Recent comments in /f/Green

DisgruntledOne wrote

Yes and No.

Planting trees is a good first step, but that alone won't solve the climate change problem. We need to focus on carbon capture and sequestration. That means we need to plant trees, let them grow to full size, cut them down and bury/freeze them, and then plant more trees.

If you just plant a tree then when it dies the carbon it's captured will just be released back into the environment. If you let that happen then you're just wasting your efforts. Once the tree is grown you need to cut it down, ship it to Antarctica, and plant another tree.


engi wrote

The protestors claimed that the plant’s effluent, discharged into the sea, releases toxins and impacts the quality of fish. They feared that the plant will take away their livelihood and that of future generations. Fish workers said that since the plant has been operational, the quantity of fish has reduced, and the varieties diminished.

are there any numbers that back this up? "toxins" is very unspecific

i'm rather not-fond of anti-fission nimbyism in these times of increasing urgency to reduce co2 emissions


celebratedrecluse wrote

recycling efficiencies and practicalities vary incredibly between different substances. While metal and glass can be somewhat straightforward, only special facilities which use large amounts of chemical reagents can recycle most plastics-- and all the plastics are chemically different, so finding a logistically feasible, let alone environmentally friendly, way to recycle plastic is usually impossible.

The use of large amounts of chemicals to facilitate recycling is not a closed loop system. It is inherently unsustainable, and in practice directly supports the petrochemical industries which are responsible for a wide variety of ecological crises.

Most plastics, in terms of discrete items, simply go to the landfill, and creating the infrastructure to recycle them instead would waste a lot of resources which could go towards reducing the need for these non-biodegradable compounds in the first place. The effect on the environment is simply prohibitive, and the only serious solution seems to be to stop making the stuff-- which is surprisingly intuitive, given that scientists have both created & observed biodegradable alternatives to synthetic plastics for a very wide variety of applications


dorcass wrote

I worry that knowledge about the process of recycling is really underdeveloped in the left. Other commentors are incorrect. Recycling can be efficient. The issue is that, under late capitalism, there has been little incentive to better recycling habits because we were just sending off our recycling to developing countries. These countries no longer want to accept recyclables because Westerners can't get our shit together enough to learn what can and can't be recycled, with the result that most of it is severely contaminated. This contamination is dangerous for the people processing it in these developing countries, as well as making it impossible for to sell to the final party. Which means that the risk is too high for them to continue accepting it. As with all things, capitalism gets in the way of progress.


celebratedrecluse wrote

plastic recycling uses more plastic precursor (petrochemicals) than simply creating more plastic

the only solution is to develop technologies to dissolve what exists, and stop making new nonbiodegradable plastic. Even so, the use of biodegradable plastics or bioengineered bacteria to degrade plastic will have serious environmental consequences of their own, which will be very difficult to predict or handle.


Reply to comment by ziq in Natural rubber from dandelions by ziq

ziq OP wrote (edited )

I let my collards and kales self seed and they remain collards and kales generation after generation. They don't seem to readily cross pollinate with the wild mustards that grow nearby, but it is possible to hybridise them so I imagine they'd eventually revert to a wild form:


Reply to comment by yaaqov in Natural rubber from dandelions by ziq

yaaqov wrote

Woah, cool! Do you know if that’s true of like, brassicas and stuff? Like would broccoli become wild mustard? Just as an example, I know you don’t like brassica much.

And yeah hmm. I think the article said something about having to test the dandelion latex to see if would work—perhaps something about fig latex just isn’t amenable to rubber making.


Reply to comment by ziq in Natural rubber from dandelions by ziq

ziq OP wrote

all lettuces are pretty much identical to prickly lettuce. they revert back to the wild form if you leave them to grow feral for a few generations.

Fig trees seem to have a lot more latex than dandelions, I wonder why they don't use them to make rubber.


yaaqov wrote

Hell yeah! Most plants in the dandelion tribe produce latex, including common weeds like prickly lettuce that grow across the northern hemisphere.

A neat thing about prickly lettuce, and other lettuces, in particular, is that their latex is also psychoactive, having similar qualities to a mild opiate, in terms of pain relief, drowsiness, etc. They used to use it as a opium substitute a century or two ago, under the name lactucarium.