I'm inclined to agree - although now that the issue has been raised and
so much noise made, I'd like to see it resolved (but I'm not holding my
breath waiting for that to happen).
I haven't been able to bring myself to make even that assumption. There
are already enough problems in the world to provide enormous amounts of
opportunity - and the Internet spreads those opportunities around fairly
Did you finish your garage project?
Hmm. There's EMPIRICAL science - math, physics, astronomy, chemistry, etc. -
and there's SOFT science (social science, psychology, climatology,
phrenology, astrology) which may not be quantifiable, reproducible, or even
Well, the NSF (National Science Foundation), et. al., politicizes
science enough, wouldn't you say? It provides a first-level means
of spending money where it needs to be spent (I didn't say it
is a perfect system). So science is not (independently) left to
the scientists. Tax payers, via politicians, get some say in what
types of research are pursued with tax dollars.
Now, take that to the next level. When politicians decide what *type* of
research is to be funded and then the results that receive continuing
grants, what do you think will be the primary research interests and working
hypotheses of the scientists so funded.
As one person said, the result of having the government pay for something
is to continue to get more of that something.
There is never a situation where having more rounds is a disadvantage
Fair enough. If the government announces that they would like to see more
reseach on education, then you will see more proposals to do research on
education. I know of institutions which hire people to stay
abreast of the types of proposals that are likely to be funded. What is
It sounds like you already know what type of research will be funded. I
pretend to know. Military applications seem like a safe bet.
On Wed, 27 Jan 2010 00:06:12 -0500, the infamous "Bill"
I believe that his point is: Politicians get lots of mileage from
saying they're doing something about AGWK, so they support funding of
AGWK research. Skeptics don't scare the public or put money into the
politicians' pockets, so they don't get funding.
"Some of us are wondering if we have created a monster."
Kevin Vranes, climate scientist, University of Colorado
I have heard this at MY breakfast table...." Yup, that's a good field
to get into, the gov't is doling out all kinds of money for research
projects..." and those kids are still in highschool. (They were
talking about AGW)
I should imagine those kids are smart enough to know that if, after
the first paper calls the whole AWG for what it is, their funding will
be cut off.
The good ol' academic trough.
Like it or lump it, dependance on fossil fuels is operating on
Just as oil saved the whale, it's time to transition to clean energy
generation to save our planet.
You can go screaming and running into that good night or you can be
part of the solution.
Alternate clean renewable energy resources are plentiful.
Geo Thermal, solar, hydro, wind, yes an even nulcear, IF the disposal
problems can be resolved.
The challenge is to figure how best to get the job done effectively.
Flapping your gums, or in this forum your fingers on a keyboard,
simply isn't productive.
Why do you say that? Every year the provable reserves of petroleum
increases. Heck, there's even a theory that oil is being CREATED deep
For the foreseeable future (say, 200 years), geothermal, solar, hydro, and
wind can, at best, merely nibble at the margins.
You can't run an Aluminum production facility - that takes Gigawatts of
power - off of sunbeams. Ever.
Look, if you're going to advocate for solar at least learn how to run the
numbers properly. You need a continuous 1GW to run your aluminum plant.
You're going to use "mirrors" to "focus heat". Fine. Now you're going to
do what with that heat? Run a heat engine? So you're getting what, 50%
efficiency? (I'm being generous with that one). So you need to double that
area. Now, it gets dark at night, so you need to store energy somehow. You
need to generate 500W/m^2 during the day to make up for the 0 at night. So
double it again--more than double for a mid-latitude installation where days
are shorter than nights in the winter--for the Baie-Comeau plant for example
you'd have to triple that reflector area. And your storage system isn't
going to be completely efficient--if you're using batteries then you have
the immense cost of replacing them every few hundred charge/discharge
cycles--go out and price a gigawatt of the cheapest batteries you can find
and get back to us. Or maybe you're going to electrolyze water into
hydrogen. So that's happening at 80 percent. Now what are you going to do
with that hydrogen, use it to run your heat engine at night or are you going
to use fuel cells? If you're running your heat engine at night then you've
got another 50 percent efficiency hit, so double your collector area again
plus another 25 percent. Or maybe you're going to run hydrogen-oxygen fuel
cells--that's more efficient (but not hugely more) but now you also have a
huge bank of fuel cells to maintain. And how much added capacity do you
need to provide to deal with heavy overcast? How much does rain degrade the
efficiency of your reflectors? How much additional capacity do you need to
provide to allow for dust and bird poop on the reflectors, or are you going
to clean 16 or more square kilometers of reflector every day? And how many
cleanings can they take before the surface becomes unacceptably degraded?
So, your solar collector area to power that plant in Baie-Comeau, Quebec,
would be maybe 5.5-6km square, not your 1x4. The aluminum plant itself is
only about .5x.5 or .25 square kilometers. So how many power plants 20
times the size of the facility they power can we afford to build? The
Manic-5 dam, which actually does power that facility, using water from a
lake in a gigantic meteor crater, is only about 1.2km long. The entire
Millstone nuclear plant in Connecticut is only about .6x.2km.
This is likely to spark a load of questions. There is a really cool
saying in Dutch which translates into "one fool can ask more questions
than a 1thousand wise men can answer."
Apply when needed, rinse and repeat. <G>
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