The Prince gets it.

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choff
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The Prince gets it.

Postby choff » Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:34 pm

CHoff

Diogenes
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Re: The Prince gets it.

Postby Diogenes » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:57 pm

choff wrote:http://toryaardvark.com/2011/11/21/prince-philip-wind-farms-are-absolutely-useless-and-a-disgrace/


Indeed. If only more people could add and subtract.


14,000 abandoned wind turbines


Image

Minnesotans for Global Warming report that in the last 30 years, the United States has had 14,000 wind turbines abandoned. Apparently, once the subsidies and the wind run out, these 20-story high Cuisinarts are de-bladed and retired. This means more bats and migratory birds will live.




http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/46519
‘What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.’
— Lord Melbourne —

Tom Ligon
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Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:13 am

My browser locks up when I try that first link, but a search on "wind farm prince phillip" produces enough hits.

The articles are typically biased against wind farms and make a couple of inaccurate assertations, but also some fair ones.

Wind farms do not require that more fossil-fuel-burning powerplants be built. Were it not for wind and other alternative fuels, we'd need those anyway. What they do is reduce (tho' not much, and only when conditions are favorable) the fuel burned at plants we'd need anyway. Hence, Mount Storm in WV has them arrayed for miles around a beast of a coal plant.

First-generation turbines have indeed been abandoned in droves. The last I saw the plant at the southern tip of Hawaii (late 2000), it had only a couple of turbines still running. The ones running definitely had a distinctive drone. More revealing, this fairly large wind farm in one of the best steady wind conditions in the US had only a single row of wooden power poles leading from it ... from the gage of cable I'd say it produced enough power for a small town, but nothing more. That's a huge capital investment for not much production. Then again, the facility is on an active volcano where geothermal is the only sensible way to go.

It remains to be seen if second-generation designs hold up better. They are considerably quieter (I've been close enough to verify this), and their blades run higher off the ground so they are supposedly less dangerous to birds and bats. BTW, the 20-story-high Cuisinarts are first-generation. Current production is 40-story-high Cuisinarts.

I do agree that they would not be going up without government meddling, which, as usual, has skewed the economic picture for these things to produce irrational application of the technology. Left to their own economics, I would espect they might be worthwhile on island nations where imported fuel is expensive and a gross balance-of-trade drain, but would rarely be put up otherwise.

It is perfectly true that they are useless in both high winds and light winds, working best around 20 knots, so they only produce good power occasionally.

I would prefer that opponents of these things attack them on well-considered and fully-documented engineering and economics. Attacking them with lies and half-truths gives the other side ammunition. When the facts are with you, stick to the facts. And I would not cite, for expert opinion on a technology, a cranky old Royal whose wife usually tries to keep him from speaking in public because he tends to be impolitic and poorly-informed. Remember, the man has no job, he's basically living off his sugar-momma.

Diogenes
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Postby Diogenes » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:37 am

Tom, my understanding is that Wind energy produces electricity at .18 cents per kilowatthour. Just about double the retail price of fossil fuel produced electricity. How does that work economically?
‘What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.’
— Lord Melbourne —

Tom Ligon
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Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:46 am

Diogenes,

I did not say wind power made good economic sense. I just said to shoot it down using actual facts and not stuff made up by a dottering old prince.

The economics vary with your situation. If you are on a little island out in the Pacific, petroleum fuel is running you twenty bucks a gallon due to the cost of transportation, your primary export product is fish scales, and the wind blows 20 knots 75% of the time, wind power may make sense. Sure, you will have no power at some times and not a great deal of power much of the time, but it might run a desalination plant and maybe a TV and a few lights.

I use solar PV up at my cabin to run the pumps on a solar hydronic heating system ... I have enough juice to run when there is enough sun to make heat, which the system did merrily during a recent 2-day power outage. I don't use wind because the nature of the wind there is way too erratic. Hydro would be good if the stream ran year-round. Any of this made some sense when I could not get the power company interested in running poles up the holler, but once I had neighbors close enough that they were willing to run the wire, the alternative energy exercise became just another hobby.

If you ain't got it, any power from any source you can rig is a great deal. Once you are on the grid, it is hard to justify the expense of the alternatives.

I have noted here before that neither OTEC nor wind power thrived on The Big Island. Geothermal is viable there. Imported fuel is more expensive there than the inflated prices in California.

Tom Ligon
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Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:02 am

Economic case study: Manassas, VA. Manassas runs its own power grid. Residents and companies buy their power from the City. Lest you think this is a boondoggle, we have about the best rates in the area and possibly the most reliable power in the country. Yet they do this by buying power wholesale.

The key is a very aggressive policy of shaving peak power usage, coupled with having most of the grid safely under ground. This keeps capital equipment costs down. The city pioneered a Broadband over Power Line system as a means of controlling loads, but also has local industry install diesel peaker plants that run during peak demand. By reducing the peak, the power companies don't have to install extra alternators, transformers, and lines to meet that demand, which may last only 30 minutes at a time.

The peakers cost more to operate than the average cost per kwh paid to the utilities, but more than make it up in lower rates over the year.

The first peaker installed, a couple of decades back, was dreamed up as a school science project ... a kid recommended a small hydro plant be installed at the city reservoir. The grid supervisor took issue with the kid's cost calculations, but realized the cost was low enough to serve as a peaker. It is running to this day.

A major problem with wind and solar is that they run whenever they damned well want to ... they're anti-peakers. They raise capital equipment costs greatly.

Diogenes
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Postby Diogenes » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:40 pm

Tom Ligon wrote:Diogenes,

I did not say wind power made good economic sense. I just said to shoot it down using actual facts and not stuff made up by a dottering old prince.

The economics vary with your situation. If you are on a little island out in the Pacific, petroleum fuel is running you twenty bucks a gallon due to the cost of transportation, your primary export product is fish scales, and the wind blows 20 knots 75% of the time, wind power may make sense. Sure, you will have no power at some times and not a great deal of power much of the time, but it might run a desalination plant and maybe a TV and a few lights.

I use solar PV up at my cabin to run the pumps on a solar hydronic heating system ... I have enough juice to run when there is enough sun to make heat, which the system did merrily during a recent 2-day power outage. I don't use wind because the nature of the wind there is way too erratic. Hydro would be good if the stream ran year-round. Any of this made some sense when I could not get the power company interested in running poles up the holler, but once I had neighbors close enough that they were willing to run the wire, the alternative energy exercise became just another hobby.

If you ain't got it, any power from any source you can rig is a great deal. Once you are on the grid, it is hard to justify the expense of the alternatives.

I have noted here before that neither OTEC nor wind power thrived on The Big Island. Geothermal is viable there. Imported fuel is more expensive there than the inflated prices in California.



Don't get me wrong. I LOVE wind, solar, geothermal, etc. I just don't believe we should be blinded by love into doing something foolish as has been the vast majority of investment in this sort of equipment. (Funded by the Government, of Course.)


As for the OTEC, That seemingly ought to be viable. Perhaps not in Hawaii, but along a deep sea equatorial area where the temperature between surface water and deep ocean water is larger.

Ever read this book?

Image
‘What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.’
— Lord Melbourne —

Tom Ligon
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Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:03 pm

When I visited the OTEC plant near Kona, it had been converted to an aquaculture experiment. Near the turnoff to the plant, there was a little sheet metal building with steam coming out the back. Geothermal. If you live on an active volcano, and you use anything else, you are crazy. On the other hand, if you live on an active volcano ....

OTEC will turn out to have some unfortunate environmental consequences if used on sufficient scale. The temperature gradient it runs on will turn out to be an important part of the environment. It probably needs to be in very deep water, meaning well off-shore.

choff
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Postby choff » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:40 am

Some people like cranky old royals. The greens love to push wind power, but tend to ignore tidal power, which is much more predictable, though both are niche technologies.
I have a hamster that loves to run inside his wheel. When the air is completely dead at the windfarm, if I hook up a tiny generator to his wheel, he can outperform the largest turbines. Kinda cute too!
CHoff

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:30 am

Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

williatw
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Re: The Prince gets it.

Postby williatw » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:46 am

NASA worked out how to make food out of thin air - and it could feed billions

Image
It reportedly looks and tastes like wheat flour.

While company plans are always moderated by unforeseen events — including the availability of sufficient funding — Solar Foods plans a global commercial rollout for Solein in 2021 and to be producing two million meals annually, with a revenue of $800 million to $1.2 billion by 2023. By 2050, they hope to be providing sustenance to 9 billion people as part of a $500 billion protein market.



It's not like you can make food out of thin air. Well…it turns out you can. A company from Finland, Solar Foods, is planning to bring to market a new protein powder, Solein, made out of CO₂, water and electricity. It's a high-protein, flour-like ingredient that contains 50 percent protein content, 5–10 percent fat, and 20–25 percent carbs. It reportedly looks and tastes like wheat flour, and could become an ingredient in a wide variety of food products after its initial launch in 2021.


It's likely to first appear on grocery shelves in protein shakes and yogurt. It could be an exciting development: Solein's manufacturing process is carbon neutral and the potential for scalability seems unlimited — we've got too much CO₂, if anything. Why not get rid of some greenhouse gas with a side of fries?


Seriously sustainable


Image: Solar Foods


Solar Foods makes Solein by extracting CO₂ from air using carbon-capture technology, and then combines it with water, nutrients and vitamins, using 100 percent renewable solar energy from partner Fortum to promote a natural fermentation process similar to the one that produces yeast and lactic acid bacteria.


When the company claims its single-celled protein is "free from agricultural limitations," they're not kidding. Being produced indoors means Solar Foods is not dependent on arable land, water (i.e., rain), or favorable weather.


The company is already working with the European Space Agency to develop foods for off-planet production and consumption. (The idea for Solein actually began at NASA.) They also see potential in bringing protein production to areas whose climate or ground conditions make conventional agriculture impossible.


Have you read?
This young scientist is tackling food insecurity for the world's most vulnerable groups
16 foods that are good for you - and the planet
The food industry is proving that saving the planet is now profitable


And let's not forget all those beef-free burgers based on pea and soy proteins currently gaining popularity. The environmental challenge of scaling up the supply of those plants to meet their high demand may provide an opening for the completely renewable Solein — the company could provide companies that produce animal-free "meats," such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, a way to further reduce their environmental impact.


The larger promise

The impact of the beef — and for that matter, poultry, pork, and fish — industries on our planet is widely recognized as one of the main drivers behind climate change, pollution, habitat loss, and antibiotic-resistant illness. From the cutting down of rainforests for cattle-grazing land, to runoff from factory farming of livestock and plants, to the disruption of the marine food chain, to the overuse of antibiotics in food animals, it's been disastrous.


The advent of a promising source of protein derived from two of the most renewable things we have, CO₂ and sunlight, gets us out of the planet-destruction business at the same time as it offers the promise of a stable, long-term solution to one of the world's most fundamental nutritional needs.


Solar Foods' timetable


While company plans are always moderated by unforeseen events — including the availability of sufficient funding — Solar Foods plans a global commercial rollout for Solein in 2021 and to be producing two million meals annually, with a revenue of $800 million to $1.2 billion by 2023. By 2050, they hope to be providing sustenance to 9 billion people as part of a $500 billion protein market.

The protein powder Solein.
Image: Solar Foods


The project began in 2018, and this year, they anticipate achieving three things: Launching Solein (check), beginning the approval process certifying its safety as a Novel Food in the EU, and publishing plans for a 1,000-metric ton-per-year factory capable of producing 500 million meals annually.









https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/08/ ... -billions/

krenshala
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Re: The Prince gets it.

Postby krenshala » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:45 pm

2 million meals per year equates to nearly 4 metric tons (3.7Mg) per day, assuming 0.7kg per meal. I base the 0.7kg on 0.85kg per "meal" with about 0.15kg of that being packaging, based on a NASA article I read yesterday.

williatw
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Re: The Prince gets it.

Postby williatw » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:26 pm

krenshala wrote:2 million meals per year equates to nearly 4 metric tons (3.7Mg) per day, assuming 0.7kg per meal. I base the 0.7kg on 0.85kg per "meal" with about 0.15kg of that being packaging, based on a NASA article I read yesterday.


Between things like this and Iron Fertilization of the oceans causing bumper crops of Salmon doesn't look to me we are going to starve in the 21st century. Assuming the Greenies don't have their way of course.


ADDENDUM: your right!...their figures don't add up. 1000 metric tons divided by 500 million = .002KG; pretty small meals. .07oz; what is that a single tic-tac? They must have meant a 1000 metric ton per day factory...

paperburn1
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Re: The Prince gets it.

Postby paperburn1 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:23 pm

The myth started with Andrew Walden, a Hawaiian anti-wind activist, in early 2010. He wrote an article starting with the Kamaoa Wind Farm in Hawaii that was heading for decommissioning and repowering and pulled the number of 14,000 permanently inactive wind turbines out of … somewhere.
In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned.

He doesn’t make any effort to show how he arrived at this magical number. He doesn’t list sources. He doesn’t show calculations. He just comes up with 14,000 for the world through some magical process. You would think that the lack of any supporting evidence would prevent people from quoting and then exaggerating even his already wildly exaggerated claim. However, the quality of evidence doesn’t matter

So, what is an accurate number or methodology for determining the current number of permanently inactive wind turbines?

Short Answer:

A more realistic maximum number is at most 1% of installed wind turbines — perhaps 2,000 wind turbines — and perhaps 0.1% of generation capacity. And the number of permanently inactive wind turbines is diminishing as they are replaced with working modern turbines.
[1] http://www.thewindpower.net/windfarms_list_en.php

[2] http://www.wwindea.org/home/index.php?o ... &Itemid=43


[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehachapi_ ... on_Project


[4] http://www.awea.org/blog/index.cfm?cust ... 1699=16032

[5] http://www.wind-energy-the-facts.org/en ... power.html

[6] http://www.nawindpower.com/e107_plugins ... ntent.9872

[7] http://www.gwec.net/global-figures/wind-in-numbers/

[8] First Wind project in Hawaii goes operational
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2012/more-wi ... test-19963
I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

williatw
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Re: The Prince gets it.

Postby williatw » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:18 pm

Technology Will Keep Us From Running Out of Stuff


Opinion: Such dire warnings ignore the force of capitalism and technological progress, what Abraham Lincoln called “the fuel of interest to the fire of genius.”



Imagesolar cells and olive groves. I’m confident that many countries will be able to increase their overall output of food and all other products in the decades ahead while using fewer resources of the earth.

Andrew McAfee

Science
10.23.2019 09:00 AM
Technology Will Keep Us From Running Out of Stuff


Opinion: Such dire warnings ignore the force of capitalism and technological progress, what Abraham Lincoln called “the fuel of interest to the fire of genius.”

Thirty years from now, we’ll need to feed, clothe, shelter, and otherwise provide for 2 billion more people. Human-caused global warming is going to make these tasks challenging as it produces more deserts, droughts, heatwaves, and other stresses. Even so, I believe we’ll easily meet our challenges and take better care of the people who inhabit the world of the future, without experiencing sustained shortages of food or other important resources.

Andrew McAfee, a scientist and cofounder of the MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy, is the author of More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next.

Not everyone shares this view. In February, the World Economic Forum warned that “the food system is currently in the red; it is extracting more than can be sustained and we are pushing nature to the brink.” In August, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released an extensive report forecasting land degradation and associated food insecurity in the decades ahead. Its headlines for policymakers were grim: As one of the report’s authors summarized, “Food security will be increasingly affected by future climate change through yield declines—especially in the tropics—increased prices, reduced nutrient quality, and supply chain disruptions.”

It’s not just food; some think we also might run out of important minerals. The European Chemical Society released a modified periodic table this year that looked at projected demand and supply over the next hundred years for the 90 natural elements. Fully half had “limited availability,” and of those 12 were facing a serious threat.

Why am I so optimistic in the face of these credible, dire warnings? Because I (and others in my “ecomodernist” tribe) have a lot of faith that the two forces of capitalism and technological progress will continue their extraordinarily track record of providing for our wants and needs. Abraham Lincoln wrote that the patent system “added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius in the discovery and production of new and useful things.” “The fire of genius” is a wonderful label for technological progress. “The fuel of interest” is an equally concise summary of capitalism. They interact in a self-reinforcing and ever-expanding cycle.

How well has this cycle worked in the past? Let’s look at two telling examples. In 1968 Paul Ehrlich published the bestseller The Population Bomb, in which he warned of acute future food shortages. Early editions of the book began, “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.”

Ehrlich’s predictions about rapid population growth were spot on. Global population increased from 3 to 4 billion between 1959 and 1974, and subsequent billions were added in 15, 12, and 11 years. But mass starvations largely did not occur; instead, the opposite happened. People all around the world became better nourished. In 1968 only Northern America, Europe, and Oceania supplied their people with an average of at least 2,500 calories a day (widely assumed to be necessary for an active adult male to maintain his body weight), and as recently as 1980 the world average was still below this number. Yet by 2005 every region in the world had met this standard.

In 1972 a team of computer modelers at MIT led by Donella Meadows published The Limits to Growth, another blockbuster. Their simulations found that unchecked exponential growth in populations and economies was bound to cause a massive global crash of resource depletion, sometime during the 21st century. Even under the most optimistic scenarios, known global reserves of gold would be used up within 29 years of 1972; silver within 42; copper and petroleum 50; and aluminum 55.

These predictions weren’t accurate at all. We still have gold and silver—large reserves, in fact. Much bigger than in 1972, despite almost half a century of additional consumption. Known global reserves of gold are almost 400 percent larger today than in 1972, and silver reserves are more than 200 percent larger. And it’s probably not too early to say that we’re not going to run out of copper, aluminum, and petroleum as quickly as estimated in The Limits to Growth. Known reserves of each are much larger than they were then. Known aluminum reserves are almost 25 times what they were in the early 1970s.

Given what we know about the power of capitalism and tech progress, we should expect rich countries to be getting more from less.

The Population Bomb and The Limits to Growth were so far off because they failed to fully understand both the fire of genius and the fuel of interest. By and large, they didn’t take into account that as soon as shortages of food, metals, or other resources appeared, an intense global search for more would ensue, along with an equally ardent hunt for substitutes. As one or both of these quests succeeded, the shortage would ease and prices would plummet.


Economist Julian Simon did understand this dynamic. He explained why resource scarcity was not a real problem in his 1981 book The Ultimate Resource (which remains underappreciated), and in 1990 he won a decade-long bet with Erhlich about resource prices; Ehrlich wagered, incorrectly, that they’d remain high because of permanent scarcities.

Researchers Gale Pooley and Marian Tupy calculate the “Simon Abundance Index,” which takes into account both global population and the prices of 50 commodities important for human welfare—everything from sugar to salmon to iron ore to natural gas—expressed in terms of how long the average person in the world has to work to afford one unit of each. Every one of the 50 has become more affordable since 1980, even as global population has exploded, and most have become several times more affordable. The aggregate Abundance Index was set equal to 100 in 1980; by 2019 it had climbed to almost 620.

The authors of the World Economic Forum and IPCC reports, the periodic table of future natural element availability, and many other pessimistic forecasts of our ability to provide for ourselves appear to not be taking into account Simon’s insights, or not believing that they’re still relevant.

They are. Climate change is real and will cause more harm the longer it remains unaddressed, but I don’t believe it will not cause us to lose the ability to feed the world over the next few decades. Global average temperatures have risen by around six-tenths of a degree Celsius since 1980. But as we’ve seen, every region in the world has greatly increased food availability to its people during that time. It’s extremely unlikely that the predicted increase of another 0.75 to 1 degree between now and 2050 will reverse this trend, and eliminate our ability to adequately nourish the world’s people. It's true that the global rate of undernourishment has ticked up by 0.2 percent since 2015, but I bet this increase will reverse itself in the years ahead as markets and technologies continue to spread. Any takers?

In fact, I’m confident that many countries will be able to increase their overall output of food and all other products in the decades ahead while using fewer metals, minerals, fertilizer, water, cropland, trees, fossil fuels, and other resources of the earth. I’m confident because America is already doing so.

The US, which accounts for about 25 percent of the global economy, consumes more material goods year after year, yet continues to decrease consumption of the resources listed above. What’s more, the country’s use of both electricity and energy in general has been essentially flat for the past decade.

How did the US start getting more from less? By using the tools of the digital age—hardware, software, and networks—to progressively dematerialize our consumption. In other words, we kept finding ways to use fewer atoms by using more bits.

Aluminum cans are more than 75 percent lighter than they were a few decades ago as engineers have used computer-aided design to make them lighter without sacrificing strength. Precision agriculture, aided by lots of sensors and computation, lets farmers selectively apply small amounts of water, fertilizer, and pesticide where needed instead of blanketing entire fields. Of the 15 devices featured in a 1991 Radio Shack ad, 13 have now vanished into the smartphone. Thanks to our smartphones, we now also buy many fewer compact discs, atlases, rolls of film, videotapes, and many other media.

Examples like these can be found all over the economy. Their cumulative impact is a sea change in our relationship with our planet. We used to increase our prosperity by taking more from the earth year after year. Now we know that we can grow and flourish while taking less.


Thirty years from now, we’ll need to feed, clothe, shelter, and otherwise provide for 2 billion more people. Human-caused global warming is going to make these tasks challenging as it produces more deserts, droughts, heatwaves, and other stresses. Even so, I believe we’ll easily meet our challenges and take better care of the people who inhabit the world of the future, without experiencing sustained shortages of food or other important resources.

More importantly, we need to stop devoting time and effort to planning for future research shortages. In a world where abundance and dematerialization are both increasing, this makes no sense. It makes great sense, however, to work on the challenges that capitalism and tech progress don’t solve on their own. These include reducing pollution, especially greenhouse gas pollution; protecting threatened species and lands; and bringing back opportunity to communities that have been left behind as capitalism and tech progress race ahead. All of these urgently require our attention now and in the years ahead. But we don’t need to worry that we’re going to run out—or run short of—critical resources in the decades to come. There’ll be plenty for everyone.



https://www.wired.com/story/technology- ... -of-stuff/


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