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Wednesday, 08 August 2012 17:11

The Problem is not with Waste, but with Climate… -how Perceptions Influence Behavior

Written by  Dr. Ulrich Wiegel & Martin Steiner

Although vehicular traffic produces “only” about 20 % of greenhouse gases, the car example above can be taken further as an object of comparison as it is something that falls easily within our perceptive capacity.

Differences in perceptions between solid waste and CO2
table

If greenhouse gases were solid waste we would already have solved the problem

Unlike solid waste, carbon dioxide regrettably does not do us the favour to be a solid material at ambient temperature – it is in solid form (as dry ice) only at temperatures less than -78 o C. Let´s imagine – using the car example – that CO2 is a solid waste: of course it could not be dispersed on the road, but would need to be collected in a “dust box” inside the car. At each stop for refuelling of say 50 L of petrol the dust box, containing 130 kg of “solid” CO2-ash, would need to be emptied, at considerable effort.

Each petrol station would need large containers to collect the ash, the CO2-landfills of our cities would be (when considering all CO2-sources) 20 times larger than the solid waste landfills we know (an impressive example of a “landfill” composed of former gaseous CO2 is the Alps).


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