Author Topic: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval  (Read 93110 times)

Offline zodiacchris

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #120 on: 11/29/2023 09:51 pm »
I have an example here in Australia, there are two offshore wind generator plants to be built, each comprising dozens of generators 20 km off the coast.

There is a local protest movement with thousands of people meeting and protesting because somebody came up with the totality unfunded idea that wind generators kill whales. Greenpeace, the CSIRO and marine biologists all say that’s totally bogus and has no credibility and that the whales are not impacted.

Funny enough our conservative opposition, trying to profile themselves against renewable energy, are pushing for modular nuclear reactors. And their representatives are at those meetings stirring people up for media exposure and political gain, sowing discontent by deceit and calling for nuclear as an alternative to whale killing wind power. And the well meaning environmentally worried locals follow them blindly.

That’s another example of the fracture of our society where social media, gullible but well meaning people and actors with an agenda cause havoc. Environmental science and processes can be complex and people these days often don’t distinguish between rumours and backed up science, specifically as a lot of people have lost thrust in scientists because of the antivax propaganda during covid. We are facing huge problems with this going forward.

As an environmental scientist I find this just depressing. We need a strong environmental movement to have leverage for the needed energy transition, but it’s like the tower of Babel with everybody speaking a different language and communication breaking down…

Just my 2c

Offline CorvusCorax

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #121 on: 11/30/2023 12:50 am »
It would also be naive to think that launching starship has no environmental impact. It's too high energy for that.

Starship releases the equivalent energy of a medium sized nuke during every launch ( the energy in the first 1000 tons of propellant released in the vicinity of the launchpad alone is in the kiloton range)
If used for excavation, like during IFT1, this is comparable to a small volcano eruption. IFT2 in turn is more like a weather phenomenon compatable to a small thunderstorm

Localized that results probably in dozends of birds and millions of insects getting incinerated each launch, along with small mammals ( rodents and the like) in the rocket exhaust blast zone. Just as a falcon heavy launch isn't healthy for the unicorns in the flametrench - or Shuttle for the frogs

In the larger picture, that is the price we pay for spaceflight. The ecosystem around Boca Chica can take this impact. The impact is far less, than if Boca Chica would have been developed into a town with industry, tourist hotels or dense settlement. In that regard, Starbase actually ensures the preservation of the surrounding habitat, thanks to exclusion zones where no one except a few space fanatics wanting to live where they regularly need to evacuate.

The cape is an ecological savehaven for the same reasons.

Everything humans do has an environmental impact. Some of these impacts are despicable and unnecessary, some are worth it and/or benefitial in the long run.

Getting live multi-planetary is definitely the latter.

Fighting Starship on environmental grounds IMHO is misguided. Quite likely its deliberately misguided by those with an agenda. Whether this is successful or not depends on legislstors and judges. Cases like this are well suited to test if the legal system serves the people in the long run as it should, or only benefits entrenched powers that fight progress for reasons of personal greed.

Should the FAA loose this lawsuit, (which I don't expect) its an indicator that the laws are faulty. In that case, legislators would have to fix them.

This would be IMHO quite likely, since Starship is of high national interest thanks to the Artemis program. And that in turn would benefit other projects, like wind parks and certain observatories.

So all in all, its a good thing.

Offline thespacecow

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #122 on: 11/30/2023 02:46 am »
The promised joint status report was filed last Monday November 27 (https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.254763/gov.uscourts.dcd.254763.26.0.pdf). The interesting portion:

Gee, this will never end. They will just submit another supplement after each flight.  Needs to end, and get on with life.

As long as there's no injunction (and so far plaintiff has had plenty of opportunities to ask for one but they choose not to), the lawsuit has zero impact on what SpaceX does at Boca Chica, it can last 10 years and the only result is some lawyers get rich. So just relax and enjoy the show.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #123 on: 11/30/2023 03:28 pm »
I think we should take some of these supposed concerns with a pretty big grain of salt. There’s now a bunch of people who put their reputation on the line saying Starship wouldn’t launch before like 2025 or something due to environmental issues, and then when they got approval anyway, instead of admitting they were wrong, they seem to double down on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them were actually suing. It’s not good faith concerns (although such do exist), they are people who made a following on Twitter on the supposed environmental problems with Starship and therefore are invested in avoiding admitting they essentially lied.

Additionally, media has picked up these people as “environmental experts or activists” (literally one of them, a very infamous one who is banned from this website, works for a fossil fuel pipeline company), and a bunch of people now use their balooney claims as evidence that SpaceX and the FAA and FWS are violating the law.
« Last Edit: 12/01/2023 01:55 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline Tangilinear Interjar

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #124 on: 11/30/2023 04:14 pm »
BTW, the original statement regarding the release of energy is a true and valid comparison, never in the statement was there an equivalent comparison with regards to the effect of that energy release.

This is another case of people misreading, or misunderstanding, or misinterpreting, or just generally running around like the sky is falling.

I really wonder why this seems to happen so often in these forums. I know it tends to be common in society in general but for some reason I have a greater expectation for those who are here.

Offline DigitalMan

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #125 on: 11/30/2023 05:16 pm »
Its a shame the little birdies have no interest in this thread they could add value and provide clarity, but it looks like the general rule is the thing has to interest them to get a comment.

Offline CorvusCorax

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #126 on: 12/01/2023 07:30 am »
The "environmental impact" of a Hurricane landfall on the ecosphere is far more devastating than a launch, that is clear. Mainly due to flooding, which isn't nice to ground breeding birds and small mammals. A Hurricane hit.like the one that halted Boca Chicas development back in the day and put most of the lots under water to this day takes decades to recover from. A launch is much more localized and probably only takes a few weeks. That being said, the really devastating Hurricanes ( to actually hit the same spot) are twice in a Century. While SpaceX wants to.launch.monthly ( if the FAA lets them ) and eventually daily.

The thunderstorms play out most of their energy higher up, not down in the ground - save for the occasional but rare ground.lightning strike, so their ecological impact is minimal. ( and the ecosphere is well adapted to them, being frequent )


That being said, the ecosphere would also adapt to daily launches. In that regard monthly launches are worse. No bird wirh a nut full of brain builds a nest right next to a launchpad that active, while monthly launches could hit breeding pairs and their eggs -- not in January of course.

I don't think Starship has a meaningful impact, as in an impact that could affect population sized or presence of species vs not - or permanently change the ecosphere around the pad. Launches are more like thunderstorms in that regard than Hurricanes

And both FWS and FAA see it that way, too.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #127 on: 12/02/2023 03:37 am »
Moderator:
Reading back through recent posts--most had little or nothing to do with the lawsuit.  I trimmed 33 posts.

Stay on-topic.  :)
« Last Edit: 12/02/2023 04:09 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline dabomb6608

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #129 on: 12/15/2023 08:24 pm »
"Regulators are playing Russian roulette with one of the most critical and sensitive habitats for migratory birds in the country,” said Jared Margolis, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

It is statements like this that discredit so much potential good that environmental types may push to achieve. I am not at all convinced that this relatively small location (in the grand scheme) on the whole western Gulf Coast is as critical and sensitive as it is being made to be.

Offline InterestedEngineer

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #130 on: 12/15/2023 08:26 pm »
"Regulators are playing Russian roulette with one of the most critical and sensitive habitats for migratory birds in the country,” said Jared Margolis, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

It is statements like this that discredit so much potential good that environmental types may push to achieve. I am not at all convinced that this relatively small location (in the grand scheme) on the whole western Gulf Coast is as critical and sensitive as it is being made to be.

My friend worked doing environmental assessments for oil companies in that area for 30 years.   She just rolls her eyes at this kind of thing.  there's 100s of miles of similar environment down there for the birds and other animals.

Offline meekGee

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #131 on: 12/15/2023 09:16 pm »
"Regulators are playing Russian roulette with one of the most critical and sensitive habitats for migratory birds in the country,” said Jared Margolis, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

It is statements like this that discredit so much potential good that environmental types may push to achieve. I am not at all convinced that this relatively small location (in the grand scheme) on the whole western Gulf Coast is as critical and sensitive as it is being made to be.
Nor that anything the rocket does can somehow damage it worse than a passing hurricane.  Or all the beach traffic, pickups and all.  Or the mere existence of the city of Brownsville, or the development at South Padre Island.  Ooh, and the port.  Stop it all now!
« Last Edit: 12/15/2023 09:18 pm by meekGee »
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #132 on: 12/15/2023 09:33 pm »
Jeff Foust explains what the supplemental complaint is about:

https://spacenews.com/federal-agencies-caught-in-environmental-crossfire-over-starship-launches/

Quote
Federal agencies caught in environmental crossfire over Starship launches
Jeff Foust
December 15, 2023

WASHINGTON — Several organizations have filed a new complaint about the environmental impacts of SpaceX Starship launches even as government agencies face criticism for delaying such launches for environmental reviews.
« Last Edit: 12/15/2023 09:34 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline EL_DIABLO

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #133 on: 12/16/2023 10:17 am »
"Regulators are playing Russian roulette with one of the most critical and sensitive habitats for migratory birds in the country,” said Jared Margolis, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

It is statements like this that discredit so much potential good that environmental types may push to achieve. I am not at all convinced that this relatively small location (in the grand scheme) on the whole western Gulf Coast is as critical and sensitive as it is being made to be.

My friend worked doing environmental assessments for oil companies in that area for 30 years.   She just rolls her eyes at this kind of thing.  there's 100s of miles of similar environment down there for the birds and other animals.

Indeed, there are exactly 100 miles between SPI and Corpus Christi that are completely pristine. Not to mention another 50 miles from the Mexican border that are equally untouched. It's absolute hogwash.

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #134 on: 12/16/2023 02:03 pm »
"Regulators are playing Russian roulette with one of the most critical and sensitive habitats for migratory birds in the country,” said Jared Margolis, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

It is statements like this that discredit so much potential good that environmental types may push to achieve. I am not at all convinced that this relatively small location (in the grand scheme) on the whole western Gulf Coast is as critical and sensitive as it is being made to be.

My friend worked doing environmental assessments for oil companies in that area for 30 years.   She just rolls her eyes at this kind of thing.  there's 100s of miles of similar environment down there for the birds and other animals.

Indeed, there are exactly 100 miles between SPI and Corpus Christi that are completely pristine. Not to mention another 50 miles from the Mexican border that are equally untouched. It's absolute hogwash.
Reductio ad absurdum: Every single square meter of any non-barren natural ecosystem is unique and uniquely valuable when viewed in detail. From this it follows that all human activity should be stopped everywhere on the planet. The practical way to do this is a fatal pandemic.

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #135 on: 12/16/2023 02:27 pm »
 The area was pretty much doomed over 100 years ago. The ship channel and dams on the Rio Grande prevent replenishment of the dunes and they've been going away ever since. That last hurricane took out a major portion of them near the launch site. And the lack of routine, yearly flooding has completely changed the system there.
 SpaceX could make a pretty hard to beat case that they're a positive influence on the area if they'd pull their heads out of their behinds and start some projects.
 They need to get Jane back. Everybody looked up to her.
« Last Edit: 12/23/2023 01:15 pm by Nomadd »
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #136 on: 12/16/2023 02:37 pm »
"Regulators are playing Russian roulette with one of the most critical and sensitive habitats for migratory birds in the country,” said Jared Margolis, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

It is statements like this that discredit so much potential good that environmental types may push to achieve. I am not at all convinced that this relatively small location (in the grand scheme) on the whole western Gulf Coast is as critical and sensitive as it is being made to be.

My friend worked doing environmental assessments for oil companies in that area for 30 years.   She just rolls her eyes at this kind of thing.  there's 100s of miles of similar environment down there for the birds and other animals.

Indeed, there are exactly 100 miles between SPI and Corpus Christi that are completely pristine. Not to mention another 50 miles from the Mexican border that are equally untouched. It's absolute hogwash.
Reductio ad absurdum: Every single square meter of any non-barren natural ecosystem is unique and uniquely valuable when viewed in detail. From this it follows that all human activity should be stopped everywhere on the planet. The practical way to do this is a fatal pandemic.
You fumbled this excellent point at the last moment by adding the last sentence.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Kenp51d

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #137 on: 12/16/2023 03:00 pm »

[/quote]
Reductio ad absurdum: Every single square meter of any non-barren natural ecosystem is unique and uniquely valuable when viewed in detail. From this it follows that all human activity should be stopped everywhere on the planet. The practical way to do this is a fatal pandemic.
[/quote]You fumbled this excellent point at the last moment by adding the last sentence.
[/quote]
I took that last sentence as sarcasm. Dark sarcasm, but sarcasm.
Ken

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #138 on: 12/16/2023 03:07 pm »
Quote
Reductio ad absurdum: Every single square meter of any non-barren natural ecosystem is unique and uniquely valuable when viewed in detail. From this it follows that all human activity should be stopped everywhere on the planet. The practical way to do this is a fatal pandemic.
You fumbled this excellent point at the last moment by adding the last sentence.
I took that last sentence as sarcasm. Dark sarcasm, but sarcasm.
Ken
[/quote]
You are almost correct. Please see:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum
You state a proposition and show that it leads to an absurd conclusion. The last sentence was intended as a large cluebat.

Offline abaddon

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Re: Environmental groups sue FAA over SS approval
« Reply #139 on: 12/16/2023 03:15 pm »
"Regulators are playing Russian roulette with one of the most critical and sensitive habitats for migratory birds in the country,” said Jared Margolis, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

It is statements like this that discredit so much potential good that environmental types may push to achieve. I am not at all convinced that this relatively small location (in the grand scheme) on the whole western Gulf Coast is as critical and sensitive as it is being made to be.
To be fair, on the other hand we have very articulate arguments from e.g. Ted Cruz:
Quote
Cruz argued that the environmental reviews resulted in “asinine delays” even as the United States competes with China and Russia in spaceflight. “I’m not advocating for a wholesale repeal of our environmental laws or NEPA. I’m just arguing for them not to be applied in a dumbass way that slows down commercial space.”
Ted, can you please explain dumbass way in technical language?

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