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posted by janrinok on Tuesday February 06, @01:21PM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

Marine anoxia is characterized by the oceans being severely depleted in dissolved oxygen, making them toxic and thus having devastating impacts on the organisms inhabiting them. One such event, known as Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2), occurred ~93.5 million years ago across the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary of the Upper Cretaceous and lasted for up to 700,000 years.

During such scenarios, organic matter is buried at an elevated rate, producing distinctive layers of black shale in the geological record, which are depleted in the isotopically-heavier carbon-13, therefore generating a positive carbon isotope excursion of ~6‰ for this study period.

The specific factors triggering OAE2 are still debated, but the most widely supported is volcanism from the Caribbean Large Igneous Province and High Arctic Large Igneous Province, increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and therefore warming the planet.

Among the plethora of impacts from a warmer planet is increased weathering of land, with fluvial processes transporting this material to the oceans, providing key nutrients to primary producers in the surface ocean. Enhanced primary productivity produces more oxygen, but trophic food chains ultimately use up more of this oxygen in their metabolic processes.

Compounded by decreased solubility of oxygen in warmer oceans, this results in widespread deoxygenation of Earth's marine realm, the focus of new research published in Climates of the Past.

[...] Revealing the significance of the work, Dr. Abraham said, "Our research delves into the ancient oceans' secrets, specifically a period 93.5 million years ago when much of the ocean was devoid of oxygen. By studying natural chemical fingerprints preserved in marine sediments, we uncover how volcanic activities and climate warming in the past led to drastic ocean deoxygenation. Understanding this in deep time is crucial, as they mirror the challenges we face today with the ongoing climate crisis, helping us predict and mitigate future consequences."

Taking samples of organic matter from the drilled cores, the research team isolated compounds of biological origin that are stable over geological time periods of millions of years, known as biomarkers. Dr. Abraham explains that biomarkers are known as "molecular fossils," adding, "Biomarkers are chemical compounds found in sedimentary rocks that originated from living organisms millions of years ago. Think of them as molecular fossils that, unlike bones or shells, are not easily visible to the naked eye. These compounds, once part of living organisms, have remained chemically stable over vast geological timescales.

"We extract them carefully using a series of chemical procedures and a technique known as gas chromatography–mass spectrometry in the lab to isolate these compounds from the drilled sediments and to avoid contamination.

"Analyzing these biomarkers helps us reconstruct past environmental conditions, such as temperature and oxygen levels in the oceans, but linking their presence to specific historical environmental conditions requires meticulous laboratory work and a profound understanding of geochemical processes."

The scientists found that the percentage of total organic carbon content of the samples increased through the study period (3.8 million years), peaking at ~28 weight % at OAE2 from initial levels of 1–17 weight %. This occurred alongside a ~5-8°C increase in sea surface temperature up to ~43°C.

Key biomarkers of 28,30-dinorhopane and lycopane are indicative of this warming and decline in oxygen, forming an oxygen minimum zone in the Cenomanian, similar to those observed in the Black Sea today. This data is coupled with a noticeable reduction in the abundance of benthic foraminifera (bottom ocean-dwelling single-celled microorganisms) in the late Cenomanian, as they were not able to survive in the depleted-oxygen environment.

Such persistent low-oxygen layers increase in number and size with enhanced warming of the oceans, forming a thick zone at depth below a highly productive thin surface layer that is oxygen-rich. Biomarkers of C35 hopanoid thiophene and isorenieratane reveal this water-column euxinia (both anoxic and sulphidic) expanded to finally reach the surface photic zone through the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary at OAE2.

[...] Looking ahead to the future of Earth's oceans with the expansion of oxygen minimum zones, Dr. Abraham says, "In today's world, oceanic conditions are generally hypoxic but have not yet reached anoxic levels in open oceans. However, closed basins or seas are more prone to becoming anoxic.

"With ongoing global warming, it is predicted that oxygen minimum zones will expand both horizontally and vertically. Warmer water holds less oxygen, and increased surface temperatures can lead to stronger stratification of ocean layers, thereby reducing the mixing that normally replenishes oxygen in deeper waters.

"Additionally, global warming can enhance biological activity in surface waters, resulting in more organic matter sinking to the depths, where it consumes oxygen as it decomposes, a process evident during OAE2.

"Today, oxygen minimum zones are primarily found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, with conditions making life hard for many marine species. With the current trends of global warming, these zones are expected to expand, reducing habitable marine space and adversely affecting marine biodiversity and fisheries.

"By the end of this century, if the current trajectory of warming and nutrient runoff continues, we might see a significant increase in anoxic and euxinic conditions in our oceans, threatening marine ecosystems and the services they provide to humanity."

Journal information: Climate of the Past

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Barenflimski on Tuesday February 06, @04:12PM

    by Barenflimski (6836) on Tuesday February 06, @04:12PM (#1343336)

    On the other hand - Carbon Deposition? Shale?

    Sounds like once we extinct ourselves or turn into mole people, our robot successors will have more coal to burn in 93 million years in case it gets too cold for them.

    Nothing like planning ahead!

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Mojibake Tengu on Tuesday February 06, @07:52PM (1 child)

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Tuesday February 06, @07:52PM (#1343360) Journal
    Respect Authorities. Know your social status. Woke responsibly.
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06, @08:33PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06, @08:33PM (#1343365)

      AKA - the fifth day.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Tuesday February 06, @08:40PM (18 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Tuesday February 06, @08:40PM (#1343367) Journal

    I live a western lifestyle that I am keenly aware is not sustainable, yet I feel largely helpless to change things. For one, my family doesn't want to change. I regard the clothes dryer as nothing less than an abomination that promotes one of the most wasteful forms of consumerism, and so I have tried to hang clothes to dry, but the S. O. complains that the clothes dry stiff, and get moldy which aggravates those allergies, and takes too long.

    Some years ago, I got a used Nissan Leaf, which the S. O. hates with a passion. I admit the Leaf is not a good car any more thanks to the batteries having degraded to the point that a full charge gives it only 20 miles of range. However, that's not the half of the problem. We've designed our cities to be quite hostile to walking and bicycling. I shouldn't need as much vehicular transportation. But just try to, for instance, have your kid walk to school in this day and age. Thankfully, there is still a fair amount of that, but there could be more. You'll be blasted for putting your child at risk of being kidnapped by child traffickers, and pedophiles, and, and ... who knows? It's scary out there! Or, maybe your kid will just be run over by a reckless driver.

    There's more concerning clothes. We've been conditioned to feel that clothes can't be worn for more than one day between washings, and that's just not true. But we've had our disgust of sweat and dirt and so forth cleverly played up by businesses who profit from all this excessive washing. Another custom is the daily shower, and the revulsion towards body odor. Even though you showered that day, you are still exhorted to employ deodorants. Shave too, gotta shave. In the 1930s, my grandparents lived on a farm with no indoor plumbing, only a well in the yard with a hand pump. The custom was to bathe once a week, on Saturday in order to be cleanest and freshest for church on Sunday, not shower every day. In the 1940s, my grandparents modernized in a big way. Added a basement to the farmhouse, with an electric pump for the well, and indoor plumbing. Did all the work themselves, didn't hire any contractors. In the basement they put a water heater, and a modern bathroom with a sink with a faucet, a shower, and *gasp* a flush toilet! Now there are findings that showering every day is bad for us, but we still do it.

    Yet another massive waste is the customs that have developed around lawn care. I understand that a home sprinkler system is now pretty standard? Mow the lawn every week, and water and fertilize the yard thus making more mowing necessary. If you buck this, if you fight it, you are put under great pressure to conform. You'll have the neighbors whining about your unkempt yard. The HOA or the city may threaten to fine you, if not actually do so. In the 1930s, farmers did not mow their yards. Anyone who did would've been thought crazy. For one thing, what're you going to use to mow the yard? Didn't have power mowers, had these reel mowers. Today, even crazier, the neighbors want you to maintain a monoculture. I see these yards that have been treated with herbicides that include a dye that turns the grass a poisonous looking cyan color. What is wrong with people that they could think unnatural cyan colored grass looks better than a natural yard? There's worse. Some of my neighbors have covered part of their lawns with artificial turf.

    Then there's climate control. I am always setting the thermostat higher in summer and lower in winter, but when I do, I get all this whining about it being too hot or cold, as the case may be. People don't seem to see how spoiled they are. I've read articles that say rolling with the seasons is healthier than trying to maintain the exact same temperature year round. It very much adds to the troubles that our houses suck so very badly at maintaining comfortable interior temperatures without lots of A/C and heat. Insulation has gotten better, and yet it's still a far cry from what a primitive mud hut can do. The western fireplace is one of the stupidest and most wasteful ways of heating a home, sending 90% of the heat straight up the chimney to the great outdoors. Such fireplaces are better understood as entertainment devices for viewing the pretty flames, not as serious methods of heating.

    There are many other areas of waste, such as the western diet. At the least there has been much decrying of the inherent waste in throwing out repairable items-- or items that could be repaired if the manufacturer hadn't deliberately made that hard, you know, like those cellphones that have batteries glued in. There's the waste in continuing to use printing, when so much more could be done digitally. At least there is improvement on that front, however slow. The pandemic was in some ways a blessing, forcing more use of telecommuting. It sure paused the growth of carbon emissions.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Barenflimski on Tuesday February 06, @09:33PM (3 children)

      by Barenflimski (6836) on Tuesday February 06, @09:33PM (#1343381)

      Right on all points. Humans aren't great at going from haves to have-nots.

      I'll add my rant about the way our cities and areas are setup...

      I used to be an avid bike rider. After going through windshields, being hit by cars, and the umpteen folks that almost killed me but didn't by 2cm, along with people playing chicken with me and the kids behind me in the kid carrier, I'm done.

      I've decided that heart disease from driving and not using my legs will likely get me a few more years than riding a bicycle around people that absolutely don't care one bit and treat one like a traffic cone.

      • (Score: 1, Troll) by turgid on Tuesday February 06, @09:44PM (2 children)

        by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06, @09:44PM (#1343386) Journal

        About the ways that cities are set up, there are proposals to improve that (15 Minute Cities), but the Alt-Wrong/Libertarian/Popular Conservative types have this conspiracy theory that they're an undemocratic Marxist plot to take away our freedom. Don't mention lower speed limits either!

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday February 07, @05:07PM

          by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday February 07, @05:07PM (#1343528) Journal

          Cool, thanks for mentioning 15 minute cities. I hadn't heard of them.

          One thing I remember was the time I went to a city council meeting to propose a slight change to the zoning laws: Permit, just permit but don't require, gaps wide enough for pedestrians in those walls they use to separate the commercial from the residential. No one would have to change a thing if they didn't want to. But that apparently was still asking too much. As I was telling this to one of the councilpersons, a shopkeeper overheard me and went nuts. He started ranting that pedestrians have no business walking through the back areas, and this would force shops to pay more money to neaten up those places, and it would raise his insurance because it's dangerous back there the way delivery trucks barrel through, and it would increase teen loitering and drive away his customers, and blah, blah, blah. No one else could get a word in. Finally when he ran out of steam, the councilperson said, "man, you are on a roll!"

          That experience convinced me that you can't change existing places, there will be too much resistance. Want to build a better city? Got to start a new city.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by turgid on Wednesday February 07, @09:53PM

          by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 07, @09:53PM (#1343552) Journal

          I think we'd better have some citations. I'm not making it up.

          1 15 minute cities: How they got caught in conspiracy theories []

          Conspiracy theories linking "15-minute cities" to sinister ploys to control people may once have been the preserve of fringe groups on social media, but have they now entered the mainstream of British politics?

          2 What is the '15-minute city' conspiracy theory? []

          After outlandish claims about lizard people, 5G and COVID-19 vaccines, conspiracy theorists are now targeting the world of urban planning, with protests against the 15-minute city concept springing up around the globe.

          3 ‘This is political expediency’: how the Tories turned on 15-minute cities []

          The transport secretary, Mark Harper, went further, telling delegates the 15-minute cities concept was “a Labour-backed movement … to remove your freedom to get from A to B how you want.

          “What is sinister, and what we shouldn’t tolerate, is the idea that local councils can decide how often you go to the shops, and that they can ration who uses the roads and when, and that they police it all with CCTV.” The government would look into ways to stop “overzealous” councils restricting road use “if they don’t follow the rules”, he said.

          4 How ‘15-minute cities’ turned into an international conspiracy theory []

          They claimed he wanted to confine people to their neighborhoods and accused him of being part of a malign international plot to control people’s movement in the name of climate action.

          5 The 15-Minute City Conspiracy Theory Goes Mainstream []

          Back in February, when a Conservative Party lawmaker in the UK’s House of Commons voiced support for the 15-minute city conspiracy, he was laughed at by his fellow members of Parliament. Now, eight months later, the British government is fully embracing the fringe conspiracy and placing it at the heart of government policy.

          These people call themselves patriots, and they belong to groups with names like the ERG, National Conservatives, Popular Conservatives, Reform UK, various opaque right-wing "think tanks" (see Tufton Street) and they spout forth on highly biased TV "news" channels such as GB News. These people are the Raving Right, the illiberal, authoritarian elite. They are the Alt-Wrong. Unfortunately they are currently in government in the UK.

          In which other country could you see "news" and current affairs programmes on TV hosted by members of the sitting government party interviewing members of that government and no-platforming "lefty" dissenters?

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by turgid on Tuesday February 06, @09:41PM (4 children)

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06, @09:41PM (#1343383) Journal

      We have a clothes dryer for those days when it's very wet or the hours of daylight aren't long enough to dry the clothes. We also have power-hungry dehumidifiers to help when we need to dry things indoors.

      We both drive hybrids. That's what we could afford. My wife gave up work, so doesn't commute. I work from home so rarely commute.

      Our new house will be well insulated and heated with a heat pump and have solar panels. Nothing is perfect, but these are all stepping stones to the future. As for lawns, we won't have one, unless it's made of moss.

      In recent years I've cut down my meat intake.

      On a personal level, this is less than a drop in the ocean. We'll be stretching our budget with our new house, but I don't know what more we can do. I need warmth for health reasons. Living in a cold house is not an option. I could eat less. I already travel as little as possible.

      What really irks me is I knew about, as did much wiser people, this stuff 40 years ago. About 30 years ago I went into the civillian nuclear power industry, to do my bit, to make a difference and anticipating new developments. It's about 25 years since I left that industry bored and frustrated and we're only just getting around to building Hinkley C in the UK. There is wind and solar which are not used nearly enough. I live in an area where it's almost always blowing a gale. I will get around to exploiting that at some point.

      Whatever I've worked on, in whatever industry throughout my life I see people making mistakes and muddling through. There's precious little planning and method. Most of what happens is by accident. Cost cutting and asset sweating doesn't help. We are bad at planning for the long term.

      The old adage goes that if you want something doing right you've got to do it yourself. Every time the human race figure out a way of scaling that up to team size the cost cutters come along and demand it done cheaper for a quicker profit and it all falls apart.

      I don't know what the answer is, and if I had it, no one would want to hear it. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we're doomed.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday February 06, @11:21PM (2 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday February 06, @11:21PM (#1343411)

        >I work from home so rarely commute.

        This is the BIG savings: wallet and environment. My 4300lb V8 sedan that gets 21mpg does far less damage to the environment than my neighbors' Tesla, because: it drives about 1500 miles a year, as compared with their Tesla's 20,000. Kudos to them for getting an efficient vehicle, but of course they drive even more now than they did before, requiring: tires, road construction and maintenance, battery replacement, vehicle recycling when they get tired of the roach colony eating the french fries they drop between the seats, etc. etc.

        🌻🌻 []
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday February 07, @01:59AM (1 child)

          by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday February 07, @01:59AM (#1343434) Journal

          That's another area in which Americans have been bamboozled. Like most Americans, my S. O. thinks nothing of a 10 mile drive. My grandparents home town (pop 1200) is about 10 miles from a larger town, and back in the day the locals all thought of that as a trip to think about before making. You're driving out of town, to another town. But now, in these days of huge metroplexes, you can easily drive 10 miles in a straight line and never get outside the city you started in, and people will make such trips without hesitation, thinking of it as just local.

          For a while, the S. O. worked for a company run by a Nigerian who shamelessly took advantage of that American blindness to the costs of travel. The S. O. was sent on house calls exclusively, and paid only for the time at the house, not for the travel time, nor for the gas and wear and tear. Repeatedly, I pointed out that this was a ripoff, that travel is costly, but the S. O. just couldn't see it, couldn't view travel as a significant expense, nor time sink. A year after parting ways with that employer, we learned that they were indeed being paid extra for house calls. They were simply pocketing that extra money, not passing on one cent.

          Commuting is a huge consideration in whether I view a job offer favorably or not. It's not just the personal expense. If an employer wants employees to put in face time that really isn't necessary, then the unstated reason is likely that they don't trust their employees not to goof off when not being monitored. That's not an employer I want to work for.

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday February 07, @10:55AM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday February 07, @10:55AM (#1343502)

            Americans also fall for the "discount fallacy". Basing decisions not "how much does it cost?" but rather on "how much am I saving?" when, of course, they could do nothing and save the whole transaction cost, but instead they feel like they are somehow winning by getting a $50,000 new car for $40,000 or making a trip that cost $200 for $50. This is right in line with "drink more diet soda, lose more weight!!!"

            🌻🌻 []
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday February 06, @11:25PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday February 06, @11:25PM (#1343413)

        >It's about 25 years since I left that industry bored and frustrated and we're only just getting around to building Hinkley C in the UK.

        The US NRC made me an offer to be a plant inspector in 1990 - I graciously thanked them for the expenses paid interview and declined. Something about the director I interviewed with sounding like he actually believed new plants were coming online "any day now..." Either he was deliberately lying to me: bad, or he actually was delusional: worse. In the US we're just starting to get Vogtle units 3 & 4 close to being ready to go online, some 34 years after I had that conversation... nothing else has been built in the interim.

        🌻🌻 []
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06, @10:12PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06, @10:12PM (#1343395)

      Along your lines, I've managed to make some compromises, seems a lot more practical than an all-or-nothing commitment to "green" living that some friends have tried (they mostly failed). For example, here in the USA northeast:

        I have some clothes that shrink in the dryer, so they either go in for 10-15 minutes to get some of the moisture out and then hang, or they may hang straight from the spin cycle. But I don't say anything about *her* clothes, just mine. They are spread out enough that we don't have mold problems in the winter (in fact, this adds some useful humidity to the dry indoor air). I might use the dryer all the way to full dry on the most humid summer days.

        While I used to be hard core about cycling year round for local errands, that was before I fell on black ice one sunny/chilly day. Didn't break anything but took the warning to heart. Now that I'm approaching 70, I'm a fair weather cyclist (in the winter I use a stationary bike, just enough so I have some muscle tone when it gets nicer out).

        Most of the time I'm able to combine car trips to minimize miles driven, but the biggest part of keeping miles down is working from home (which I've been fortunate to do for many years).

        Bought this house a few years before cheap fracking gas came in from the next state over. Gas (for heating) was getting pricey back then, so added an extra foot of fiberglass batt insulation to the attic floor, in addition to the ~6 inches that was already there. It made a noticeable difference in comfort in the winter, with ceiling temp (IR temp) essentially the same as room air temp. We run the house at 71F day (wearing two layers) and 68 night in winter. In summer we don't turn on the AC until it gets into the upper 70s (depending on humidity), and almost always turn the AC off when we go to bed.

        It's a brick ranch, not about to tear down the wall board to insulate the walls. We did add plastic film inside many of the windows, making the old thermopane double glass into triple layer. While the 3M instructions say to replace every year, we've left it up, seems to be good for 5+ years before it starts to come off.

        On food waste, with no kids around, we can cook just enough that we rarely have any wasted edible food. All the vege scraps go into a composter outside--and the raspberry plants seem to really love the compost every few years. We're not vegetarian or on any other strict diet, but we tend to have a couple of vege meals a week, and beef only once or twice a week.

        While curbside recycling doesn't take as much as it used to, we still recycle about as much paper, plastic(1&2 only) and clear glass as we have trash (landfill). There's been a plastic grocery bag ban here for years now. Re-usable grocery bags have become standard and no big deal.

        Started out with a gas lawn mower but when that broke we replaced it with a little battery electric which has been fine (Black & Decker 40V). While it takes a little longer, the extra steps are not bad and the bonus is that it's quiet and doesn't buzz my hands. It's so light that self-propelled would hardly make a difference in the effort to push it.

      There's more little tweaks like these and I like to think that they add up...but I also recognize that my "footprint" on the planet is much higher than a true primitive life style.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday February 06, @11:28PM (1 child)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday February 06, @11:28PM (#1343415)

        >so added an extra foot of fiberglass batt insulation to the attic floor, in addition to the ~6 inches that was already there.

        I had a house with an easy access attic that had 6" of fiberglass batt installed when it was new in 1972... Around about 2008 I added 6 more inches of encapsulated batt on top and I swear it was like a tripling or more of the actual insulation value - that old paper-down glass up insulation seemed to have degraded from its R-19 rated value when new to something more akin to R-6 maybe R-9 30+ years later.

        🌻🌻 []
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07, @02:18AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07, @02:18AM (#1343440)

          Might have been an actual tripling, since (I assume) the initial batt insulation was between the ceiling joists, so there was heat conduction through the joists in parallel with the fiberglass. 1.5" thick joints and ~15" between joists full of the initial fiberglass, so about 10% of the ceiling was wood.

          The extra layer(s) of batt on top of the joists block the heat loss through the wood.

          In my case (added two layers of 6" batt), the installer was happy to run the two layers at 90 degrees to each other, so air gaps between the batts in each layer were mostly covered by the other crossed layer.

          Initially I had planned to diy, but when I priced the insulation, it turned out that installed was nearly the same price...the insulation contractor got a truckload price on the product.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by gnuman on Tuesday February 06, @10:28PM (1 child)

      by gnuman (5013) on Tuesday February 06, @10:28PM (#1343401)

      Insulation has gotten better, and yet it's still a far cry from what a primitive mud hut can do.

      Do I dare to say you've never lived in a mud hut before? You know, maybe you wouldn't complain about deficiencies of insulation when your potty-water froze at night. My grandma used to sleep on top of the stove to keep warm at night. You could fit a hand in the "cracks" in her house walls, but at least it was nowhere close to living in a mud hut you dream of. She had to live in a mud hut during the war when the house burned down during occupation. It was the worse year of her life, she says. I believe her.

      We've designed our cities to be quite hostile to walking and bicycling.

      Ah yes, American cities. You are spot on how hostile to living they are. Then Americans come to places in Europe and wonder what wonderland we have here -- can walk anywhere you need in 15 minutes. Then they go back home, and enjoy their freedoms in 2h jams. Mind you, locals here enjoy their jam-freedoms too. I pass them on my bike everyday going to work.

      I plan on going back to North America but I never plan on living in an urban setting there ever again.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday February 06, @11:32PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday February 06, @11:32PM (#1343416)

        >You could fit a hand in the "cracks" in her house walls

        The CCC built stone cabins on the Cheaha mountain in Alabama in the 1930s. The State Park there still rents them out and we have stayed several times around New Year... the stone itself transmits heat not-quite as well as aluminum plate - you can actually heat the stones near the gigantic fireplace (using a pickup truck full of wood in 3-4 nights) and they will radiate nicely for a couple of hours after the fire dies down, but the real killer is the cracks between the rocks where the wind blows through. One year we saw a neighbor in the next cabin stuffing the worse cracks with paper - it helps, but not a lot.

        🌻🌻 []
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday February 06, @11:16PM (1 child)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday February 06, @11:16PM (#1343409)

      The electric (or gas, for that matter) clothes dryer is the ultimate: "F if I care about the environment" appliance. 30A @ 220V it's equivalent to burning 66 100W incandescent bulbs the whole time it's heating - which is much of the time it's running. Liquid-vapor phase transition of water takes a LOT of energy. It's the same reason that vapor barriers are so important for air conditioned spaces - even if the ground isn't warm, if you're getting moisture up from the ground into your air conditioned space, first you're having to condense the water vapor out of the air (very energy intensive) before you can start to cool the air effectively. At least air conditioners are relatively efficient heat pumps, as compared with your clothes dryer which just converts electricity to heat 1:1, and then blows the heat and moist air (and lots of cotton fluff from your clothes, towels and sheets) out a vent - sucking your air-conditioned air with it.

      My first home I lived with two clothes lines, one in the backyard for "express drying" when it was sunny, and another in the un-airconditioned garage where the clothes would dry more slowly and less stiffly. When wife #1 came around there was a demand for a "modern" dryer and so I installed that 10gauge 30A 220V circuit to the garage and then for $325 we got an appliance that would consume another $160 a year in electricity at 0.11/kWh. Wife #1 didn't last long, some years later wife #2 to-be was home doing home-maker things, washing clothes (running the hot water heater), running the 12000BTU A/C unit, the 30A dryer, and probably 600W of "Torcherie" lamps and she called me at work to report "a funny burning smell between the kitchen and the dining room" - "oh, try opening that grey door on the wall - it's not hot is it?" - "no, it's not hot, but that's definitely where the burning smell is coming from" - "O.K., inside there you see the big black thing labeled MAIN?" - "yes" - "pull that, and call your electrician friend." - "But now all the power is off!" - "Yes, but hopefully the house isn't catching fire..." Turns out that the previous owner had installed a 100A circuit breaker panel behind a 60A rated meter can. Gee, thanks for pointing that out Mr. home inspector - NOT. Next house we bought had a 200A panel behind a 125A meter can, that inspector missed that one too. We were going to replace it before having another burning smell, but ended up moving much sooner than planned, the buyer's inspector also did not notice the problem with the 200A panel being fed from a 125A rated meter can.

      >Shave too, gotta shave.

      I gave up professional hair cutting as of November 2019, don't miss it at all. With work-from-home my "Witcher" look works perfectly well. I do trim my own beard once a month or so, and Wife #2 (keeper) has trimmed my hair twice now, since November 2019.

      >there are findings that showering every day is bad for us, but we still do it.

      Again, work from home is changing things... From about 6th grade until 2019, I probably showered and washed my hair an average of 350 times a year - pretty much every morning, skipping the occasional weekend day if I was staying clean and feeling lazy. Since 2020 I'm averaging somewhere under 100 per year - I still tend to feel like I 'need' one after 4-5 days. Work from home also shifted shower time from first thing in the morning to some time between morning meetings and lunch - it's a lot less zombie-like experience.

      >even crazier, the neighbors want you to maintain a monoculture.

      Yeah, f-that. And F-HOAs. I'm much happier with neighbors with illegal burn piles in their yards, pitbulls running loose, and green swimming pools than I ever was in the HOA.

      >much decrying of the inherent waste in throwing out repairable items

      And yet, things continue to get worse on that front.

      >There's the waste in continuing to use printing

      I spent 6 hours across three days online, on the phone, and otherwise attempting to use our county's new electronic building permitting system, getting basically nowhere. So, today I drove downtown, parked, walked 2 miles between the various required offices, stood at 8 different desks (one of them twice) answering questions about my paper printouts and amending them to meet the various bureaucrats' requirements. 4 hours later my permit application is now filed and for the next 30 working days I can (hopefully) track its progress, and lack thereof, from online. Those 8 desks all have their various stamps and signatures and fees that they put on the process, and without those stamps on paper your application goes nowhere. If you haven't seen "Jupiter Ascending" it's worth the time - including the bureaucratic process they depict... I only had to pay off two offices today, but there's a bigger bill coming after (if) they approve everything. Of course, I had to contract with my supplier and pay them 17% down + $300 to get the drawings necessary to get the permit process rolling...

      >maybe your kid will just be run over by a reckless driver.

      Story from our post office counter man... he had a 15 year old son who slipped out his bedroom window one Friday night, first time ever as far as he knows, and died: 80mph into a tree with his friends all in one car less than 5 minutes later. There are probably 100 or more of those kind of stories for every actual pedophile kidnapping, but they don't pump up the news ratings the way that sex trafficking rings do.

      🌻🌻 []
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07, @02:36AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07, @02:36AM (#1343443)

        > I gave up professional hair cutting as of November 2019

        You're a little late, but welcome to the party! I objected so much to barbers as a lad that my mum mostly cut my hair starting at age ~5, about 1960 -- using a clipper with clip-on-combs (making the standard brush cut of that era). Once I got to high school and then college I let it grow and since then it's been shoulder length (+/-). I scissor off an inch or so every 6 weeks.

    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Thursday February 08, @06:38PM (1 child)

      by mcgrew (701) <> on Thursday February 08, @06:38PM (#1343649) Homepage Journal

      I live a western lifestyle that I am keenly aware is not sustainable, yet I feel largely helpless to change things.

      Normal people mostly are. The world's governments are the only ones who can fix things, but they may be as helpless as we are.

      There's no reason we should have to give up our way of life, we only have to trade gasoline for sunshine and coal for wind.

      My view of about 175 years from now. []

      • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Thursday February 08, @10:15PM

        by bzipitidoo (4388) on Thursday February 08, @10:15PM (#1343664) Journal

        > governments ... may be as helpless as we are.

        Yeah, the main hindrance is all the attitudes of our fellow citizens. Suppose the national government could and did pass a decree rolling back local lawn care ordinances to allow grass to grow, say, 18 inches high. I'm guessing such a decree would be highly unpopular, maybe too unpopular to stand.

        But that lawn stuff would be comparatively easy. Much harder would be making American cities more walkable. How is that to be done? Add more walkways somehow? But that won't do anything to reduce the vast distances suburban sprawl has inflicted on us. Really need higher population density.

        One of the most effective things to do is simply crank up the gas tax. Good luck getting that done.