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Topic: Infrastructure (Read 45881 times)

  • jax
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
Infrastructure
Do we invest too little in public infrastructure, or too much? Should we spend more on new infrastructure, or in maintaining what we got? Should old infrastructure be replaced, upgraded, removed, or saved for posterity? Who should pay for it? Who should use it? What infrastructure should we have more of and what less? Is it good for your town, country, world, even if it is away from you? Where can we find good infrastructure and where bad?

  • jax
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
Re: Infrastructure
Reply #250
It was more profitable than incinerating it. Which is profitable as well. Sweden and Norway are buying trash to feed their incinerators as we are not producing enough domestically. With its newest, and most stylish, incinerator add Denmark to the list. We might be facing a global trash shortage if this keeps going on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOqocj2h6EM


What goes for plastics also goes for ships. Luxury cruise ships or scrap? Depends on their relative value.

 https://youtu.be/qo-2gDg-37w

Or airplanes. Just a couple decades ago Airbus A380 was to be the flagship of the company with a list price of $450 million, while the older Boeing 747 had a price of $380 million. Both are now discontinued. Both had fuel economic and business model for an earlier age. So when the Hollywood movie Tenet was produced, they found it was cheaper and more fun to crash an old (non-flying) 747 than to hire a few CGI programmers in Bangalore. 

https://youtu.be/_lnwizgUbec

  • Belfrager
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Infrastructure
Reply #251
Do we invest too little in public infrastructure, or too much?
Here you have a simple answer: Manmade mass outweighs life on Earth
A matter of attitude.

  • jax
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
Re: Infrastructure
Reply #252
It's interesting, but not particularly surprising. Total biomass, the amount of carbon in all living things, is a pretty small number.

The Earth's crust is the top 1% of the planet in mass (and the atmosphere about 0.01% of the the crust).  Carbon is actually a pretty rare element in the crust, about 0.02%, while oxygen + silicon comprises ¾ of the crust. In total there should be something on the order of 100 petaton of carbon, which is plenty, but also abstract because the vast majority is inaccessible to living things (including humans) and non-living processes.

Actual biomass is much smaller, in the order of gigatons (millionths of petatons). Our World in Data made a prettier version of a PNAS study of total biomass (measured in carbon).



So measured in biomass, life is largely plants, and to be specific trees, and even more specific wood. But wood is just scaffolding, the living, growing cells of a tree live in the thin layer below the bark, as well as in the leaves.

Then again, plants since the very beginning have been extremely good at fixing carbon, from oceans, atmosphere and soil. From CH₄ to CO₂, from CO₂ to O₂. That has had far greater impact on the surface of our planet than anything we animals have done. 

https://youtu.be/qERdL8uHSgI

And of course, like today's trees, they have fixed carbon for hundreds of millions of year, creating our massive stores of fossil carbon. Accessible carbon is easily hundred times more than the carbon bound up in currently living. If we look all the living things and piled them up, they would make a heap of about 200 km³, the size of a medium-sized mountain (or a very large mine). We also consist of a lot of water, enough to create a nice lake by that mountain.

Now, our construction use much more abundant materials on the surface like sand, stone, cement. Apart from the chemical process to make cement (a major CO₂ source), these are very inert materials. It takes long time for them to affect the environment. The comparably much smaller amounts of fossil carbon, metals and more are causing us far more trouble.