Re: [asa] Re: GW

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Sun Jan 27 2008 - 21:21:34 EST

Regarding fluorescent light bulbs, every one of the bulbs contains a
droplet of mercury. I rarely hear anyone speak of the tradeoff between
power saving and mercury pollution even for standard fluorescent lamps
(which also contain mercury), let alone the tsunami of new light-bulb
configured fluorescents driven by cost saving on power alone. The proper
disposition of the mercury containing devices is generally not
addressed, and most are cavalierly (mostly out of ignorance) tossed in
the ordinary trash and garbage. Those landfills are going to be
wonderfully polluted with mercury, and no one seems to be worrying about
that! I guess we have to wait for it to find its way down the waterways
and into fish before it is of concern.
JimA [ friend of ASA]

Dave Wallace wrote:

> I'm probably a little more skeptical than Burgy is but I still think
> we should be taking remedial action. Like Burgy I am not a climate
> scientist. Reasons why I am more skeptical:
> 1)The models are large complex codes and as someone who spent their
> career programming, I don't think there is any such thing as the last
> bug.
> 2)The computer models do not simulate all of the climate. As I
> understand it, in some cases not all the physics is known and in
> others the computer programs would just run too long to perform a more
> exact simulation. Something called parameterization is used to set
> coefficients for these areas that are not modeled but approximated.
> 3)Someone said that if they were tasked with understanding how good
> the climate models are, that one thing they would do is talk to the
> grad students who in many cases did the actual programming. Knowing
> enough about the numerical methods and especially error propagation
> takes more than a grad course or two in numerical methods. However,
> at least one of the models and I assume more than one, come from
> government research institutions and should not suffer from this problem.
> My take on remedial action is that we have two other global problems
> for which many actions are the same as for global warming. Those
> problems being:
> A) the coming depletion of oil and natural gas. The projection here
> is that gas (for automobiles) which now sells for 4+$ US a gallon will
> hit 6$ US a gallon in the not too far future.
> B) smog in cities like Toronto, LA, Tokyo is killing people,
> especially those with respiratory problems.
> Thinking of things that improve all three or even any two of the above
> is not hard:
> -Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs can reduce power consumption by a 75
> to 80% and then upstream reduce fuel going into generating
> stations... A while back I saw a news story that indicated that
> incandescent bulbs in Canada are expected to become scares in the next
> decade or so. Whether by forcing them off the market or adding a tax
> of 10$ a bulb is immaterial.
> -eliminate air shuttles, Washington to New York to Boston etc. Ottawa
> (where I live) to Toronto probably has around 40 to 50 flights a day
> each way. If we laid down dedicated dual tracks, even with the trains
> that are in use today (85 to 100mph), rail passenger time, down town
> to down town would be more than competitive with flight.
> -eliminate inter city truck transportation by improving rail facilities.
> -install electric water heaters, washers, dryers and disk washers with
> the ability to run during off peak hours. Electric water heaters are
> available here that can be shut down remotely by the power company to
> help deal with city or province wide high peak loads. In a year or
> two we will get billed more per kwh during peak hours of the day than
> off hours. The generating stations that handle peak conditions are
> typically very expensive to operate and pollute correspondingly.
> Replacing good existing appliances is probably not the thing to do but
> as they wear out then more efficient units should be obtained.
> Dave W (CSCA member)
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Received on Sun Jan 27 21:22:26 2008

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