I’ve opted for plain and simple for my format and layout. The default presentation gives you the last few articles I’ve written in a long, scrollable format. Sometimes I add a “more” tag, which takes you to the individual post, showing the remainder of what I wrote for that article, but usually you must click the heading (to the left of the primary text blocks) to get to the specific article, since I usually just write it all, letting all show on the scrolling composite. The basic reading format doesn’t include a comment box. If you click the heading and go to the specific posting, there is a reply box at the end, after the share buttons and the tags and categories. You can also click the quote-button comment link just below the title.

So, if you happen to read something you want to reply to, please do. I will almost certainly post your comment and reply to you. I’m not into censoring.


Uh, teachers???

IGNITE! ... Fire is Catching

The last day of the SBA test for my school was this past Friday.  There may be a few makeups and loose ends to tie… but for all sakes and purposes we all made it through another Hurricane Season.  The “Testing Coordinator” for our school, a teacher who maintained her real job during the storm, ripped the testing schedule into tiny pieces in celebration as a handful of us looked on.  The pressure this test creates in our schools is indescribable.  The time it steals from real and joyful learning even more tragic.

And the silencing of the teachers … is loud.

One teacher expressed on their personal Facebook page:

“Right now in our state hundreds of thousands of students and tens of thousands of educators are engaged in giving or taking a test. None of those adults or students involved – and the students are as young as eight – may ever…

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The wiki article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Oklahoma is brief, but it includes details that should lower the heads of all Oklahomans. We aren’t like that in most regards, but we didn’t always do so well.

One key fact is the state was run by democrats since the beginning. The leaders of Scott Inman’s party ran this state, and they buggered it up pretty bad in over a century. Scott Inman is minority leader in the Oklahoma state house, and he is term-limited after this next election. Public records indicate he has in the neighborhood of a quarter-million in his war chest. Jason Sansone filed to run against Inman, but his funds available will probably be a tenth of Inman’s. Money is unlikely to be a deciding factor, but if it comes to it, I’m sure the state Democrat party would back their leader.

Inman is nearly certain to fill the 12-year max, and he will probably run for statewide office in 2018. His name is being dropped already as the likely Democratic nominee for Governor. Radio hosts even talk that way when interviewing Joe Dorman, last round’s governor candidate, and Dorman has expressed his intention to run again.

I’m not sure what I think of Dorman, overall, but he shoots straight. He is also in favor of drug legalization, but you might have noticed I’ve concluded the war on drugs failed; it was mostly racist anyway, more a war on the poor than anything else. So, I favor drug legalization too. The system is broke. There are no viable alternatives to a fix other than legalizing it and working the new problems from that. Those new problems can’t be worse than the mess we have now.

Inman is a solid guy. Not much negative can be said about him, except that he is a politician, and his party seems to come before anything else in his public presentation. The only real complaint I have of him is he is one of them. One of the politicians that thinks politics can fix things, and if you only give him and his party the power to do it, they will fix everything.

Of course, there is that truism that power corrupts.

Sadly, nearly all politicians are like that. They think they just need a little more power, one more law, a little more revenue to spend, and everything will get better.

Of course, it won’t.

It so happens that the government and politics cannot fix the problem because the government and politics are the problem. Power and authority, authoritarianism, cause nearly all the problems that most of us deal with throughout our lives, at least all those problems we can’t actually do something about on our own.

My main point in my writing here is that Scott Inman keeps saying the problem is those Rs. He keeps saying if the Ds were in charge everything would be better. I see a lot of comments on his Facebook page that indicate many people agree with him.

I point out that the Ds had well over a century to set things wrong in Oklahoma, and they set them wrong in a lot of ways. The Rs have had scarcely 10% of that time to try to set things right. Sadly, they have made a poor show of it, but one can hardly pass judgement so soon.

Still, a good way to gain headlines is to blame the opposition and loudly spin anything and everything they are doing wrong. Representative Inman has been very good at that a few times, so much so that I was embarrassed to admit I live in House District 94. (Not because of the failings of the Rs, but because of the lack of responsibility in the words of my representative.)

I’m sure he will pivot to positive in just about two years, but for now, negative gets headlines.

I almost supported him for a while, several months ago. The Rs were making quite a mess of things, and it just seemed reasonable to support the opposition. I reached out, especially when he seemed offended at some of my comments in social-media. I was hoping for some push for compromise and reason. All I got was finger pointing. It has only gotten worse.

I have no plans regarding writing more about politics. Maybe more, maybe not. I’ll probably write if I do much digging and come to any conclusions. I mostly write to see what I think. I have no illusions of persuading anyone to my views. Life just isn’t like that. Emotionalism, rhetoric, polemic, sensationalism, and the like can push mobs and sway crowds, but sound reason never wins the day. Sound reason is rarely even accepted as such, must less accepted as persuasive.

I’ve become disillusioned and cynical with regard to politics and government on the whole. Such are the past, and the past is dead. Sadly, before the powers that be actually expire, there will be suffering and death. The Gods of the copybook headings, with terror and slaughter return!

I do pray that it will be less severe than the global conflagrations of war of the twentieth century. Perhaps the pains will birth a new sense of brotherhood and respect for the person, each individual. Perhaps we will begin to see that each is invaluable beyond our mortal concerns.


In Oklahoma, we know what the energy sector means. We also innately know how efficient the oil and gas industry is. Our state booms and busts with each cycle of oil prices. We whine when gasoline prices are high, but we all prosper then. We all rejoice when gasoline prices go down, but then we start noticing the pinch most everywhere else.

Wind and solar don’t help, but plenty of politicians and interests groups make the case anyway. Solar just isn’t up to the challenge of large scale power production. It never will be. It is, needing only more time to mature, useful, and it will be significant in specialized applications. Wind, however, is just a waste. It is good for lonely pumping stations. That is about it.

We must continue with coal, and we must embrace nuclear. It isn’t our only hope; it is the only possibility. It is the only thing that keeps our children alive long enough to know their own great grandchildren.

Watts Up With That?

Guest post by David Middleton

From Bloomberg

Bloomy

The number of U.S. jobs in solar energy overtook those in oil and natural gas extraction for the first time last year, helping drive a global surge in employment in the clean-energy business as fossil-fuel companies faltered.

Employment in the U.S. solar business grew 12 times faster than overall job creation, the International Renewable Energy Agency said in a report on Wednesday. About 8.1 million people worldwide had jobs in the clean energy in 2015, up from 7.7 million in 2014, according to the industry group based in Abu Dhabi.

1x-1

[…]

LINK

Why is this newsworthy?  Energy production is not a jobs program. The fact it takes more people to provide for 1% of our energy consumption than it takes to provide for 52% (67% if imported oil is included) is not a positive aspect of solar power.

The following charts are…

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Interesting.

Watts Up With That?

Super-slow-motion footage from recent Florida storm

From the FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Scientists at Florida Institute of Technology used a high-speed camera to capture an amazing lighting flash from a May 20 storm near the university’s Melbourne campus.

The flash was recorded at 7,000 frames per second (FPS). The playback speed seen in the video is 700 FPS.

The video was captured as part of the process of testing the camera for its ultimate use, which will be centered on capturing and studying the dynamics and energetics of the upward electrical discharges from thunderstorms known as starters, jets and gigantic jets.

Principal Investigator Ningyu Liu from the Geospace Physics Laboratory in Florida Tech’s Department of Physics and Space Sciences is available for interviews.

The lightning flash captured here happened during a May 20 storm not far from the Florida Tech campus in Melbourne. It was recorded at…

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http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2015/10/james-coleman-leonard-sax-and-age-segregation

Anybody else noticed this article since October? Anybody heard of the Coleman Report, low these five decades?

No, well most research that can be called sound shows at least as bad. Doing school the way we do it is bad. It is counterproductive to civil society. It isn’t politics, it is our rearing of children via state-run institution in segregated, isolated groups. Such groups are certainly not safe, but it is from internal danger, not the dangers foisted on us by the whole of nature.

It is said you can’t fix stupid. Yes, you can. The key is limiting shelter from consequences. The system of schools shelters children from external danger and intensifies the internals. It is truly dangerous.

It is inexcusable once we consider government control, authoritarianism, and coercion. We must stop it. Stop schooling the way we do it. It is bad for us all.

Government schools and coercion to participate are the root of our education and societal problems. Outlaw truancy laws. That is the start. While we force children into schools at gunpoint, we cannot hope to fix any of it. It is a certain path to societal suicide.

Add this:

https://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/E/HeadStart_Feb_3_2010.asp

The research is out there. Formal academics before about 8 years old harms many kids. Sure, structured play and organized activities can have benefits, when applied in moderation, but that is not the objective of the reformers.

Mostly, they want more money and more control.

Mostly, they have delivered failure after failure.

When will we recognize that nearly everything the left leaning education establishment and institutions have tried to do for several decades now has been recycled and disguised implementations of all the same. When will we recognize that it is a failure?

First, get rid of all truancy laws. I favor adding “and education” to the First Amendment, right next to “religion”. Would to God our schools were doing only as well as our religious institutions and houses of worship.

We cannot hope to improve education; we cannot hope to improve the foundation of society, until we stop coercing everyone into the same scholastic mold. If we stop that, then we need to back off the offerings, and especially back off the funding.

Money is not a significant part of the problems we have in education. Freedom is, specifically the lack there of. Standards are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Commonality, mimicry, lack of innovation, and conformity are all parts of the problem. Testing is part of the problem, especially when it is coerced.

Coercion is evil. Stop the coercion, and we can begin to rectify the problems of education.

Of course, parents are the key, as Dr. Bauerlein points out in the link at the top.

I recently saw a quote, and now I cannot find to attribute. So, I acknowledge an outside source for the inspiration, but it seems clear to me that where parenting fails, no other effort, especially no government institution, can make up for it. Parents, you are responsible. Take your responsibility and give it full good-faith effort. You know you love your children; just remember to show it.

Voddie Baucham reminds us that we are silly when we send our children to Caesar and expect them to be something more than debauched Romans.

The best and the worst of our legislators are all Caesar. All of them. We cannot trust them with any aspect of our children, especially education.

For the sake of redundancy, it is not about the money!

http://www.amblesideonline.org/CM/vol2complete.html

If unfamiliar, Ms. Mason was late 19th, early 20th century, and she helped figure out how to educate children. She focused on small “public” schools for lower class families.

I’m considering chapters 5 and 6 at the above reference.

In discussing how to prepare our children for dealing with doubts, she points out that evidences are not proofs.

‘Christian evidences,’ defended by bulwarks of sound dogmatic teaching. Religion without definite dogmatic teaching degenerates into sentiment, but dogma, as dogma, offers no defence against the assaults of unbelief.

I agree with her view that we must teach our children the bible with all the information gained from all sources, and we must be sure to not allow for an impression that any of it is proved. Frankly, there is more evidence refuting this tidbit in the bible or that, than there are evidences confirming most of it. Current archaeological sciences dismiss most of the traditional Israel-story. Archaeologists find nearly no evidence for any of the exodus story, and find lots of evidence supporting a developing culture that took a long time to assert itself among other neighboring cultures.

For instance, it is hard for me to dismiss Moses as the author of most of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, and some other scripture too, but the consensus has fallen not only against the Egypt-Exodus story, but of the existence of Moses or any leader like him. Hmm… Hard to stomach. Good thing my faith is founded deeper than that.

We need to help our children establish their faith deep too.

This is good:

The Outlook upon Current Thought
Let us look at the third course: and first, as regards the outlook upon current thought. Contemporary opinion is the fetish of the young mind. Young people are eager to know what to think on all the serious questions of religion and life. They ask what is the opinion of this and that leading thinker of their day. They by no means confine themselves to such leaders of thought as their parents have elected to follow; on the contrary, the ‘other side’ of every question is the attractive side for them, and they do not choose to be behind the foremost in the race of thought.

Obviously the most important thing to most young people is knowing the current opinion and conforming to it or rejecting it. Dealing with the importance of opinion seems the starting point. I’ve always tried to discuss things with my children. They are partners. I try to work with them on such things. Dictating just doesn’t seem to work.

Free-will In Thought
Now, that their young people should thus take to the water need not come upon parents as a surprise. The whole training from babyhood upward should be in view of this plunge. When the time comes, there is nothing to be done; openly it may be, secretly if the home rule is rigid, the young folk think their own thoughts, that is, they follow the leader they have elected; for they are truly modest and humble at heart, and do not yet venture to think for themselves; only they have transferred their allegiance. Nor is this transfer of allegiance to be resented by parents; we all claim this kind of ‘suffrage’ in our turn when we feel ourselves included in larger interests than those of the family.

Preparation
But there is much to be done beforehand, though nothing when the time comes. The notion that any contemporary authority is infallible may be steadily undermined from infancy onwards, though at some sacrifice or ease and glory to the parents. ‘I don’t know’ must take the place of the vague wise-sounding answer, the random shot which children’s pertinacious questionings too often provoke. And ‘I don’t know’ should be followed by the effort to know, the research necessary to find out. Even then, the possibility of error in a [reference] must occasionally be faced. The results of this kind of training in the way of mental balance and repose are invaluable.

per·ti·na·cious: holding firmly to an opinion or a course of action.

Good stuff. Well said, even if filtering through a century-and-a-half of speech-shift.

John Wayne’s character in Cowboys, said, “I’m proud of ya… All of ya. Every man wants his children to be better’n he was. You are.”

We can’t accomplish that if we don’t let them try. Prepare them best we can, and be there when they need us, once they really don’t need us any more.

Reservation as regards Science
Another safeguard is in the attitude of reservation, shall we say? which it may be well to preserve towards ‘science.’ It is well that the enthusiasm of children should be kindled, that they should see how glorious it is to devote a lifetime to patient research, how great to find out a single secret of Nature, a key to many riddles. The heroes of science should be their heroes; the great names, especially of those who are amongst us, should be household words. But here, again, nice discrimination should be exercised; two points should be kept well to the front––the absolute silence of the oracle on all ultimate questions of origin and life, and the fact that, all along the line, scientific truth comes in like the tide, with steady advance, but with ebb and flow of every wavelet of truth; so much so, that, at the present moment, the teaching of the last twenty years is discredited in at least a dozen departments of science. Indeed, it would seem to be the part of wisdom to wait half a century before fitting the discovery of today into the general scheme of things. And this, not because the latest discovery is not absolutely true, but because we are not yet able so to adjust it––according to the ‘science of the proportion of things’––that it shall be relatively true.

More excellent advice.

Note the silence of the oracle on ultimate questions. Origin and life, well, that is different than the initiation of biological life. It seems the nature of the universe is to build up self-organizing emergent systems. It is hard to argue that biological life is more than that.

Regardless, origins isn’t about how life began, it’s about how everything began. It isn’t turtles all the way down. You have to pick a start. You can’t do that with science. I say there is meaning, or there is not; there is reason, a reason, or there is not. I don’t see it as reasonable to assert there is no such thing as reason.

Time is not much the point. She points out in the next paragraph or so that knowledge is progressive. The more me learn, the more we see there is to learn, and the more we revise what we thought. We all tend to fit everything into our own scheme of things. The objective is to keep making that scheme better and closer to the ultimate, and ultimately unknowable, full truth.

Charlotte Mason goes on to discuss how we need to help our children to consider and judge thoughts. It is important, and it is no trivial task to judge rightly. We need to do it for ourselves as well.

Here is a worthy statement:

There are mistaken parents, ignorant parents, a few indifferent parents; even, as one in a thousand, callous parents; but the good that is done upon the earth is done, under God, by parents, whether directly or indirectly.

and:

Here is a theory which commends itself to many persons because it is ‘so reasonable.’ But it goes upon the assumption that we are ruled by Reason, in infallible entity, which is certain, give it fair play, to bring us to just conclusions. Now the exercise of that function of the mind which we call reasoning––we must decline to speak of ‘the Reason’––does indeed bring us to inevitable conclusions; the process is definite, the result convincing; but whether that result be right or wrong depends altogether upon the initial idea which, when we wish to discredit it, we call a prejudice; when we wish to exalt, we call an intuition, even an inspiration. It would be idle to illustrate this position; the whole history of Error is the history of the logical outcome of what we happily call misconceptions. The history of Persecution is the tale of how the inevitable conclusions arrived at by reasoning pass themselves off for truth. The Event of Calvary was due to no hasty, mad outburst of popular feeling. It was a triumph of reasoning: the inevitable issue of more than one logical sequence; the Crucifixion was not criminal, but altogether laudable, if that is right which is reasonable. And this is why the hearts of religious Jews were hardened and their understanding darkened; they were truly doing what was right in their own eyes. It is a marvellous thing to perceive the thoughts within us driving us forward to an inevitable conclusion, even against our will. How can that conclusion which presents itself to us in spite of ourselves fail to be right?

Pretty much applies.

God save us from Reason, so called.

The key is we humans are not ruled by reason. We are more base. We have thwarted our efforts when we forget to first address our baseness.

My wife asked me to read a bit of Ms. Mason, so we could discuss. I thought to record some thoughts, now to discuss.

 

 

At least the witch-trials will not begin today.

Watts Up With That?

Guest opinion by Ron Arnold

Willie Soon, Ph.D., is an astrophysicist in the Solar, Stellar and Planetary Sciences Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Soon’s career has proven to be a textbook example of speaking truth to power and bravely facing the consequences.

Beginning in 1994, Soon produced an important series of astrophysics papers on the Sun’s impact on Earth’s climate, which received positive discussion in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) second and third assessment reports, released in 1996 and 2001, respectively. Throughout the 1990s, IPCC still acknowledged there were uncertainties about humankind’s potential influence on climate, despite pressure from nongovernmental organizations to find a “smoking gun” in the weak data.

In his 2007 book History of the Science and Politics of Climate Change, Bert Bolin, co-creator and first chairman of IPCC, deplored the denial of uncertainty, writing, “It was non-governmental groups…

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Interesting.

Watts Up With That?

Recently declassified documents on the USS Independence freely available online in the Journal of Maritime Archaeology

The newly declassified images show the World War II aircraft carrier which was one of nearly a hundred ships used as targets in the first tests of the atomic bomb at Bikini Atoll in 1946. Here, Sailors watch the 'Able Test' burst miles out to sea from the deck of the support ship USS Fall River on 1 July 1946. Image: Naval Archives The newly declassified images show the World War II aircraft carrier which was one of nearly a hundred ships used as targets in the first tests of the atomic bomb at Bikini Atoll in 1946. Here, Sailors watch the ‘Able Test’ burst miles out to sea from the deck of the support ship USS Fall River on 1 July 1946. Image: Naval Archives

The April issue of Springer’s Journal of Maritime Archaeology (JMA) focuses on a single shipwreck as the lens through which maritime archaeology assesses the advent of the Atomic Age and the Cold War. The wreck is the World War II veteran aircraft carrier USS Independence, which was one of nearly a hundred ships used as targets in the first tests of the atomic bomb at Bikini Atoll in the summer of…

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We must consider the big picture, thousands, ten-of-thousands, of years. Then things are easier to sort out.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

In this age of specialization, it is very difficult for scientists to integrate information and create a wider cross-discipline understanding of how the Earth works. Three scientists, Alfred Wegener, Milutin Milankovitch, and Vladimir Köppen, had such abilities and their work profoundly impacted our view and understanding of the world and climate. Sadly, because of the glorification of specialization and denigration of generalization, and control of knowledge and education by the government they are little known or understood today. As always happens with a history they are accused of saying things they never said, or not saying things they did say. It is why in all my classes students were required to go back to the source and not perpetuate the practice of what I call “carping on carping.”

Assignment of the three to the arcane backwaters of the history of science and climate reflects the…

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Government persecution worthy of the worst totalitarian regimes, unbecoming of the USA.

Watts Up With That?

exxon_tiger

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Exxon has just challenged attempts by Al Gore’s climate witch hunt to “investigate” them, by demanding to know what crime they are supposed to have committed.

Exxon Fires Back at Climate-Change Probe

Argues subpoena represents unwarranted fishing expedition into its records that violates its constitutional rights

Exxon Mobil Corp. went to court Wednesday to challenge a government investigation of whether the company conspired to cover up its understanding of climate change, a sign the energy company is gearing up for a drawn-out legal battle with environmentalists and officials on the politically charged issue.

The company filed court papers in Texas seeking to block a subpoena issued in March by the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, one of several government officials pursuing Exxon. Wednesday’s filing argues that the subpoena is an unwarranted fishing expedition into Exxon’s internal records that violates its constitutional rights.

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Ooo, so awesome!

Watts Up With That?

This computer-simulated image shows a supermassive black hole at the core of a galaxy. The black region in the center represents the black hole's event horizon, where no light can escape the massive object's gravitational grip. The black hole's powerful gravity distorts space around it like a funhouse mirror. Light from background stars is stretched and smeared as the stars skim by the black hole. CREDIT Credits: NASA, ESA, and D. Coe, J. Anderson, and R. van der Marel (STScI) This computer-simulated image shows a supermassive black hole at the core of a galaxy. The black region in the center represents the black hole’s event horizon, where no light can escape the massive object’s gravitational grip. The black hole’s powerful gravity distorts space around it like a funhouse mirror. Light from background stars is stretched and smeared as the stars skim by the black hole. Credits: NASA, ESA, and D. Coe, J. Anderson, and R. van der Marel (STScI)

From NASA Goddard:

Behemoth black hole found in an unlikely place

Astronomers have uncovered a near-record breaking supermassive black hole, weighing 17 billion suns, in an unlikely place: in the center of a galaxy in a sparsely populated area of the universe. The observations, made by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Telescope in Hawaii, may indicate that these monster objects may be more common than once thought.

Until now, the…

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Speak up.

Contact senators and representatives!

They are coming, and they will not stop until there is no one left to speak up.

Watts Up With That?

CEI-logo

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has just been subpoenaed, as part of Al Gore’s Climate Witch hunt. This is a move which so blatantly reeks of McCarthyite abuse of power, even some proponents of climate action are horrified at the attack on freedom which this subpoena represents.

The following is the statement of the Competitive Enterprise Institute;

CEI Fights Subpoena to Silence Debate on Climate Change

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) today denounced a subpoena from Attorney General Claude E. Walker of the U.S. Virgin Islands that attempts to unearth a decade of the organization’s materials and work on climate change policy. This is the latest effort in an intimidation campaign to criminalize speech and research on the climate debate, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and former Vice President Al Gore.

“CEI will vigorously fight to quash this subpoena. It…

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Skeptical. Hardly room for hope.

I see nothing changing here. If the basics of it started in 1977, and Nobel saw it as established enough to award in 2000, 2016 does seem a long time coming. Especially since a quick internet search reveals nothing promising, especially nothing concrete.

Besides, a battery twice as good and half as expensive (which seems overly optimistic in this case), won’t change the game. It will make the procedures rich, but phones that last two days instead of one and weigh a few grams less is changing nothing. Same for computers. A ten-hour laptop will sell, but nothing has changed.

Cars? I just don’t see a new, unproven battery technology starting in cars, unless maybe Elon is betting the farm on it. If so, he and the battery folks will lose. It is a bad bet.

And stationary industrial applications? Heck, that is hard with proven technology. And weight is not a factor. If cost is truly cheaper, eventually it will take hold, but Edison couldn’t improve on lead-acid significantly, and no one has done it yet. For transportation and industrial energy storage, lead-acid rules. It doesn’t seem likely to change until a better, cheaper battery is proved for many years, in many applications.

Starting a new-technology battery in transportation and grid-scale applications seems impossible, truly insurmountable.

Start small, prove it, and then grow.

This battery promise may prove beneficial, but it is far from game changing.

Game changing batteries will be 100 times better at comparable costs.

Until then, we burn carbon-based fuels in vehicles and power plants, with nuclear fission taking over within a few decades.

I’ll close commenting on wind power: Industrial fans are a fad. They won’t work if batteries prove trivial in cost and simple in engineering with currently unimaginable advances. Windmills just do not work. They are too hard to deal with just as a rotating mechanism, and complicate that with constantly varying winds. They will never work. Wind will never supply a significant portion of society’s energy needs. Never.

Winds blow, but windmills suck.

Over and over for over 3,000 years, we have abandoned windmills. We will this time too, and who do we think will clean up the mess?

Watts Up With That?

Lighter Cheaper More Powerful Battery Changes Renewable Economics
Guest essay by Roger E. Sowell, Esq. Marina del Rey, California

It is not often on SLB that I use the phrase “game-changer.”  Most things progress, if they progress at all, in small increments.  This time, though, is one of those that deserves the phrase game-changer.

The innovation is the low-cost, light-weight but powerful battery developed by Nobel prize-winner Alan Heeger, PhD of the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB).  The company is Biosolar .  see link to http://www.biosolar.com

The battery is suitable for mobile and stationary applications such as cars, trucks, grid stabilization, home power storage, and others.   The innovation is the use of the Nobel prize-winning plastic-that-acts-like-a-metal, haologenated polyacetylene.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2000: Conductive Polymers (see link) is lengthy but has this to say about the discovery:

” In 1977, however, Shirakawa, MacDiarmid and Heeger…

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Truth, worthy of acceptance.

Pointman's

Science and sensibility.

In the ordinary way of things, I steer clear of the science debates over global warming. I served my time in those trenches many years ago and though it’s an important part of the overall push back, I concluded I could be of more use elsewhere and in different and perhaps less virtuous ways. However, I do keep an eye on the topical issues by lightly following a few sciency blogs and the twitter feeds of people evenly placed along the way stations to climate skepticism.

It’s just passive sigint, something I monitor. I never get involved and just leave them to handbag away at each other. It gets a tad bitchy at times but mostly they all seem to be enjoying themselves in a dry academic sense and on occasion it’s not a bad spectator sport. It keeps them off the streets and out of trouble, I suppose.

One of the…

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