Tuesday, November 27, 2007

LAT Goes After Global Warming With Fly Swatter

In another of those long, turgid editorials so beloved by the mainstream media, the Los Angeles Times editorial page Monday went after global warming with a fly swatter.

In an editorial that ran all the way down the page in two columns, the editorial writers never mentioned nuclear power as a means of stemming warming, and they ignored proposals for dramatic new space technologies that could also curtail it. Instead, these ineffective liberals suggested various energy-saving innovations, such as more efficient refrigerators, that could reduce the rate of the growth of the warming a little, but could not halt it. While the L.A. Times wants to introduce privation to the American consumer, and higher costs, India, China and other developing nations are raising their energy consumption dramatically every day, adding constantly to the problem.

The L.A. Times did not go so far as the couple in New York City who have vowed to fight global warming (saving the forest) by going a whole year without using toilet paper, as reported in Time magazine this week. That is a course which, if followed widely, would undoubtedly lead to widespread cholera outbreaks in the United States.

But the Times editorial was pretty useless. It talks of carbon credits and new building standards (which have already been vetoed by that phony environmentalist, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, by the way). But it passes completely on the more fundamental changes and inventions which will be necessary if the world is not to become a hothouse, eventually something like Venus perhaps.

What this amounts to is a prescription for surrender to the elements. The Times editorial writers thoroughly believe in surrender. They want to give in to Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and now they want to use a number of inconsequential palliatives with global warming.

Just by coincidence, CNN ran a long report yesterday on the Chinese space effort which mentioned prominently that the Chinese envision mining helium-3 on the moon and bringing it to earth for fusion that could supply the Earth with a virtually limitless supply of electric power without the fossil fuel burning that generates a large part of the warming. According to these thoughts (plan as yet is too strong a term), it would take the transport of just four tons of the material to supply all the power needs of the U.S. for a year, which could be mined and brought back in just two shuttles. In other words, getting it here will be well within our technological capability within 20 years, (although the fusion process, again let me emphasize, still must be developed).

Helium-3, according to the CNN article, originated from the sun and was deposited in the moon's soil by the solar wind. "It is estimated there are up to two million tons on the moon, and virtually none on Earth," says the article by John Vause.

We are just at the start of such developments, but the potential importance is obvious, and unlike the energy "savings," or actually a smaller rate of carbon growth, advocated by the Times in its editorial, they show promise of actually reversing current ominous global warming trends.

They would not only not be fission, which the Times is deathly scared of, but fusion, which might be better, certainly more powerful, and perhaps safer. But one thing we should be aware of is that it is quite possible there is no 100% safe means of protecting the present climate, including the ice in the Arctic and Antarctic so essential to maintaining present sea levels.

The Chinese, in short, are truly looking ahead, the space program to them is more than just breast-beating, while in this country we have too many people like the editorial writers of the L.A. Times who remain mired in the past without vision of what space can mean.

The New York Times has also discussed in its science section the possibility of putting up huge screens around the earth which could deflect some of the sun's heat on an intricately calculated basis. The L.A. Times doesn't have a science section.

Sure, this all sounds exotic, but what would the naysayers at the Times have said in 1881, when the paper was founded, had anyone suggested Los Angeles would not only have millions of people, but millions of motor vehicles, great airports, the Internet, television and so on just 125 years later. Technology is moving so quickly that there may only be more strikingly fundamental changes ahead.

They have no such vision at the L.A. Times. No wonder, under Tribune Co. control, the paper has been on a downward spiral, and never any more so than on the editorial pages. Of course, I personally like these people, like one likes small children. Their brains aren't fully developed yet. They don't have the vision Dorothy Chandler had, when she led the way toward fighting smog in 1947.


The Tribune Co. reports revenue was down 9.3% in October, another dismal performance. Publishing revenue was down 7.9%, from $311 million to $287 million. It is another demonstration that CEO Dennis FitzSimons is an incompetent and ought to be replaced, along with such major appointments as L.A. Times publisher David Hiller.



Blogger M. Simon said...

He3 is a stupid idea except for space travel.

Plus since there is a Deuterium/He3 mixture proposed for the reactor you will get D-D reactions which produce copious neutrons.

Here is a better idea:

Bussard Fusion Reactor
Easy Low Cost No Radiation Fusion

It has been funded:

Bussard Reactor Funded

The above reactor can burn Deuterium which is very abundant and produces lots of neutrons or it can burn a mixture of Hydrogen and Boron 11 which does not.

The implication of it is that we will know in 6 to 9 months if the small reactors of that design are feasible.

If they are we could have fusion plants generating electricity in 10 years or less depending on how much we want to spend to compress the time frame. A much better investment than the CO2 sequestration.

BTW Bussard is not the only thing going on in IEC. There are a few government programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory, MIT, the University of Wisconsin and at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana among others.

The Japanese and Australians also have programs.

11/28/2007 11:27 AM  

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