Archive for December, 2008

“Fossil Fuel” or “Abiotic Oil?”

Posted in Science and Technology with tags on December 2, 2008 by hotpoo

Let me start this off with a little rant…

/start rant

Those that know me understand that I am not a subscriber to the current theory of global warming. I simply do not believe that we have enough data to make any sort of judgement call on global climate change. Are global weather patterns changing? Certainly. Is the global temperature rising? There is a bit of conflicting data on this, but the general consensus is “yes.” Then isn’t this the precursor to global warming? I’m not so convinced of this, nor am I convinced that this is exclusively the fault of humanity. The deeper we dig into geological history, the more we discover that we live (and have lived) in a relatively short period of warmth in between ice ages. There is evidence to support that this cyclic pattern of short warm periods followed by long cold periods may be more closely tied to the also cyclic patterns of our sun. More of this blather later… I do have a point to make here, so I best get to it…

One of the many things that has been irritating me about the new “it’s hip to be green” fad (aside from the fact that now everything has to have the word green somewhere in its title) is the beginning of the giant government push to “reduce American dependence on foreign oil” and to “create new sustainable energy sources.” Don’t get me wrong, I really want the research floodgates opened to alternate energy. The research community has some very cool ideas that could be come a fast reality with government funding. Supercapacitors (also called ultracapacitors) are going revolutionize they way we use batteries. Personal kinetic energy devices are now starting to show up on the radar, and some very smart ideas in the solar cell department (infrared absorption) is allowing them to get up to 60% – 80% utilization. A bit more money, and these sorts of things could be affordable reality within the decade. Dump a bit more money into Hydrogen manufacturing research, and the next tech jump will be the mass production of anti-hydrogen. I still dream that the Asimov Belt could be a reality. That kind of energy could take us to the far reaches of the solar system.

The part that is frustrating about this is that any time speculation changes on oil consumption, the prices skyrocket. For a short period of time this year, prices got close to $5 USD. They are now below the $2 mark, for the first time in… well… I’m not even sure how many years it has been. Now I know that other states had higher prices, and what we pay is nothing compared to the buggery that goes on Europe. I don’t understand how the prices can change so drastically… I’ve had people try to explain it to me before, but I call bullshit. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but if there is any single body that rules us all I would bet it goes by OPEC. You can’t tell me that an Oil Company that reports record breaking earnings that happens simultaneously with record breaking gas prices is some sort of Supply and Demand coincidence. Bull-Fucking-Shit.

/end rant

The whole point of this tirade is that there is growing evidence that shows that “unsustainable fossil fuels” are neither “unsustainable” or “fossil fuels.” This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t move forward onto other sources. It just means that we shouldn’t kill ourselves or destroy our global economies trying to get there. Baby steps people. Baby steps…

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Northern Lights “trigger” discovered

Posted in Science and Technology with tags on December 2, 2008 by hotpoo

Not a new article, but pretty cool none the less. Take a look. My favorite part is actually the concept animation. Glad that NASA was able to catch this data so soon after deploying the grid. All about being in the right place at the right time, I suppose.