jm + carbon   19

The false promise of “renewable natural gas”
RNG [renewable natural gas] can, depending on feedstock and circumstances, be low or even zero-carbon. Utilities argue that ramping up the production of RNG and blending it with normal natural gas in pipelines can reduce [greenhouse gases] faster and cheaper than electrifying buildings. By pursuing electrification, they say, regulators are pushing unnecessary cost hikes onto consumers.

It would be nice for the utilities if this were true. But it’s not. RNG is not as low-carbon as the industry claims and its local air and water impacts are concentrated in vulnerable communities. Even if it were low-carbon and equitable, there simply isn’t enough of it to substitute for more than a small fraction of natural gas. And even if it were low-carbon, equitable, and abundant, it still wouldn’t be an excuse to expand natural gas infrastructure or slow electrification.

It isn’t a close call. The research is clear: Especially in a temperate climate like California, RNG is not a viable alternative for decarbonizing buildings. It is a desperate bid by natural gas utilities to delay their inevitable decline. Policymakers would be foolish to fall for it.
decarbonization  carbon  climate-change  rng  renewables  natural-gas  pollution  environment 
3 days ago by jm
the CO2 footprint of email is greatly exaggerated
If you care about the environmental impact of tech, worrying about email is not the place to spend your time and energy.

Worry instead about the big tech companies accelerating the extraction of fossil fuels, when we need to keep them in the ground. [....] Worry instead about consulting companies you admire doing the same, and helping the same oil and gas companies, but keeping quiet about doing so. Worry about how blase we are about flying when it makes up a significant chunk of company emissions in many tech consultancies and enterprise sales teams.
climate-change  email  factoids  misinformation  carbon 
11 days ago by jm
How to Actually Personally Fight Climate Change – Erika Reinhardt
These are concrete, practical suggestions that it's possible for a normal person to achieve -- do them!
Mitigating the climate crisis is top of mind for many people. But it’s such a complex issue that it can be hard to distinguish between data-backed improvements and feel-good distractions. This is your action list with lots of context along the way on why not just how so you can soon be an emissions-fighting climate superhero. If you want to get started by just running through and checking off the easy items, start here.
climate-change  green-living  future  climate  carbon  tips  advice  todo 
22 days ago by jm
Making a green internet with the Green Web Foundation
The tech sector is responsible for 2% to 4% of global emissions today. That’s less than all automobile transport, but roughly comparable to the global emissions of all shipping, or aviation. [....]

The problem is that even as our electricity grids transition to more sustainable sources of energy, by dropping coal in favour of renewables, for instance, this doesn’t automatically mean we’re getting a much greener internet. That’s partly because the internet, while distributed around the world, is not evenly distributed. If you were to look at a map of all the major infrastructures of the internet, you’d see that it clusters around a number of geographic features. The reason behind this is that there is a cost, both in time and money, to move data around the world, and even though that cost dropped over time, the rate that we generate and use data for processing has grown faster than this cost has dropped.

This creates incentives to increase the amount of infrastructure in a few places, rather than distribute it evenly. So, where we’ve previously seen data centres built in places with good access to fossil fuel energy, and in a regulatory environment that favours established fossil fuel industries over renewables, you’ll often see even more internet infrastructure being built, often using the same kinds of ‘grey’ power mixes.

The best example of this is the Data Centre Alley in North Virginia, USA. Here, the county of Loudoun boasts that 70% of the world’s internet traffic passes through its digital infrastructure. With 13.5 million square feet of data centres in use, and another 4.5 million planned or developed, it’s the largest concentration of infrastructure in the world. Most of the power needed for this data centre comes from a single company, Dominion Energy, which runs a particularly dirty energy mix, with most of its energy coming from fracked gas, coal and nuclear power. Less than 5% comes from renewables, and this figure will barely pass 10% by 2030.
green  climate-change  datacenters  energy  power  renewables  north-virginia  internet  carbon 
25 days ago by jm
Food types by CO2 footprint
You want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food? Focus on what you eat, not whether your food is local:
For most foods – and particularly the largest emitters – most GHG emissions result from land use change (shown in green), and from processes at the farm stage (brown). Farm-stage emissions include processes such as the application of fertilizers – both organic (“manure management”) and synthetic; and enteric fermentation (the production of methane in the stomachs of cattle). Combined, land use and farm-stage emissions account for more than 80% of the footprint for most foods.

Transport is a small contributor to emissions. For most food products, it accounts for less than 10%, and it’s much smaller for the largest GHG emitters. In beef from beef herds, it’s 0.5%. Not just transport, but all processes in the supply chain after the food left the farm – processing, transport, retail and packaging – mostly account for a small share of emissions.

Excellent graph from Our World In Data. tl;dr: beef is massively damaging in terms of emissions, poultry is far less, then fish, then various kinds of veg are at the low end. It's shocking how much impact beef has.
co2  food  data  farming  carbon  emissions  climate-change  methane  transport  locavores 
25 days ago by jm
Microsoft announces it will be carbon negative by 2030
This is *amazing* news, and really puts it up to the other big tech companies, particularly Google and Amazon: carbon negative by 2030, more responsibility for Scope 3 emissions, 100% renewables by 2025, and a $1billion fund for climate tech.
climate-change  microsoft  good-news  carbon  tech 
5 weeks ago by jm
Low Carbon Kubernetes Scheduler
'A demand side management solution that consumes electricity in low grid carbon intensity areas':
To justify Kubernetes’ ability or globally distributed deployments the researchers chose to optimize placement to regions with the greatest degree of solar irradiance termed a Heliotropic Scheduler.

This scheduler is termed ‘heliotropic’ in order to differentiate it from a ‘follow-the-sun’ application management policy that relates to meeting customer demand around the world by placing staff and resources in proximity to those locations (thereby making them available to clients at lower latency and at a suitable time of day). A ‘heliotropic’ policy, on the other hand, goes to where sunlight, and by extension solar irradiance, is abundant. They further evaluated the Heliotropic Scheduler implementation by running BOINC jobs on Kubernetes.
carbon  climate  co2  kubernetes  heliotropic-scheduling  energy 
11 weeks ago by jm
Using solar power and carbon capture to make carbon-neutral liquid hydrocarbons
David Keith: 'Cheap intermittent solar power can make carbon-neutral hydrocarbons: high-energy fuels that are easy to store and use. My 12 min talk at Royal Society #CodexTalks describes a low-risk fast path to industrial-scale solar-fuels.'
carbon  carbon-sequestration  carbon-capture  royal-society  co2  hydrocarbons  fuel  solar  climate-change 
november 2019 by jm
'Open datasets & methodologies for carbon emissions from different activities. Forked from OpenAMEE, and npm installable'

This is very impressive -- lots of carbon emissions estimation code.
co2  carbon  emissions  estimation  npm  javascript  open-source 
october 2019 by jm
Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions
The top 20 companies on the list have contributed to 35% of all energy-related carbon dioxide and methane worldwide, totalling 480bn tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) since 1965.

Those identified range from investor-owned firms – household names such as Chevron, Exxon, BP and Shell – to state-owned companies including Saudi Aramco and Gazprom. Chevron topped the list of the eight investor-owned corporations, followed closely by Exxon, BP and Shell. Together these four global businesses are behind more than 10% of the world’s carbon emissions since 1965.
coal  emissions  business  gas  oil  fossil-fuels  climate-change  co2  carbon  chevron  exxon  bp  shell 
october 2019 by jm
This is fascinating! 'a live visualization of where your electricity comes from and how much CO2 was emitted to produce it.' (via
electricity  statistics  graphs  data  energy  climate  renewables  carbon  co2 
october 2019 by jm
The Irish Native Woodland Trust are fundraising
"We're raising funds to help to plant trees on our reserves [in Ireland] and to create more woodland nature reserves like the 11 we already manage, from Donegal to Waterford"
trees  wildlife  nature  carbon  climate-change  rewilding  ireland 
september 2019 by jm
CarbonKit provides all the data and models necessary for calculating various greenhouse gas emissions in categories such as car, train and air transport, types of fuel or country-specific grid electricity, electrical appliances, agricultural and industrial processes and building materials.
carbon  co2  emissions  data  ghgs 
august 2019 by jm
We Already Have the World’s Most Efficient Carbon Capture Technology
it's the empress tree, which can absorb 10x to 100x the quantity of CO2-per-acre vs other tree species
carbon  climate  trees  co2  empress-trees  ccs 
august 2019 by jm
When Will Climate Change Make the Earth Too Hot For Humans?
The Earth has experienced five mass extinctions before the one we are living through now, each so complete a slate-wiping of the evolutionary record it functioned as a resetting of the planetary clock, and many climate scientists will tell you they are the best analog for the ecological future we are diving headlong into. Unless you are a teenager, you probably read in your high-school textbooks that these extinctions were the result of asteroids. In fact, all but the one that killed the dinosaurs were caused by climate change produced by greenhouse gas. The most notorious was 252 million years ago; it began when carbon warmed the planet by five degrees, accelerated when that warming triggered the release of methane in the Arctic, and ended with 97 percent of all life on Earth dead. We are currently adding carbon to the atmosphere at a considerably faster rate; by most estimates, at least ten times faster.
climate  future  grim  climate-change  extinction  earth  carbon  anthropocene 
july 2017 by jm
A much better carbon-relay, written in C rather than Python. Linking as we've been using it in production for quite a while with no problems.
The main reason to build a replacement is performance and configurability. Carbon is single threaded, and sending metrics to multiple consistent-hash clusters requires chaining of relays. This project provides a multithreaded relay which can address multiple targets and clusters for each and every metric based on pattern matches.
graphite  carbon  c  python  ops  metrics 
january 2015 by jm
Carbon vs Megacarbon and Roadmap ? · Issue #235 · graphite-project/carbon
Carbon is a great idea, but fundamentally, twisted doesn't do what carbon-relay or carbon-aggregator were built to do when hit with sustained and heavy throughput. Much to my chagrin, concurrency isn't one of python's core competencies.

+1, sadly. We are patching around the edges with half-released third-party C rewrites in our graphite setup, as we exceed the scale Carbon can support.
carbon  graphite  metrics  ops  python  twisted  scalability 
october 2014 by jm
Extending graphite’s mileage
Ad company InMobi are using graphite heavily (albeit not as heavily as $work are), ran into the usual scaling issues, and chose to fix it in code by switching from a filesystem full of whisper files to a LevelDB per carbon-cache:
The carbon server is now able to run without breaking a sweat even when 500K metrics per minute is being pumped into it. This has been in production since late August 2013 in every datacenter that we operate from.

Very nice. I hope this gets merged/supported.
graphite  scalability  metrics  leveldb  storage  inmobi  whisper  carbon  open-source 
january 2014 by jm
a metric storage daemon, exposing both a carbon listener and a simple web service. Its aim is to become a simple, scalable and drop-in replacement for graphite's backend.

Pretty alpha for now, but definitely worth keeping an eye on to potentially replace our burgeoning Carbon fleet...
graphite  carbon  cassandra  storage  metrics  ops  graphs  service-metrics 
december 2013 by jm

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