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October 17th, 2008, 3:02 am

Alerick
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As designers, are we not supposed to see the problems and solve them for the advancement of human life. Forget about the global warming part for a second and think about what generates the most greenhouse gases. The one that comes to mind for me is Coal. It is harmful in another way. When it is strip-mined in Kentucky and North Carolina, all that coal dust gets thrown up into the atmosphere and the wind carries it to the nearest town. The children of those cities have some of the worst cases of asthma ever seen. In the south west, people are dying from cancer because of the yellow cake that is left behind from uranium processing.

If we can come up with better solutions we will be improving not only a better life for local people but possibly the world.

On the matter of the petition....I tried googling 15 names and not one came up with a university, institute, or journal. If they are PhD's than they will usually have some sort of digital record. I would then question the validity of the petition.

I have read the IPCC report and talked to scientists about it. If the data is true than there is not a doubt in my mind that the change is real. I have also found that many times the scientist that object to global warming have a past with oil and coal companies.

I may be wrong about climate change but if it can only increase the quality of life, then what are we waiting for.

October 17th, 2008, 9:09 am

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Cameron
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Thanks for the reply Aleric. I strongly agree with you on the pollution thing. I happen to personally believe global warming is a red herring, but I think no one denies the negative effects of pollution and how we can improve that. As a design student I'm excited to try to contribute to this arena as well as the business one.
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October 17th, 2008, 9:32 am

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design-engine
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volcano generate the most green house gasses I think.

What is clean coal anyway?

Be careful young designers. It is a strange dichotomy for a designer to be green. It can't hurt to strive for green but the concept will sure phuck with your head because that is at the moment an impossible journey unless you carve all your products from wood which is what we used to do in the 40's. Remember your wood blocks??? then some engineer manager decided it was cheaper to make the cool blocks plastic.

"I want a wood cellphone or better yet one made of bamboo" I'm not joking.

I'm totally down with the walnut pressure formed housing or the leather bushing to form the hinge on your flip phone. you will still need gold shielding on the inside of the housing and flex cable to connect the daughter board to the motherboard but at least your approaching the biodegradable product.... Now you have to sell that to some non decreed buyer at target. good luck
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October 22nd, 2008, 11:02 am

Alerick
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Although you make a good point, sustainability is not just making ecofriendly things. I suggest reading Natural Capitalism. It talks about changing the way we manufacture and design to use less material and make more profit. Instead of making a phone that is made of wood, make a phone that can be torn down and updated. That way we do not just throw phones away. Plus, phone providers will not have to manufacture as many. They can simply update parts that the consumer wants and the person can keep the things they like. Material is the shallow end of sustainability, we can dive much deeper.

October 22nd, 2008, 11:04 am

Alerick
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also, there is no such thing as clean coal...that is a load. but geothermal, solar, and wind are fantastic ideas....NUCLEAR IS NOT

October 22nd, 2008, 11:11 am

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I bet if I drop my leather warped cellphone motherboard battery combo onto the ground it would not brake at all.

Ill order it today ... Natural Capitalism http://www.natcap.org/
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October 22nd, 2008, 11:17 am

Alerick
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You can actually read it for free online.

October 22nd, 2008, 11:54 am

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Cameron
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Alerick wrote:also, there is no such thing as clean coal...that is a load. but geothermal, solar, and wind are fantastic ideas....NUCLEAR IS NOT
How is nuclear not? France uses it for what, 70% of its power? It's way more feasible than solar, wind, etc. Those have existed for decades and still haven't shown promise. And, clean coal is relative, it's not zero-emissions, but it can approach being clean enough to have no effects on anything.

EDIT: that looks like a good read, Design-Engine. Thanks for sharing.
Last edited by Cameron on October 22nd, 2008, 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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October 22nd, 2008, 11:56 am

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design-engine
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just excerpts not the whole book....
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October 22nd, 2008, 12:06 pm

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Our system is built around unsustainable growth. Perhaps this will change with the current turmoil. Until it does, prayer is the most productive work.

Clean coal is wasting even more energy capturing CO2 at the stack. People have forced gases into empty oil wells already, so the technology exists to bury the CO2. There is no experience on the long term consequences of that.

Nuclear. How many people have died in nuclear accidents since Chernobyl (completely obsolete reactor technology that is not in use ANYWHERE in the world today)? I haven't heard of a single death.

Coal, oil, natural gas. Not a month goes by that I don't hear of people dying in coal mine accidents or refinery explosions. Plus, factor in lung disease that may result from air pollution.

Which technology should we be more scared of?

October 22nd, 2008, 1:28 pm

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Nuclear power's problem isn't at the energy creation stage but at the waste stream. Highly radioactive waste is a difficult issue no matter how you look at it.

Its also not terribly cost effective and will probably fail due to that issue alone.

While I tend to have a "lets do everything possible in an effort to get to true clean energy" (which I define as solar, wind, geo and tidal), part of that equation will be "cleaner" coal and bio fuels. I think economics will ultimately force the short term solutions into being and that's why current investment needs to be in the harder to crack issues like electrical storage, 4th gen bio fuels (Craig Venter of the human genome fame is working on it).


FYI, natural capitalism is a great book from mr. hawken. He has a more current book which I haven't read called blessed unrest

I agree with Mr-914 about unlimited growth being a fairy tale that we are way too dependent on as a linchpin of our systems.
Ultimately I feel the only way forward is to be a technologist. Everything else is too optimistic about human nature and its ability to control itself.

October 22nd, 2008, 1:33 pm

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asango
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Oh. and Nuclear's other big issue:

The energy issue is global, right? So how do you let any nation develop nuclear technology with also opening the door to weapons development.
Iran says it wants it for energy, the US is scared that they don't.
WWIII type shit.
Its a bit of a slippery slope.

October 22nd, 2008, 1:41 pm

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I think we'd agree that Holocaust-denying whackos are the exception to the general nuclear rule... hopefully =)
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October 22nd, 2008, 3:05 pm

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More nuclear: How many people have died from radioactive waste? I've never read or heard of one. Again, which is more dangerous?

More nuclear: The material in a fission reactor is completely useless for a weapon. A useful nuclear weapon requires a giant and expensive engineering project. The fission reactors aren't even the most difficult part of the project.

Iran: When Barack goes and has a chat with the Ayatollah, they'll back off a weapons program. All they want is to be acknowledged. Probably all of our noise only makes them want a nuke more.

October 22nd, 2008, 9:36 pm

Alerick
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you are looking at the reports of direct nuclear radioactive contact. However in the MidWest the processing of nuclear grade uranium leaves a waste called yellow cake. in its natural form uranium is harmless but when it is processed it becomes radioactive. The yellow cake left behind is extremely dangerous and Native Americans in the area have been dying of cancers due to their exposure to yellow cake.

You know what is the one question engineers haven't answered with nuclear energy. "What language do we use on the Nuclear waste signs, because when it is finally radioactive nuetral we will not be speaking anything that is similar to English.
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