Setting Fire To Sleeping Strawmen (now with extra Toniiiiiiiiiight, you're right, you're right, you're right)



  • Why this name for a blog?

    Seems to be mostly about Java performance optimizations, but still...

    [Edit: rebaked the html -b]



  • I cannot see this post. Is it me or Discourse?

    EDIT: Oh I cannot see my own post now.



  • 󠀠



  • Yeah, this was useful.



  • @impinball said:

    Why this name for a blog?

    Seems to be mostly about Java performance optimizations, but still...

    Because C is a language that lends itself to heavy low-level optimizations? And that's kind of the joke?


  • Fake News

    Yeah, uh, most of the posts are totally blank here, too. Because Discourse?



  • I haven't calculated the numbers, but this is environmental pollution at big scale. Unnecessary CPU consumption to this extent wastes a lot of energy (global warming anyone ?).

    Server power requirements are the greatest contributor to global warming? That's news to me.



  • I haven't done any research or math but my use of an Acer laptop contributes to 47 mega-genocides a year.

    Protip: anybody who does the parenthetical "(X, anyone?)" construct is an idiot you can safely ignore. And probably hangs out at Slashdot.



  • @impinball said:

    Why this name for a blog?

    Seems to be mostly about Java performance optimizations, but still...

    [Edit: rebaked the html -b]

    People are desperate to make their language relevant?



  • According to this links, they aren't the greatest but do have an important influence:

    I mean, your lame ass 4 servers aren't going to make a difference, but FB or Google fuck up and boom! Back to the dark ages.



  • @delfinom said:

    their language relevant

    Are you trolling Java or C? Because both are the most relevant languages with JS closing by. You might like it or not, but not being able to recognize this indicates a high level of head-up-ass.



  • @Eldelshell said:

    New analysis finds IT power suck has eclipsed aviation

    ... if you don't count the tons and tons of CO2 put in the air by aviation fuel, yes, IT contributes more than aviation. (WTF, article?)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    ... if you don't count the tons and tons of CO2 put in the air by aviation fuel, yes, IT contributes more than aviation. (WTF, article?)

    So your servers run on magic pixie dust?
    Where do you think the electricity comes from?

    If you're in the US, it's mostly dirty coal. If you're in China, it's mostly very dirty coal. If you're in Germany, it's mostly extremely dirty (brown) coal - but burnt in Poland so who cares.

    If you're in France it's mostly newclear, in Iceland it's mostly geothermal, except you're not in Iceland because the aluminium plants got there first.

    The point in the article is that the CO2 emissions to generate the power that the world's datacentres use is now much, much higher than Aviation's output.
    Aviation has always been a teeny, tiny percentage of the world's CO2 output (2%, maxing out at <3% according to the IPCC), it's just that planes are noisy up close and OMG CONTRAILS (which are just water vapour) and almost all politicians are idiots, incapable of understanding basic mathematics.



  • @lightsoff said:

    So your servers run on magic pixie dust?

    That's not the point.

    They're comparing the electric use of IT with the electric use of aviation. Ignoring that 90% of aviation's pollution comes from the burning of, you know, aviation fuel and has nothing to do with electricity. The electricity consumption of aviation is relatively tiny.

    So the article blurb sums up to: "IT produces more pollution than Aviation, if you ignore 90% of the pollution Aviation produces!!!"

    File this one under: "I can't believe I actually had to type this out."

    @lightsoff said:

    Where do you think the electricity comes from?

    Mine's all hydroelectric.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    They're comparing the electric use of IT with the electric use of aviation.

    Nope, wrong. To be fair the article isn't particularly well-written - the original paper is much clearer.

    The comparison with Aviation is CO2, the thrust of the article was about how IT's CO2 emissions were calculated - IT was 10% of world electric, but located in places (like the US) where half of that electric is from dirty coal.

    They also included manufacturing energy costs - unsure if the aviation comparison does tbh - which being mostly China are 80% coal for the electric, plus oil & gas for direct thermal.
    @blakeyrat said:

    Mine's all hydroelectric.

    So you live in Norway? (98% hydro, net exporter) You don't come across as Scandinavian at all.
    Unless by "all" you mean "80%", in which case, is Brazil both as beautiful and dangerous as it looks on the TV?

    Incidentally, if we continue to push for renewables we're all screwed, because barring a fundamental breakthrough in the laws of physics renewables simply cannot support the West's current way of life (assuming maximum possible efficacy improvements), let alone bring any of the starving billions off the poverty line.
    We'd have to continue to burn large quantities of fossil fuels, which will of course leave us environmentally screwed.

    So we either kill off about 90% of the humans on the planet, or we do something else.
    Not sure the first one is much of a vote-winner, unless we started with the professional politicians.



  • @lightsoff said:

    Nope, wrong. To be fair the article isn't particularly well-written - the original paper is much clearer.

    Wow, I wonder why I would have typed the word "blurb" if I meant "article". Wait a minute... maybe... maybe, just maybe... I typed the word "blurb" because I meant... "blurb"? Could that be possible?

    @lightsoff said:

    So you live in Norway? (98% hydro, net exporter)

    Nope! My shit comes straight from the Grand Coulee Dam, yee-haw. (My State actually produces 29% of the entire US' hydroelectric power.)

    OH LOOKIE A NICE LITTLE CUTE CHART (for some reason that tab lists Hydro-electric as "other renewable". And yes, we still have functional nuclear plants here.)

    @lightsoff said:

    So we either kill off about 90% of the humans on the planet, or we do something else.

    Anybody who says that should volunteer to go first.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @lightsoff said:

    So we either kill off about 90% of the humans on the planet, or we do something else.
    Or, you know, start using nonrenewable but extremely energy-dense uranium to good effect while we work on two problems:

    1. Useful renewables (longshot stuff)
    2. Useful fusion (ANY DAY NOW if we actually invest non-negligible resources)

    Energy policy ain't hard if you aren't married to the status quo and at the mercy of pants-pissing-scared idiots.



  • @Weng said:

    Or, you know, start using nonrenewable but extremely energy-dense uranium to good effect while we work on two problems:

    1. Useful renewables (longshot stuff)
    2. Useful fusion (ANY DAY NOW if we actually invest non-negligible resources)

    Energy policy ain't hard if you aren't married to the status quo and at the mercy of pants-pissing-scared idiots.


    Indeed.
    Nuclear fission now, switching to nuclear fusion at some point within the 3000-5000 years of uranium we have easily available (or even the 100 years or so that's already mined) is the "do something else".

    Renewables alone will almost certainly never be enough - humanity's energy budget is going to keep increasing until we hit the "Star Trek" future - or (nearly) wipe ourselves out.



  • @lightsoff said:

    humanity's energy budget is going to keep increasing until we hit the "Star Trek" future

    In Star Trek they generate power by colliding matter with anti-matter. Imagine how Greenpeace would react to that shit!



  • That's not an energy source that's energy storage. And it takes quite a bit of energy to store antimatter too.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I haven't done any research or math but my use of an Acer laptop contributes to 47 mega-genocides a year.

    I believe my large-displacement V8 sports car has been responsible for at least 2.3 giga-genocides.

    @lightsoff said:

    The comparison with Aviation is CO2, the thrust of the article

    I see what you did there.

    @Weng said:

    nonrenewable but extremely energy-dense uranium

    This is a very good solution if reactors can be designed in the interests of the population (and not the construction companies building them), and if the problem of safe storage of waste can be addressed.

    Spent fuel also has applications in dirty bombs and RTGs.

    @Weng said:

    1) Useful renewables (longshot stuff)

    Geothermal and hydroelectric are great if you've got 'em. There's not enough square footage for photovoltaic panels to insolate you from energy costs, however.

    @Weng said:

    2) Useful fusion (ANY DAY NOW if we actually invest non-negligible resources)

    That's still breakeven at best these days, isn't it? Hence the necessary research.

    @lightsoff said:

    Renewables alone will almost certainly never be enough - humanity's energy budget is going to keep increasing until we hit the "Star Trek" future - or (nearly) wipe ourselves out.

    And then it becomes another Malthusian vs. Cornucopian debate. History's been on the side of the Cornucopians so far.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Groaner said:

    This is a very good solution if reactors can be designed in the interests of the population (and not the construction companies building them)
    To be fair, renewable constuction is usually just as broken and corrupt as nuclear ever was.

    @Groaner said:

    and if the problem of safe storage of waste can be addressed.
    We're greatly over-paranoid about the storage problem. We treat spent fuel with more care and paranoia than we do the good stuff.

    @Groaner said:

    Spent fuel also has applications in dirty bombs and RTGs.
    Wild idea: If our space agencies had enough budget to need enough RTG's to keep up with nuclear fuel consumption.....

    @Groaner said:

    Geothermal and hydroelectric are great if you've got 'em. There's not enough square footage for photovoltaic panels to insolate you from energy costs, however.
    We could build frickin' huge PV panels in spaaaaaaaaaaace and beam that shit down in big microwave beams of death. That's step 1 on the way up the Kardashev scale.

    @Groaner said:

    That's still breakeven at best these days, isn't it? Hence the necessary research.
    Big part of the problem there is that the only reactions we have ready fuel for aren't the really energetic ones. The moneyshot is He3-He3 fusion. We just don't have any appreciable amounts of He3 on the ground because it tends to want to gasify.. Where is there a lot of He3? Lunar regolith. Break out the RTG's and start strip mining. And since the moon is tidally locked, put the fusion reactors up there and break out the microwave beams of doom again.

    Surely we can figure all that out in 3-5000 years.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @lightsoff said:

    Aviation has always been a teeny, tiny percentage of the world's CO2 output (2%, maxing out at <3% according to the IPCC), it's just that planes are noisy up close and OMG CONTRAILS (which are just water vapour) and almost all politicians are idiots, incapable of understanding basic mathematics.

    Actually, it seems that the contrails are a significant factor, more than CO2 production by planes. The issue is that they act as stratospheric cloud nucleation sites, and that modifies the weather noticeably, though I forget exactly what the upshot of this is. (Nobody realised this until after 9/11 when a large part of the global plane fleet stopped flying entirely, and much of the rest was greatly curtailed: this shifted the weather significantly, and was such a large event that it was possible to unambiguously spot in the weather data, though the hiatus was not long enough for it to be noticeable in the climate data.)

    Water vapour is a greenhouse gas, but it's one that is pretty much always at about as high a concentration as it is going to go. We've got these things called oceans…


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @lightsoff said:

    We'd have to continue to burn large quantities of fossil fuels, which will of course leave us environmentally screwed.

    Come on, this is nonsense.

    Did you know that in 2003, after the great Northeastern power outage, particulate levels in the air dropped about 90% within a day? That implies that if we ever DO get a less dirty power method, the air literally gets cleaner overnight as we turn off the dirty stuff.

    Plus, the only way the rest of your post makes sense is if you believe that a tiny increase in a tiny component of the atmosphere will have drastic consequences, in which case I ask you where's the global warming the last 18 years or so?



  • @Groaner said:

    There's not enough square footage for photovoltaic panels to insolate you from energy costs, however

    It appears a typical panel is about 1m² and can produce about 0.75kWhr/day. I use about 24kWhr/day (max) so I'd need 32m² to do my house. Assuming 100% efficiency storing to batteries etc, though. My roof is 8×15 metres so it can easily fit that many cells.

    I'd have to do calculations but I heard that the deserts in Australia could provide enough power for the whole world, barring transmission problems!


  • Fake News

    [quote=Frostcat]the only way the rest of your post makes sense is if you believe that a tiny increase in a tiny component of the atmosphere will have drastic consequences, in which case I ask you where's the global warming the last 18 years or so?[/quote]Well, shit, next you'll tell us that the number of sunspots is correlated with power output from the Sun, and there's a rather strong correlation between that and climate chaos! WHERE DOES SUCH MADNESS END?!?!?!1111eleven



  • This is also the reason electric cars should not be seen as a panacea everywhere. In some places they'd pollute more than fuel.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    But it is a lot easier to fit pollution scrubbers (especially for CO2) to a power station than to a large number of cars.



  • @Medinoc said:

    This is also the reason electric cars should not be seen as a panacea everywhere.

    They should only drive solar roads.





  • @lightsoff said:

    but located in places (like the US) where half of that electric is from dirty coal.

    Our coal is pretty damned clean these days.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    And yes, we still have functional nuclear plants here.

    We produce more nuclear power than France does, in fact.



  • @Weng said:

    To be fair, renewable constuction is usually just as broken and corrupt as nuclear ever was.

    Except that at least with the corrupt nuclear plant you could keep your AC running.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    We produce more nuclear power than France does, in fact.

    But a smaller proportion of your overall energy production. You've got a much larger population and larger land area than France does too. (Texas is bigger than France, though with nowhere close to as many people in it.)



  • @dkf said:

    But a smaller proportion of your overall energy production.

    Yes, of course.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @lolwhat said:

    WHERE DOES SUCH MADNESS END?!?!?!1111eleven

    In sanity. (Note that space, it's very imporant. :) )


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    Except that at least with the corrupt nuclear plant you could keep your AC running.

    If the Greens had their way, of course, you wouldn't. Every once in a while you see an article in the NY Times or wherever bemoaning the fact that the planet would turn into the Harkonnen's homeworld if the third world got AC, and wishing that we Americans (and presumably Europeans as well) would give it up.



  • @FrostCat said:

    If the Greens had their way, of course, you wouldn't.

    Well, yeah. Anything functional can be rendered useless by deciding not to use it. But you can't make fantastic boondoggles functional.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Zemm said:

    My roof is 8×15 metres so it can easily fit that many cells.

    Next up, recoil in horror about how expensive that would be. Last I checked, most panels cost about $6/Watt. That's not counting batteries, inverters, wiring, miscellaneous hardware (you can't glue those things on to your shingles, obviously) and so on.

    @Zemm said:

    barring transmission problems!

    That's a pretty serious barrier.


  • Fake News

    @FrostCat said:

    Last I checked, most panels cost about $6/Watt. That's not counting batteries, inverters, wiring, miscellaneous hardware (you can't glue those things on to your shingles, obviously) and so on.
    And let's not forget where they're made - just like everything else these days, it seems. What's used to generate the electricity to make all those panels? Uh huh. Of course, it's instructive to note what that country is planning to do in order to switch away from burning coal. Hint: Coal contains quite a bit of one particular radioactive isotope...



  • A friend and I once drew up a design for a urinal with a paddlewheel generator which generates a bit of electricity whenever someone pees into it.

    We didn't get far with that idea. Probably got distracted by Halo 2 or something.



  • @mott555 said:

    A friend and I once drew up a design for a urinal with a paddlewheel generator which generates a bit of electricity whenever someone pees into it.

    Related:

    That might give you some idea of the potential yield.



  • @Groaner said:

    This is a very good solution if reactors can be designed in the interests of the population (and not the construction companies building them), and if the problem of safe storage of waste can be addressed

    The actual problems of storage and waste were solved long ago. The perceived problems of storage and waste will never be solved.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Our coal is pretty damned clean these days.

    All coal is dirty from a CO2 perspective. Coal itself has a pretty low energy yield per unit of CO2 produced. Clean coal has an even lower energy yield, so you trade reduced sulfurous emissions for increased CO2 emissions.



  • @Jaime said:

    The actual problems of storage and waste were solved long ago. The perceived problems of storage and waste Idiots will never be solved.

    FTFY.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Jaime said:

    Coal itself has a pretty low energy yield per unit of CO2 produced.

    So? Is that even a meaningful measure?

    CO2 is a tiny fraction of the atmosphere and changing levels aren't having much of an effect. Remember, 18 years with no global warming, and the best estimates produced by non-hysterical people is a degree or so (in the UOM of your choice; it's close enough either way) in the next century isn't going to make much difference to the world. We're not going to see 20-foot ocean rising.



  • @Jaime said:

    All coal is dirty from a CO2 perspective.

    Which isn't dirty.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Which isn't dirty.

    Depends on definition of dirty. From what I know, it's whatever Greenpeace is fighting against at the moment.



  • @Gaska said:

    Depends on definition of dirty.

    I would go with something like, "Pollution with negative effects that we can observe."


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    I would go with something like, "Pollution with negative effects that we can observe."

    Which apparently includes "pictures of the steam coming from nuclear plant cooling towers."


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