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Reality overwhelms alarmism. For better or worse, we are going to continue to burn everything that will burn until we are generating more electricity than we need (globally) from nuclear energy. Deride the third-leg of the stool of life all you want. It will continue in spite of you. (Life depends on water, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. Without one, all life on earth dies. CO2 is by far the least destructive of these three absolutely essential ingredients of life.)

Source: Developing nations surging energy use shatters UN & California’s climate alarmism crusade | Watts Up With That?

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Freedom triumphs over coercion.

If we view children as anything other than their own, we do err and commit grievous offense against them. Children are not our future. They are our present partners. Children are not our future workforce. They are their own. Your desires for their education and training may be good for you, yet counter to their own self and well being.

Government always moves to coerce and impose, falling to force over the least resistance. “Send the guys with guns!” they cry. Coercion is evil. Being afraid of how a child might use guided freedom is a sin. We owe our children more confidence. They have to learn for themselves anyway. Our efforts are mostly futile until they do it on their own.

Source: Freedom Triumphs Over Coercion | Cato Unbound

 

https://www.cato-unbound.org/2019/07/08/kerry-mcdonald/unschooling-shifting-force-freedom-education

 

This morning, we sang a hymn.

For some background, https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-this-is-my-song

For the beauty; watch. This one is not just for listening. Trust me, you will be glad you took the time and watched. Jean Sibelius – Finlandia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5zg_af9b8c

In school orchestra, we played that. (I was a second violin.)

A simple rendition of the hymn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToddeYDefSE

The hymn:

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine;
this is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine:
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;
but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine:
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a prayer that peace transcends in every place;
and yet I pray for my beloved country —
the reassurance of continued grace:
Lord, help us find our one-ness in the Savior,
in spite of differences of age and race.

May truth and freedom come to every nation;
may peace abound where strife has raged so long;
that each may seek to love and build together,
a world united, righting every wrong;
a world united in its love for freedom,
proclaiming peace together in one song.

This is my prayer, O Lord of all earth’s kingdoms,
thy kingdom come, on earth, thy will be done;
let Christ be lifted up ’til all shall serve him,
and hearts united, learn to live as one:
O hear my prayer, thou God of all the nations,
myself I give thee — let thy will be done.

From http://prometheusli.com/musings/a_song_of_peace.htm

More beauty (and a different lyric), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p_Js05AA54

For good measure, another one to watch and enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lCnguTtsSQ Polytech Male Choir and the Helsinki Philharmonic

Worth something? It was to me.

Source: Apollo 11 in Real Time

I assume this will work from here. I assume it will be available for some time to come. Too cool.

Source: Losing the Class – The American Mind

Interesting read, speaking to the depths.

The current system is a dried-out tinder box.

Living the Truth

Humans need a few things to survive—air and water, food, shelter and sleep, for instance—and a few more things to thrive: companionship, pleasure, purpose, health and a little money come to mind, maybe also wisdom and beauty. This latter list is somewhat negotiable, at least for a time. We can think of times and places where one or another thing was in short supply. But long-term spiritual sustainability is another matter. Dostoevsky once defined a human as “the animal who can get used to anything,” and while I’m loath to disagree much with the author of The Brothers Karamazov, subsequent Russian history suggests that this adjustability has its limits.

Without air, a few minutes, without water, a few days, without food, a few weeks, without shelter, well, it depends on the weather, but maybe a few months, and sleep, well, it is scary to contemplate.

We need these things, but the others are more important to living life. We have spiritual needs. We die, even if we keep breathing, without spiritual sustenance.

Mr. Corbin picks “living in truth” to elaborate on. Not telling lies is easy if one practices. Telling the truth requires courage. It also requires humility to know one might be wrong. Still, it is our duty as honest individuals to stand against what we know is wrong.

 

Source: atomicarchive.com: Exploring the History, Science, and Consequences of the Atomic Bomb

Treasure trove.

Source: Los Alamos: Beginning of an era | The Manhattan Project | Historical Documents | atomicarchive.com

Ready reference.

At present, electric aircraft are nonsense.

Electric cars are better than petrol cars. However, for travel, gasoline allows us to drive for the duration of the bladder, perhaps four hours for a conscientious and deliberate driver, and then after a few minutes for relief, a snack, and a full fuel tank, one can do it again, and again, even more with multiple drivers. Not so electrics. Further, we must fill the fuel tank every few hours of driving, 10 minutes once per week for most of us. On the other hand, electric cars need to be charged at any significant stop. For a 25 minute commute to work, one must recharge every evening. There are engineering solutions, but they are expensive.

I expect cars will transition to electric over a few decades, perhaps 25 years, as soon as autonomous vehicles and traffic ways become common. Electric aircraft would probably join the municipal fleets, but flights requiring over a few minutes of air time are unlikely in any foreseeable future period.

The key to my supposition is interchangeability. Autonomous vehicles will be able to stop and transfer us to a freshly charged vehicle at typical rest/relief intervals. Not so with aircraft. As described in the article, we need batteries 50 times better if we expect to do the things imagined. For aircraft, practical is probably 100 times better, and lighter. Note the 1500 tonnes of batteries he suggests. For most commercial aircraft, take-off weight is less than 500 tonnes. That is the maximum weight for the aircraft, with passengers and cargo. It is simply not possible from an engineering or economic perspective. We will be flying with petroleum liquids for decades to come.

Source: The 4th Generation | Challenges of Electrified Aviation

I assert wind power is a scam and solar has its place, which isn’t on the grid. However, it is worse than that. Wind doesn’t stand a chance without finance shenanigans played with tax credits and mastered by the Wizard of Omaha. (Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!)

The article clearly explains a recent example. It is a scam, and the media have bought into it hook, line, and sinker.

Source: “New Solar + Battery Price Crushes Fossil Fuels, Buries Nuclear” Until You Do the Math | Watts Up With That?

You have to be a monster more vile than Thanos to try to impose “green.” We will burn fossil fuels until we go nuclear because most people just aren’t that evil. Wind and solar are causing grave harm. More wind, more solar, more “green” policies and taxes, more harm. Are you proud to cause harm to your neighbor? Can you live with yourself for depriving the least among us?

 

Bastiat served the last two years of his life in France’s Constituent and Legislative Assemblies, where he worked tirelessly to convince fellow members of the merits of freedom and free markets. They proved to be his toughest audience. Most were far more interested in selfish and ephemeral satisfactions (such as power, money, reelection, and the dispensing of favors to friends) than in eternal truths.

He could be devilishly brilliant in his denunciations of his colleagues with political power who presumed to plan the control the lives of others, as in this admonition:

Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don’t you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough.

Or in this one, my personal favorite:

If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?

Bastiat, worth keeping.

Source: Frédéric Bastiat: Liberty’s Masterful Storyteller – Foundation for Economic Education

Bastiat thought the modern bureaucratic and regulatory State of his day was based on a mixture of outright violence and coercion on the one hand, and trickery and fallacies (sophisms) on the other. The violence and coercion came from the taxes, tariffs, and regulations, which were imposed on taxpayers, traders, and producers; the ideological dimension that maintained the current class of plunderers came from a new set of “political” and “economic sophisms” that confused, misled, and tricked a new generation of “dupes” into supporting the system. The science of political economy, according to Bastiat, was to be the means by which the economic sophisms of the present would be exposed, rebutted, and finally overturned, thus depriving the current plundering class of its livelihood and power.

Sadly true in 1850, it is still true, even more so. Can science and wisdom free us from the current plundering class (which includes the young Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was tending bar (with a degree from Boston College) when she ran for Congress; how long before she is a US-1%er)?

I don’t think there is enough wisdom. Some blame schools. I blame government (which runs the schools, partly with the intent to make conformist, rulable voters).

Fundamentally a law is the threat to send guys with guns if you act in disharmony with the law. All laws are coercive. Coercion is evil. Therefore, the only rational justification for a law is that it is preventing a far graver evil. Coercing children to government schools (or indoctrination centers, or prisons) is evil and unjustifiable. Schooling thwarts learning. Children will learn if we let them. Compulsory government schooling is thus doubly evil.

What will free us from the state is technology. Technology will provide a more secure means for protecting individual freedoms, and when that is attainable by the majority, “majority rule” will be no more.

Source: Frédéric Bastiat: Liberty’s Masterful Storyteller – Foundation for Economic Education

 

It would seem phys.org deals in magic now. https://phys.org/news/2019-05-machine-lithium-fusion-earth.html The article deals deceptively with fusion energy production by the D-T reaction. Nothing can protect materials from 14-MeV neutrons, not even magic. I commend the folks at PPPL, but this article, no.

This experiment looks mostly like wasted government money, but the PPPL folks are good at making lemonade from lemons. Perhaps we will advance science in spite of wasteful government grants and bad science writing.

So far, only D-T fusion looks doable. While there is ample deuterium readily available to assert inexhaustibility, there is zero tritium. That is, tritium is already exhausted. We have to make it, and we make it from lithium. Lithium is obviously plentiful now since we use it in so many ways, but it is limited. We likely can use it for several centuries, but it is exhaustible. https://en.wikipedia.org/…/Abundance_of_elements_in_Earth%2… (We make more arsenic than lithium, and lithium is 13 times more abundant. It is unlikely to be limiting.)

Lithium is useful inside the vacuum chamber for the fusion. (Yes, the plasma for fusion is in a vacuum chamber. There is almost nothing inside the volume of a tokamak except a very few atoms of superheated deuterium and tritium, close to zero psi. https://www.iter.org/ ) During D-T fusion, four of the five nucleons fuse to form helium, and the fifth careens off with enough energy to smash through several atoms in a solid lattice. It is a nanocannonball vaporizing a nanosized jet of material in whatever it hits. It damages the material cumulatively. Lithium on the interior surface will take some of the hits, and since it has no mechanical duties, it can take the damage, and it will absorb some of the neutrons and produce tritium, replenishing the supply for further fusion. So, good to go, but maintaining heat and protecting the walls is trivial. Plasma flares and 14-MeV neutrons make the materials problems more wicked than the physics problems. The engineers will get it to work, but these are not yet economically solvable problems. ITER will help, so will LTX-β, but we must do fission first. Our grandchildren are depending on us.

Opposing nuclear fission power production is the gravest sin of our generation. The longer it takes for nuclear power production to dominate our energy needs, the longer we prolong unnecessary human suffering and degradation to our environment and all living things.

Nuclear now, no delay.

I started reading the article here, https://nei.org/news/2019/viewers-guide-to-hbo-miniseries-chernobyl, A Viewer’s Guide to HBO’s Chernobyl Miniseries. A few comments are in order.

I fully support the first few paragraphs. Then the author , Matt Wald, seems to go overboard on simplification. Overall good job, but Wald didn’t take the pains necessary to keep things accurate.

The lead up to the accident includes many tedious details. Authors are justified in oversimplifying the preliminaries. However, “The reactor was designed in classic Soviet fashion: gigantic, cheap and unsophisticated,” is simplistic and inaccurate. It gives the wrong impressions.

In the early days, several reactor designs were put forth. Only one of those early designs was inherently stable. All nuclear reactors put into operation were based on the stable designed except the Chernobyl-type reactors, which only the Soviets built. While I suspect Mr. Wald could defend most every point and simplification in his article, I don’t like dismissing Soviet engineering. Obviously, Soviet priorities depreciated safety, but we err when we discount the professionalism of the engineers. My point in writing here is to object to implying engineers were unsophisticated. Engineers innately understand people’s lives depend on their work. Decent engineers never take that fact lightly.

I’ll be making this post tedious by addressing the NEI post line by line, but that is why I’m writing.

The reactor was in a containment building, but it was hardly like western designs. Mr. Wald is right in pointing out most containment structures are designed to be even airtight. Nuclear power containment structures are typically designed to be impervious and impregnable, even to deliberate attack. The Chernobyl building lacked improvements intended to withstand most any scenario.

Graphite is practically charcoal. Does anyone need me to point out that charcoal is flammable? Graphite bricks, hand stacked, were how the researchers built the first nuclear reactor, well, first manmade sustained fission chain reaction, in a basement at the University of Chicago during the Manhattan Project. It is correct to point out that graphite is good and safe in most conditions. Using graphite inevitably provides fuel for fire. High-temperature power production leaves only oxygen wanting. That is, if the provisions for keeping oxygen from reaching the graphite are compromised, an enduring fire will result. Most of the injuries and deaths at Chernobyl in 1986 were from the fire.

“Workers and lower-level managers were afraid to raise objections when they saw something wrong. And, the accident occurred when an electrical engineer was running an unauthorized, unanalyzed and unsupervised experiment on the reactor.” True enough, but it leaves out very important details. Politics and bureaucratic clout were the keys. There were expectations to meet and VIPs to impress. My information isn’t thorough and suffers from passage of years, but the unwise “test” was driven by hubris in the high officials and fear in the operators. Operators had families to feed, and none of them were eager to violate safety or other protocols, but in the old Soviet system, speaking up could result in transfer to the Gulag.

The politics and bureaucratic control were probably as bad as could be imagined, but “denial” had nothing to do with it, and I don’t appreciate the swipe at climate realists. If you fear CO2, you have an obvious and excellent fix, nuclear.

I’m not sure what Ward means when he describes the steam explosion as unprecedented. The unwise “test” of the reactor set several problems in motion that resulted in an extreme increase in power generation within the reactor, and the high pressure water was heated well above the boiling point, even for those pressures, and initial boiling led to increases of power production, and extreme overheat and overpressurization became inevitable. The explosion was just steam, but anyone with boiler experience can vouch for the power potential. Again, the reactor design is unique, and other nuclear reactors cannot set up runaway heating. If unprecedented meant no other steam explosion had been driven by such an energetic heat source, okay, but without checking, I expect there have been worse steam explosions. I do suppose there hasn’t been a steam explosion with more energy, more Btu or J output.

I only just found this, https://chnpp.gov.ua/ua/home. It looks like an excellent source. I notice this https://chnpp.gov.ua/ua/about/labour-glory/heroi-likvidatory I prefer to think of those who sacrificed as heroes.

Regarding the immediate deaths, I reiterate the primary factor was fire. There were survivors of astonishing dose (without burns from the fires). Our regulations are based on overly conservative estimates based on our only actual extreme radiation event, the atomic bombs ending WWII. Since, we have learned better, but our fear of radiation remains irrational and driven by factors other than health and safety.

The Soviets have much blame, even shame, in the handling of the accident, but their medical personnel proved their worth. Many medical reports assumed radiation or other accident factors that were not warranted. Their paperwork and records were lacking, to say the least, but those medical personnel never shirked their duty. The did all they could and then some, and they were trained and ready because nuclear war was still a significant fear there.

I second Mr. Ward’s assertions that nothing like Chernobyl can happen in the US. His explanation is solid.

Overall, Mr. Ward presented a good article, but there are vast amounts of data on the subject, and simplifications are necessary but generally overdone.

In closing, I’ll point out how electrical power has vastly improved living conditions in the world. The biggest factor in remaining poverty is lack of reliable electricity. There is only one “scare” I allow for in electrical power, and that is the potential harm that will result for not having it. The other problems of electrical power generation are trivial compared to having no power at all. Pollution is a significant problem, but even those harmed live better, fuller lives before pollution mattered to them.

One can call me names, and one can pretend my credentials aren’t adequate, but it isn’t my opinion and expertise that matters. Physics matters. Whether this or that result might occur is nothing compared to what does occur, what has occured. Politics driving taxes and coercive programs has always caused harm. Weather has always changed. Review of the data clear shows all aspects of weather and effects resulting from it are stable or improving. None are worsening.

The overarching fact is we must have electricity. All the people of earth need ever increasing electrical power production. The only reasonable means of generating all the power our billions of neighbors need is nuclear. We have done it safely for generations. We must acknowledge its supremacy and build out. We will burn everything we can for fuel until we no longer need to. We will need to until we have more than enough atomic power. That is the fact.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_Nuclear_Power_Plant

It was reported that our current Congressional clown is advocating for pay raises for herself and fellow congress-critters. The assertion is it would reduce the tendency to corruption and bribes. Of course, the obvious reason is she wants more money for herself.

Regardless of her motive, the assertion that increasing the salaries of public officials will counter corruption is like saying Lori Loughlin wouldn’t have committed fraud and bribed officials if she’d been a little more rich and famous. (I mean, her 19-yo daughter’s net worth is only estimated at $400k; it’s not like she’s a millionaire or anything. /sarc)

Power corrupts. Money can sometimes provide power, especially for those who are already powerful.

It struck me that the author of the article I happened upon uncritically claimed “studies show” higher salaries reduce corruption. The notion is absurd on its face. We all have firsthand experience of money worsening bad people. Corruption is innate. Empowering further cannot have results that are good.

Here is the result of a moment of research: http://cega.berkeley.edu/assets/miscellaneous_files/118_-_Opoku-Agyemang_Ghana_Police_Corruption_paper_revised_v3.pdf

It concludes increase the salaries of the police increased their level of graft. Power corrupts.

Given my revulsion by the idea, I trust you will forgive that my research was limited. I googled “raising politicians salary reduces corruption” and found only negatives. Higher salaries do not reduce corruption.

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