Coalition of the Confused

Hosted by Jenifer (Zarknorph)

Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.

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The debate on Climate Change   General Confusion

Started 7/18/17 by Jenifer (Zarknorph); 192639 views.
Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


RRBud said:

The only way to reduce "greenhouse" emissions to zero would be to have NZ sterilized and its surface turned into glass.

Can we leave Russel Crowe there?

RRBud said:

I also support reducing, refining, and recycling the materials in the organic waste stream as much as is practical to do.  Mostly that last challenge is ignored.

I read an interesting article about a challenge that was to look in your bin and change ONE thing per week.  

I've turned a disused garden bed into a compost pile, so all my tea bags and vegie scraps go in there. Early days for it, though.  I'm rinsing out tin cans for the recycling bin, instead of just chucking them away.  I had to look to myself, ultimately, and really examine how I was contributing to the problem.

In the end the big picture is just too big.  Act locally, but also think locally.  To try to think globally will just give you an ulcer!

Today I'm planting coriander and a new tree.

Any tips on compost would be appreciated.




From: RRBud


Hi Jenifer,

Fine with me if you leave Russel Crowe there, I'm not one of his fans.  Although he did fairly well in "Spartacus."

As for the global organis waste stream - incredible source of all kinds of useful products, IF handled properly.  Yes, it's an enormous challenge, but IMO definitely one well worth taking on.  As you said, to do that we have to think locally, right down to what we as individuals contribute toward it.  Composting one's own organic, biodegradable waste is certainly one way of using some of it!

You probably want to throw in all grass clippings, if any.  Tea bags - take out the staples.  I don't use tea bags.  I don't know about coffee grounds, either, not using the stuff.  I throw in unused food, plant trimmings, but no wood twigs over maybe 5mm diameter.  Orange peels, avocado bruises and rinds, fat trimmed off meats, raked-up leaves, apple cores, the inedible portions of artichokes, lettuce leaves if they're not quite what I want to eat. Micro-shredded (crosscut shredder) paper.  Keep it a bit damp, turn over the top 8-15 cm of it about once a week to once a month.  I use a bin 2.5 meters square by one deep, half buried in the ground.  At the bottom is some of the richest, most wonderful topsoil imaginable, and I use that in the greenhouse for dirt farming.  Throw it back into the pile at the end of every year, take new off the bottom - - -

Use the same topsoil when planting new roses.  Hole one meter in diameter, one meter deep - - the roses seem to absolutely love it, and do will in those areas, but not do at all well in our usual, very alkaline soil.  My compost bin here has been going for going on 15 years, so it's had a chance to mature and start producing really good soil.

VERY FEW people seem to use compost bins or piles out here.

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Hey Bud,

Thanks for the tips!

My compost pile is quite shallow, so I was going to go to Bunnings (major hardware chain here) and look for some filler.

I have some stuff to help break it down, and I keep a bucket in the bottom of the shower to catch wasted water and throw that on it when it gets full.

I don't want to put meat in there, though. I do put egg shells in, but I worry about meat attracting my dog.

My concern about grass clippings is the spread of weeds.  Our lawn is full of them.

My coriander died yesterday.  I suck at gardening.


From: RRBud


Good point about your puppy, so - no meat in the compost pile.

Weeds, if you turn over the top foot of the pile once a week or so, simply won't be an issue.  So the best filler possible is grass clippings - - including the weeds.  Turning over the top foot of the pile will cut them apart before they can become a problem.

You don't want the pile being too wet, or there won't be enough oxygen reaching the lower compost for proper bacterial action.  The one thing you absolutely do NOT need is for anaerobic bacteria to get started in there.  I only sprinkle my pile fairly lightly as necessary to keep it mildly damp.

Sorry to hear about your coriander.  I never tried to grow any, so don't know the proper conditions to maintain for it.

Regards -

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Right, not too wet.

Can I throw in the contents of the vacuum cleaner?

I also heard hair is great for protein.

I bought coriander seeds this time.  I use it so much in cooking that I'm determined to get it right.

My rosemary was hell bent on taking over the Earth.  It had to be pruned with a chainsaw.

It's coming back nicely.


From: RRBud


I've dumped the vacuum cleaner's contents into the pile, and they seem not to harm it.  Of course, in my area that turns out to be mostly dust blown into the house through the evaporative cooler, but there's also some alkaline stuff that comes off the pads in that cooler, because our water is extremely hard.

Of course, when my daughter is at home, most of the stuff the vac picks up in her room is hair - - -

This morning I threw in a failed effort at banana bread.  It had risen perfectly in the oven, but fell while cooling.  Don't understand why, it had been made just like all my previous ones.  Oh well, will cook up another one this evening.

Rosemary doesn't do well out here.


Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


So this was discovered...


Scientists in Britain and the United States say they have engineered a plastic-eating enzyme that could one day help in the fight against pollution.

Key points:

  • The enzyme was discovered in a waste recycling centre in Japan
  • Scientists think they can improve its plastic eating ability even more
  • But it is still early days, according to an independent review

The enzyme is able to digest polyethylene terephthalate, or PET — a form of plastic patented in the 1940s and now used in millions of tonnes of plastic bottles.

PET plastics can persist in the environment for hundreds of years and currently pollute large areas of land and sea worldwide.

Researchers from Britain's University of Portsmouth and the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory made the discovery while examining the structure of a natural enzyme thought to have evolved in a waste recycling centre in Japan.

Possibility of turning PET back into building blocks

Finding that this enzyme was helping a type of bacteria to break down, or digest, PET plastic, the researchers decided to "tweak" its structure by adding some amino acids, said John McGeehan, a professor at Portsmouth who co-led the work.

This led to a serendipitous change in the enzyme's actions — allowing its plastic-eating abilities to work faster.

"We've made an improved version of the enzyme better than the natural one already," Professor McGeehan said.

"That's really exciting because that means that there's potential to optimise the enzyme even further."

The team, whose finding was published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, is now working on improving the enzyme further to see if they can make it capable of breaking down PET plastics on an industrial scale.

"It's well within the possibility that in the coming years we will see an industrially viable process to turn PET, and potentially other (plastics), back into their original building blocks so that they can be sustainably recycled," Professor McGeehan said.

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From: RRBud


I'd want to be extremely careful of enhancing the plastic-degrading properties of any bacteria.  Consider how many things today are made from various plastics - - I'd not want those items deteriorating until they are deliberately disposed of for destruction.  I can just imagine my keyboard collapsing as I'm using it - - -

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


SO MUCH stuff has plastic in it!

My IUD, for example!  Hearing aids!


Have none of these scientists ever BEEN to the movies?!


From: RRBud


Over my long, misspent career I have observed that an awful lot of "smart" people never think through what might happen if their pet idea of the moment were to be implemented.  Not just direct results, but also - and often far more important - the ripple effects.

"Every action has consequences.  Frequently they are not what was intended or expected."