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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

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Author
OT: Skeptics vs Alarmist Cage Match unSpectacular!

SwineOfTheTimes
22-Jul-2009
8:28:33 PM
On 22/07/2009 GravityHound wrote:
>
>VN or Skyline?

LH

evanbb
23-Jul-2009
9:16:31 AM
On 22/07/2009 ajfclark wrote:
>Back to the wind farm thing... I came across this article on using radar
>to stop bats from dying in a wind farm:
>
>http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32034204/ns/technology_and_science-science/

Animals hitting turbines is a pretty big problem; I doubt it's as big a problem as general habitat loss and possibly climate change (which doesn't exist), but, it's a big PR problem for the general public. I've got no idea how to fix it. But if someone does, that's a big drawback of wind turbines fixed. I don't buy the aesthetic argument at all; compared to a nuke or coal plant and associated mining, processing, distribution, waste storage and river/ocean changes it's no contest.

GravityHound
23-Jul-2009
10:43:25 AM
On 22/07/2009 SwineOfTheTimes wrote:
>On 22/07/2009 GravityHound wrote:
>>
>>VN or Skyline?
>
>LH

An LH torana with a turbocharged 186?

evanbb
23-Jul-2009
11:30:58 AM
Well, the Coorong is broken:
http://www.theage.com.au/environment/the-coorong-is-dead-but-can-be-revived-20090722-dtl3.html

anthonyk
23-Jul-2009
11:39:19 AM
On 23/07/2009 evanbb wrote:
>On 22/07/2009 ajfclark wrote:
>>Back to the wind farm thing... I came across this article on using radar
>>to stop bats from dying in a wind farm:
>
>Animals hitting turbines is a pretty big problem; I doubt it's as big
>a problem as general habitat loss and possibly climate change (which doesn't
>exist), but, it's a big PR problem for the general public. I've got no
>idea how to fix it.

easy. wind-farm-tarianism. you just need a new group of hippies that eat birds that get taken out by wind farms. surely thats ethical isn't it? its sort of like fruitarianism- people that only eat fruit that falls off a tree on its own, except instead of fruit, its birds.

Eduardo Slabofvic
23-Jul-2009
12:41:21 PM
On 23/07/2009 anthonyk wrote:
> its sort of like fruitarianism- people that only eat fruit that falls
>off a tree on its own

But the fruit has to want to be eaten

evanbb
23-Jul-2009
12:59:43 PM
For not the first time, Piers Akerman's article in the Tele this morning is pretty outrageous:
http://tinyurl.com/mfflc4

I followed the comments for a bit, which interestingly included this link which analyses Plimers spectacular Heaven and Earth:
http://bravenewclimate.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/plimer1a6.pdf

I haven't read the review yet, but it should make for some fun reading this afternoon

IdratherbeclimbingM9
23-Jul-2009
1:08:05 PM
^ weird*.




(*Thanks Wingello Panther!).

If that is likely to be fun reading, then I think you need to get out more evanbb, or maybe read Rod's Euro Trip Report update instead?

evanbb
23-Jul-2009
2:42:15 PM
On 23/07/2009 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>I think you need to get out more evanbb

No arguments here. I was just about to skive off work and have a quick climd this afternoon, but roped into a meeting at 5!

evanbb
28-Jul-2009
9:39:57 AM
Granted, this scores pretty high on the Nerd Index, but here's a link to some polling on the public's acceptance of the CPRS and higher energy prices.

http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2009/07/28/newspoll-and-the-cprs/

The most interesting thing for me is that 59% of people are prepared to pay more for their energy. That suggests the Pollies could probably move a bit harder on this one.

That 59% has been stable for about 8 months.
Wendy
28-Jul-2009
12:45:26 PM
Can't believe I go away for a month and this thing lives on ... but at least it give me the chance to share one of the joys of my holiday.

After exhausting the books I carried on my walk, I borrowed a copy of James Lovelock's The Revenge of Gaia. It comes complete with an amazing cover that looks like a 1950s sci fi novel and quotes from reviewers along the lines of "the most important environmental book of the century". I'm not quite sure which century they are talking about.

He's certianly not disputing that climate change exists, in fact he thinks it's far too late for a little light action, but he has some interesting ideas as to what action to take. He starts with a claim that wind power is bad for the environment and has adverse effects on the atmosphere. You may as well not get off the floor as it just gets better. Sadly, he never really explained what these adverse effects were as I was very curious about them. But he did go on to explain repeatedly how they were ruining the natural beauty of England - all those naturally forming meadows and hedgerows he was very precious about. All for a form of power that he saw as inefficent, unreliable and expensive. He had a bit of a poopoo about solar along the same lines but saw hydro as a low impact and efficient source of energy and mentions the Yangtzee dam in glowing terms. But his pet panacea was in fact nuclear fusion. Yep, something that nuclear scientists the world over have been desperately trying to achieve for 50 years, billions upon billions invested in with net results of, well, um, to my understanding, about zero. But wait, James informs me that they have actually succeeded in heating hydrogen to 150 million degrees and managed to get a fusion reaction happening for a whole 2 seconds and produced a fraction of the energy that it required to start the reaction. Obviously, this is far closer to being a cost effective, reliable and efficient source of power than any renewable.

Just as you might be thinking he can't have any better ideas, James won't let you down. Nuclear waste. He admits we're going to need to do a bit of fission in the meanwhile and there'll be a bit of waste to deal with. But that's ok, because nature likes nuclear waste. This is demonstrated with a few photos of an overgrown chernobyl and some disposal ponds from the US. Animals, he informs us (obviously after careful consultation with them), don't mind the loss of a few months/years off their lives for the chance to live undisturbed by people in radioactive areas. In fact, the regrowth and repopulation of these areas suggests that the waste can actually be a bonus. We can use it to protect environmentally sensitive areas by dumping a bit a waste there and keeping the people away.

As you can see, it's riveting reading, a creative and insightful look at the issues. It's a good thing I was sitting down to read as I might have keeled over in disbelief otherwise.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
28-Jul-2009
12:54:59 PM
Your holiday must have been a ripper, if you stuck with that book till the end?


~> What that author has to say brings to my mind a quote (sort of), from a Talking Heads song.
... "Say nothing once, why say it again?"

Heh, heh, heh.
Wendy
28-Jul-2009
1:16:48 PM
I had taken 3 books on the 16 day walk, but as one of the group hurt her back on day 6, we spent a lot of time hanging out while she recovered and walking back to the car at about 4 km a day, so there was a lot of down time, hence the desperation for more things to read!

evanbb
28-Jul-2009
1:18:06 PM
On 28/07/2009 Wendy wrote:
>After exhausting the books I carried on my walk, I borrowed a copy of
>James Lovelock's The Revenge of Gaia.

Wow, I had a feeling Lovelock was a bit batty. Not so, he's completely barking by the sound of it.

His concern about wind is almost rooted in fact. It's basic thermodynamics; if you get energy from somewhere (electricity) it must come from somewhere else. So if a turbine generates electricity the wind must slow down. As a % of total wind energy though I reckon it's delta-FA*.

Fusion isn't as far off as you think, but it's pretty hard to do. I've spoken to some Smart People about it and they are definitely getting closer. You want pies in skies? This is the stuff. But, unlike CCS, if they crack fusion, all our problems go away in the blink of an eye. You can 'burn' ANYTHING in it and generate virtually unlimited, clean energy. And better yet, unlike fission which can run away, maintaining a fusion reaction is so hard that if it gets out of whack it just stops. No, it's definitely not close to being cost effective or anything like that, and they're probably 100 years off commercial demonstration, but by Gods, if it goes, we'll never worry about energy again.

I wonder about nuke waste. The radioactive atoms came out of the ground initially; why not disperse them back to where they came from? I suspect the reason is that the reactor creates new, worse products, but I've never seen a good explanation.



*the Delta-FA thing is a quote from an excessively nerdy maths lecturer at uni. He'd do a long proof, a couple of boards long and somewhere in there he'd drop a deltaFA=0. Someone would always say WTF? "It's delta FA, change in f--- All. Change in f--- all is still f--- all, so it's zero!"

ajfclark
28-Jul-2009
1:19:00 PM
On 28/07/2009 Wendy wrote:
>As you can see, it's riveting reading, a creative and insightful look at the issues. It's a good thing I was sitting down to read as I might have keeled over in disbelief otherwise.

Is it supposed to be satire or serious?
Wendy
28-Jul-2009
1:33:20 PM
On 28/07/2009 ajfclark wrote:

>Is it supposed to be satire or serious?

He really is serious .... you may have heard of his Gaia theory, that's his earlier book proposing that the earth is a living, interactive system which he calls Gaia. Haven't read the whole book as I haven't been stuck in the middle of nowhere with time to kill with it, but it seems a reasonable proposition if you can deal with the fluffy language (I struggle with fluffy language). Now he suggests that Gaia is going to spit us out and kill us off for disrupting her nice balanced system in order to survive and goes on to all the forementioned propositions. I started to move from the term "fluffy" towards "fruitloop" over the course of a few chapters. He was also 86 when he wrote this book, so he could well be loosing the plot a bit.

billk
28-Jul-2009
1:51:04 PM
On 28/07/2009 evanbb wrote:
>On 28/07/2009 Wendy wrote:
>>After exhausting the books I carried on my walk, I borrowed a copy of
>>James Lovelock's The Revenge of Gaia.
>
>Wow, I had a feeling Lovelock was a bit batty. Not so, he's completely
>barking by the sound of it.
>

Yep.

>>I wonder about nuke waste. The radioactive atoms came out of the ground
>initially; why not disperse them back to where they came from? I suspect
>the reason is that the reactor creates new, worse products, but I've never
>seen a good explanation.
>

"New worse products" is basically it.

You wind up with quite a lot of intensely radioactive material that is hard to do anything with for a long time. (Spent fuel rods etc.) You also get huge amounts of moderately radioactive material that is very expensive to isolate from the biosphere.

ajfclark
28-Jul-2009
2:05:56 PM
On 28/07/2009 evanbb wrote:
>You can 'burn' ANYTHING in it and generate virtually unlimited, clean energy.

Even all the waste we generated using fission in the meantime?

Eduardo Slabofvic
28-Jul-2009
2:42:33 PM
On 28/07/2009 evanbb wrote:
>You want pies in skies?

Anti-Matter?

nmonteith
28-Jul-2009
2:48:33 PM
On 28/07/2009 ajfclark wrote:
>On 28/07/2009 evanbb wrote:
>>You can 'burn' ANYTHING in it and generate virtually unlimited, clean
>energy.

Finally, something to power my hover-board and time machine.

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