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Menlo Park, on the forefront of climate action, should double down on goals

Original post made on Nov 21, 2022

As a teenager heavily involved with climate action and who spends lots of time reading and learning about the climate crisis, I still struggle to understand our path to net zero emissions as a state, a county, or even a city.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 18, 2022, 12:00 AM

Comments (12)

Posted by John McKenna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 21, 2022 at 11:02 am

John McKenna is a registered user.

Thank you, Alex. This is very well-written and I agree with you that we absolutely need to pick up the pace. I think your piece highlights the importance of education and messaging. What can be taught and what stories can be told that will inspire action? We are in a huge fight for the future, and we're way behind, but we are starting to see small victories. We can tell those stories of progress in order to accelerate further action and inspire other cities, states, and nations to do the same. We can also point out the many co-benefits (health, economic, jobs, equality, justice, etc.) of making the changes necessary to reduce climate pollution.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 21, 2022 at 12:53 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

That's great Alex.

How do you propose to supply electrical power when everything is all electric? The grid can barely handle the load that is being asked of it now. We had a recent heat wave and only barely avoided rolling blackouts. The grid can't handle more demand. All MP has been doing is pushing more and more demand onto an inadequate grid. It needs to stop until the grid can be made to supply the increased demand. I for one do not want to be dealing with rolling black outs next summer. And no, MP going all electric isn't going to help with global warming. Even if MP went all electric right now it wouldn't even move the carbon needle. India and China produce far more carbon than we do. Until they start to bring their carbon production under control what we do, especially in MP, is meaningless.


Posted by John McKenna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 22, 2022 at 5:28 pm

John McKenna is a registered user.

@Menlo Voter - I would sincerely welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and hear more of your thoughts and ideas on this subject? Would you be open to meeting for a cup of coffee sometime soon?


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 23, 2022 at 7:50 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

John:

Sure. Be happy to.


Posted by John McKenna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 23, 2022 at 12:44 pm

John McKenna is a registered user.

@Menlo Voter - wonderful. My phone number is 650-776-8548. Please feel free to call or text me at your convenience and we'll set up a day/time and place to meet. Looking forward to it.


Posted by Westbrook
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 25, 2022 at 11:30 pm

Westbrook is a registered user.


My question is,

If you knew that most of the world's cobalt comes from The Congo and much of it is mined by children as young as eight years old working and dying in those mines. Would you feel guilty that the electric car you drive likely has some cobalt mined by these kids?


Posted by Westbrook
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 25, 2022 at 11:40 pm

Westbrook is a registered user.



To the author, As a teenager, you're still young and perhaps naive but I
applaud you for trying, You are very well-spoken but ill-informed. May I suggest you research the origins of materials used in creating "green energy" at the root of it and do a follow-up report?

It's easy to virtue signal and have a "cause" without understanding it.


Posted by Westbrook
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 26, 2022 at 4:39 am

Westbrook is a registered user.

An excerpt,
From New Yorker Magazine dated, 5/31/21, "The Dark Side of Congo's Cobalt Rush","

Kajumba joined the mining economy relatively late in life. In Kolwezi, children as young as three learn to pick out the purest ore from rock slabs. Soon enough, they are lugging ore for adult creuseurs. Teen-age boys often work perilous shifts navigating rickety shafts. Near large mines, the prostitution of women and young girls is pervasive. Other women wash raw mining material, which is often full of toxic metals and, in some cases, mildly radioactive. If a pregnant woman works with such heavy metals as cobalt, it can increase her chances of having a stillbirth or a child with birth defects. According to a recent study in The Lancet, women in southern Congo “had metal concentrations that are among the highest ever reported for pregnant women.” The study also found a strong link between fathers who worked with mining chemicals and fetal abnormalities in their children, noting that “paternal occupational mining exposure was the factor most strongly associated with birth defects.”
All Electric car batteries are made with Cobalt, Cobalt is just one example of minerals needed to be mined,


Posted by Westbrook
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 26, 2022 at 5:29 pm

Westbrook is a registered user.

I hope I'm not boring anyone, but aside from the human cost for a minute, there is the environmental cost.

Article By GEORGE LEEF, National Review,
July 31, 2022, 11:07 PM

These paragraphs will give you the gist of the piece:

Today, a typical EV battery weighs one thousand pounds. It contains twenty-five pounds of lithium, sixty pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds of cobalt, 200 pounds of copper, and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic. Inside are over 6,000 individual lithium-ion cells.

It should concern you that all those toxic components come from mining. For instance, to manufacture each EV auto battery, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper. All told, you dig up over five hundred thousand pounds of the earth’s crust for just one battery. That's for one thousand-pound battery, Some EV batteries weigh as much as three thousand pounds.
My calculator doesn't go that high but multiply 500,000 lbs. by tens of millions of new EV Batteries,
Just like electricity, which doesn't come from an outlet, EV Batteries don't come from the EV Battery store,
Large-scale mining operations require diesel-fueled equipment. Burning millions of gallons of fuel. So when we're carbon free soon, How will the ore be mined and transported,

The environmental cost of producing EV Batteries needs to be in the conversation about "saving the environment", along with the "human cost".

It's too simplistic to say "everyone go out and buy an electric car".



Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 26, 2022 at 6:21 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Westbrook:

Stop putting the reality of electric vehicles out there. You're upsetting the folks that think they're "saving the world" by driving electric vehicles and going all electric in their homes. Never mind the grid can't handle the load. They've been patting themselves on the back this long, you're harshing their buzz.


Posted by Westbrook
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 26, 2022 at 8:34 pm

Westbrook is a registered user.

Next China,
Our geopolitical adversary controls 2/3 of Lithium-Ion Battery manufacturing, China has not kept it a secret they plan to dominate the World, economically and militarily, One way to do that is to cut off the world's supply of Electric Batteries,
They can do it in a day. I only ask that you educate yourself about the real costs/benefits/
risk analysis of "Going Green".
While it may make you feel good about yourself in the short run you owe it to your kids and the rest of the World to find out the true long-term
cost.


Posted by Westbrook
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 28, 2022 at 4:27 pm

Westbrook is a registered user.


Hi John I appreciate the offer but I think the purpose of this forum is to share views and ideas with others, Not sure what I would say to you that I wouldn't say to everyone.
I did offer some comments and questions. You may want to offer some thoughts, questions, and ideas of your own.
Substantive would be best. Maybe some thoughts on the environmental degradation "of" the environment of others for our green purposes. Or the human cost to satisfy our desires to feel we are doing good for the world. Ironic...
One specific question to everyone is if any of the disastrous exploitations going on in the 3rd world to their land and to their people were happening here what would everyone's reaction be? Would you still support it? Or is it out of sight out of mind?


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