black ship on body of water screenshot

DAILY DOSE: Ethanol industry bigger polluter than fossil fuel; Discovery proves a whole lotta experts dead wrong.

HAVE YOUR SAY.

Join us in The Bullpen, where the members of the Scientific Inquirer community get to shape the site’s editorial decision making. We’ll be discussing people and companies to profile on the site. On Wednesday, September 14 at 5:30pm EST, join us on Discord and let’s build the best Scientific Inquirer possible.


NOT-SO SUSTAINABLE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY.

Whenever grand solutions to problems are put into action, the devil isn’t really in the details. It’s in those unexpected externalities that stem from said solution. A recent Reuters article about carbon emissions from ethanol plants makes it abundantly clear. According to the article, 

The average ethanol plant chuffed out 1,187 metric tons of carbon emissions per million gallons of fuel capacity in 2020, the latest year data is available. The average oil refinery, by contrast, produced 533 metric tons of carbon.

The ethanol plants’ high emissions result in part from a history of industry-friendly federal regulation that has allowed almost all processors to sidestep the key environmental requirement of the 2007 law, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), according to academics who have studied ethanol pollution and regulatory documents examined by Reuters. The rule requires individual ethanol processors to demonstrate that their fuels result in lower carbon emissions than gasoline.

So what’s the solution to the solution? And down the line the question will be: what’s the solution to the solution to the solution? Get the picture? https://reut.rs/3RQmG3U


SUSTAINABLE JOBS TOPS FOSSIL FUEL.

While we’re on the subject of sustainable energy, the industry now employs more people than the traditional fossil fuel industry. Per the Associated Press,

Clean energy now provides more employment than the fossil fuel industry, reflecting the shift that efforts to tackle climate change are having on the global jobs market, according to a report Thursday...

Clean energy, which under IEA’s definition also includes nuclear power, is now estimated to account for more than half the 65 million energy sector jobs across all regions except Russia and the Middle East.

However, the Paris-based agency said high energy prices including for fossil fuels have seen an upswing in employment, notably for liquefied natural gas infrastructure. Many countries in Europe are scrambling to find alternatives to Russian gas supplies due to the war in Ukraine.

It’s only a matter of time until the fossil fuel industry dwindles down to a niche undertaking. https://bit.ly/3DaZnxQ


DON’T ASK.

If you’ve ever spotted an error or questioned the findings and conclusions of paper published in scientific journals, you might as well keep it to yourself and not attempt to contact the publisher. They don’t want to hear it, even though they are actually mandated to listen up. Per Science,

More than one-third of the highest impact scientific journals do not offer to publish outsiders’ critiques of the papers they publish, a study has found.

The practice runs counter to recommendations from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), to which most of those journals belong, and to calls from scholars for journals to be transparent and responsive when their papers are questioned. “Scientific knowledge is like a living organism that needs the nutrients of critique to survive and thrive,” says Tom Hardwicke, a metaresearcher who is moving this month to the University of Melbourne and is a co-author of the study, published on 24 August in Royal Society Open Science.

The results of the study should come as a surprise to just about no one. Experts don’t like their expertise to be questioned. https://bit.ly/3QuIuRR


A WHOLE LOTTA EXPERTS PROVEN DEAD WRONG.

A discovery in Southeast Asia is turning the scientific and archaeological consensus about ancient culture and knowledge in the area on its head. Forget that. It’s actually throwing the consensus in the garbage.

The skeleton of a person who lived 31,000 years ago bears hallmarks of the deliberate removal of their lower left leg — the earliest known evidence of surgical amputation.

Discovered on the island of Borneo, the remains pre-date the previous oldest known case of limb amputation by more than 20,000 years and indicate that the individual survived for several years after the surgery. The finding, published on 7 September in Nature, suggests that some ancient people were proficient nurses and performed sophisticated medical procedures much earlier than scientists have thought.“The skeleton of a person who lived 31,000 years ago bears hallmarks of the deliberate removal of their lower left leg — the earliest known evidence of surgical amputation.

Discovered on the island of Borneo, the remains pre-date the previous oldest known case of limb amputation by more than 20,000 years and indicate that the individual survived for several years after the surgery. The finding, published on 7 September in Nature, suggests that some ancient people were proficient nurses and performed sophisticated medical procedures much earlier than scientists have thought.

Another consensus bites the dust. https://go.nature.com/3RNIWvv

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.


ON SALE! Charles Darwin Signature T-shirt – “I think.” Two words that changed science and the world, scribbled tantalizingly in Darwin’s Transmutation Notebooks.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

DAILY DOSE: Hong Kong loosens Covid-19 restrictions; African animals imported to Indian parks… why?
HAVE YOUR SAY.Join us in The Bullpen, where the members of the …
Welcome to the Super/Natural world of animals and their almost-magical powers.
Premiering tonight on Disney+ is an original series produced by James Cameron, …

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: