TH Forums Highlights: Clean Coal, Peak Oil, Plastic Bags and More

The community over at TreeHugger Forums has been steadily growing, having reached almost 1500 users, but moderator greenhammer wants everyone to feel welcome to register and join the conversations for a greener planet. We can't continue to push sustainability to the mainstream without you -- don't be shy! Here are some of the recent highlights...


1) New forum user superduper has a really interesting question about how we think about energy production: "Coal is thought of as an inexpensive means of power generation. The renewable means of power generation are seen as more "expensive". This is in terms of monetary units, be it dollars/pounds/initial/resources/etc. Has a study ever been done of the human life cost (deaths related to) associated with the generation of electricity via coal vs. the human life cost associated with the other power generations means." While no one has been able to do the math, we all agree that it's a really important consideration when pondering the future of energy production.


2) Speaking of coal, user PeterReefman is curious: "What do think of 'Clean Coal'? I for one don't rate it very highly. I think it's mainly a stalling tactic used by those groups trying to keep the coal power stations burning for as long as possible. But IF coal could be 'cleaned' to output a reduced percentage of CO2 (10%? 30%? 60%? 100%?), would you support it?" An early consensus seems to be that though "clean coal" beats dirty coal, it ain't gonna get the job done down the road...


3) Forum user insomniac seems to have been staying up nights wondering if it's possible to put the radiant heat from appliances, like clothes dryers, to good use. "I live in Texas, heat is an issue almost year-round...if my dryer, fridge, range, and A/C all give off heat, then why cant it all be vented somehow to help heat my water? Surely someone has thought of this." Something called a "desuperheater" might come in handy; anyone else have any ideas? Peak oil and plastic bags, below the fold...


4) spiritfirst has a question for the forums: "Does it seem like a strange coincidence to anyone else that both global warming and peak oil are becoming critical at about the same time (historically speaking)? I mean, one could be happening without the other: we could be running out of oil long before there were any global warming effects, or we could be dealing with global warming but there could be lots of oil left." Coincidence? Hmm...

5) Lastly, user gfoskett is looking for some numbers on plastic bag usage in the US: "I've found statistics that give a range of 160-300 plastic bags used per person per year in the UK, but have been unable to find comparable statistics for US plastic bag usage." Forum mod greenhammer notes that "worldwide plastic bag consumption is 1,000,000 per minute, around a trillion a year" (!!!), and other users suggest that the US boasts the lion's share of those.

Round-ups of the best conversations in TreeHugger Forums appear several times a week here at TreeHugger; register for free and login to become part of the conversation for a greener future today.

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