors, politicians, and a few magazines are now questioning what is being stated in the media about global warming or cooling, and the energy reserve predictions. Refer to the listed article and a start to the people giving facts:

  

  1.  Global Warming the Cold Hard Facts?-Timothy Bell
  2. Design News-Charles J. Murray
  3. Newsweek-Robert J Samuelson
  4. Yuri A. Israel- Vice President (IPCC)
  5. Michael Crichton- the scientist, writer and filmmaker
  6. Richard Lindzin- an atmospheric physicist and a professor of meteorology at MIT
  7. Thomas Kuhn- book author of “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.”
  8. Bob Carter- a paleoclimate geologist from James Cook University in Australia
  9. Borris Winterhalter-marine researcher at Geological Survey of Finland
  10. Wibjorn Karlen-Emeritus Professor, Stockholm University
  11. James Inhofe-Senator
  12. See “Global Weather Predictions Counterpoint” article
  13. See “Global Weather Facts Counterpoint” article

Of interest are the candidate’s views on technological issues: Energy, Climate change, Space program, skilled worker shortage, and technology.

Global Warming Facts

These are some known documented scientific facts concerning “Global Warming”:

  1. The “Greenhouse Effect” is real and it helps to moderate the earth’s temperatures (15 degree C or 59 degree F average)-without the effect the earths temperature would be approximately –18 degree C or 0 degree F. Greenhouse gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane) allow sunlight to pass through the earth’s atmosphere and strike the earth and retain the radiant heat from escaping back into space.
  2. Global warming has been happening for a long time as the temperature of the earth has been increasing continuously since the ice age. The earth’s temperature has risen approximately 16 degrees F and the sea level raised approximately 300 ft. From a geological perspective global warming is a natural state.
  3. Global warming is caused primarily by the earth’s orbital eccentricities and variations in the Sun’s heat output to earth (sunspot activity, earths tilt and elliptical orbit around the sun, the earths wobble orbit). It is also due to heat retention from the “Greenhouse Effect” and solar reflectivity, and shifting of the land masses (continental drift).
  4. Over 90% of the greenhouse effect is the result of the water in the earth’s atmosphere (water vapor and clouds). The remaining portion comes from carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, and ozone.
  5. Temperatures have gone through two cycles of warming and cooling in the last 100 years. During 1900 to 1940 the temperatures were increasing and from 1940 to 1975 the temperatures were decreasing. Presently the temperatures are increasing.
  6. El Nino is caused primarily by differential warming of ocean currents in the Pacific Ocean relative to surrounding waters due to solar heating in equatorial regions-not general global solar heating.
  7. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the principal gas that trees and plants need to survive. Life (plant and animal) on earth requires carbon dioxide to survive.
  8. Orbiting weather satellites are able to record the most accurate measures of global warming. In the last 20 years of satellite measurements the recorded global temperatures have slightly decreased in average temperatures (carbon dioxide has increased 20% to 30%).
  9. UV absorption by ozone causes warming in the stratosphere.
  10. Greenhouse gases do not trap heat, but act as delaying the transfer of energy from Earth to space.
  11. Humans are responsible for about 3.4% of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere annually.
  12. Humans have been trying to measure the earth’s temperature since about 1880, and during this time the temperature has changed about 1.1 degrees F.
  13. A “National Journal Poll” shows consistent results of US Congressional members concerning global warming when asked, “Do you think it’s been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the Earth is warming because of manmade problems?”- 95% Democrats agree, 84% Republicans disagree.
  14. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita leave surprising disaster of 320 million trees devastated. It will add significantly to the greenhouse gas buildup-ultimately putting as much carbon from drying vegetation into the air as the rest of the American forest takes out in a year of photosynthesis.