Week 9, PSC 320 Winter 2019

Combustion and Efficiency

Monday’s Class
Before Class

Here’s a great article about a new regulation in European cities. Please read it and come to class ready to discuss the following questions:

  • Banning Diesel is a command and control regulatory mechanism. Are they also trying market mechanisms?
  • What about the timing in your opinion is good? What is bad? – where do you see this leading?
  • Do you recognize any EJ (Environmental Justice) issues arising?

Wednesday’s Class

Before Class

  • Bring in your electrical power meter!
  • Start your third and final self intervention. This is one of your own making. Additionally, this intervention is two fold: you must do something for yourself (like I’m going to meditate/exercise/improve diet/talk with family/ etc.) and one for society/environment (Like ways to decrease carbon, or increase equity, etc.). Please send me your experience by the last day of class: Friday of next week. If you want to see past interventions, see this webpage.
  • Solutions for PS #6 are posted on the main class website.
  • We know that the permafrost sequesters lots of carbon (potential methane), but studies in Physics Today indicate that there may be more Mercury stored in the permafrost than in all other soils and the ocean combined.
  • See this hour long video about the future of transportation in USA. This isn’t a “graded video”, so you could skip through it. Please watch the first 5 minutes, and I bet you watch the whole thing…. if you decide not to, you could skip through it.
  • Please read a story about a WHO report of 1.7 million children deaths due to environmental causes. Please at least read the the first and the last two paragraphs.
  • While we’re at it, we don’t have to go to other countries to see environmental health problems. How about a poor town next to a chemical factory that has cancer rates 700 times the national average. Consider the environmental justice issues… Are you a beneficiary of this environmental damage… you do if you have a wetsuit (like I do).
  • Optional: read this article about recycling car batteries published April 2017 by the American Physical Society.
  • Watch video: LCA and Biofuels and Slides 
  • Each person in the class should send me an Email describing their experience in their group. The email can be very short, as simple as “we’re great working together.” or “we’ve never met, I forget who’s in my group.” or “It’s OK, except that Pete never shows up and when he does, he’s on his cell phone or complaining about something.” Whatever your experience is.

During Class

  • Transportation discussion.
  • Projects discussion

After Class


Before Class

  • The project!!! There’s something I am going to add to the project. Each presentation must have at least:
    • One calculation related to the class material
    • One environmental concern, effect, benefit, or insight
    • One issue of societal transformation
    • One policy arguent
    • One economic insight, calculation, or impact
    • One concept of equity, developing country, or environmental justice.
  • California is considering outlawing gasoline garden equipment. Please read the article on NPR. Note the last two sentences: They bring up environmental justice, and finances.
  • Please see Cool Roofs and Paradox. Slides: see the very end of efficiency slides
  • The ultimate cool roofs material has just been invented. Please see from Feb. 27, Physics Today a surface coating that emits more heat than it absorbs even under strong sunlight. Is that possible?
  • Please see Wind Power and slides
  • If you like, read about a transition from rancher to wind farm technician.
  • When I was at Berkeley 2006 – 2007, we looked at Tethered Wind Energy Systems – could you fly a turbine at the end of a long kite string higher so that it received more consistently strong wind…. even up into the Jet Stream? We did some calculations for this technology, but my response was still that I could see dead kids in a playground with the fallen turbine parts around them. It seems that people are working on this technology on a smaller scale now. Here’s an interesting short video to check out.