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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rapid star formation began a mere two billion years after the Big Bang. That’s a full one billion years earlier than the previous estimate. One of the galaxies discovered was already in existence a mere one billion years after the birth of the universe, its light travelling the length of the cosmos since that time. Interestingly, the astronomers also detected water molecules in the same galaxy, which now makes it the earliest observation of water ever made.




The great test tube in the sky
Space is one big chemistry set

Mar 16th 2013 |From the print edition


MOST people think of the empty space between the stars as being, well, empty. But it is not. It is actually filled with gas. Admittedly, at an average density of 100-1,000 molecules per cubic centimetre (compared with 100 billion billion in air at sea level), it is a pretty thin gas. But space is big, so altogether there is quite a lot of it.
Most of it, about 92%, is hydrogen. A further 8% is helium, which is chemically inert. But a tiny fraction—less than one-tenth of a percent—consists of molecules with other elements, such as oxygen, carbon and nitrogen, in them. Though these other elements are a mere soup├žon of the interstellar soup, they do give it real flavour.
Signs of life
So far about 180 types of these molecular ingredients have been detected in space from their microwave spectra—the energy produced when molecules rotate around their chemical bonds. There are two reasons for wanting to study them. One is that these molecules are probably the precursors of life. The other is that the rarefied nature of astrochemistry changes the way processes work. It means the individual steps in chemical reactions can be disentangled from one another in a way that is hard—and sometimes impossible—on Earth. And it allows reactions to happen that are unknown on Earth.
Now the astrochemists have a new tool: the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) in northern Chile. It was officially opened on March 13th but has already been making discoveries, including the most intense bursts of star birth in the early universe. ALMA consists of 66 dishes and is the world’s most powerful radio telescope. At a cost of $1.3 billion it should provide a hundredfold increase in sensitivity and resolution over the best older instruments.
Those older telescopes had to focus on nebulae, where the interstellar gas is most concentrated (a familiar one, visible through binoculars, is the gas cloud around the stars that make up Orion’s sword). And older telescopes can detect only strong, simple signals of the sort emitted by small molecules like carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, which have two and three atoms respectively. Spotting more complex substances was almost impossible because their rotational energy is scattered by their numerous bonds across a wide range of frequencies.
ALMA, by contrast, can detect such things routinely. It has already identified glycolaldehyde and acetone, molecules that have eight and ten atoms respectively. In particular, ALMA’s masters, a consortium of research agencies from Canada, Chile, Europe, Japan, Taiwan and the United States, hope to find simple sugars and organic acids—molecules most researchers in the field believe were needed to get life going on Earth.
The ability to study chemical reactions stage by stage will be equally important. High-school chemistry lessons, with their neat equations transforming, say, 2H₂ + O₂ into 2H₂O, miss out a plethora of intermediate steps such as (in this case) the formation of hydroxyl, OH. In a lab, these intermediates are often too short-lived to be detectable. But in space an intermediate may hang around a long time before it encounters its partner in the next stage of a reaction. ALMA can see the microwave traces of such intermediates, and thus gain a better understanding of them.
There are also completely new reactions to discover. Anthony Remijan, of America’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory, who is one of the astronomers putting ALMA through its paces, is studying the formation of methyl formate, a compound widely used on Earth in applications from insulation to insecticides. Usually it is synthesised either from methanol and formic acid, or methanol and carbon monoxide. But there is, in theory, a third route that uses formic acid and an unstable substance made from methanol and hydrogen. This has not been seen in an Earthly laboratory, but Dr Remijan thinks it is an important pathway in space, and ALMA should soon tell him if he is right.
Probably, that particular discovery will have no practical consequences. The known syntheses are effective, and methyl formate is already cheap. But it will prove a principle about using the cosmos as a chemistry laboratory, and the hope is that similar findings about other molecules that are harder to make may allow chemical engineers at home to reformulate their processes. If that happens, the test tube in the sky really will have proved its worth.

133 comments:

  1. The implications for the existence of life in time and in place are immense. The consequences to the meaning of an individual life is even more so.

    Science is so much more interesting than religion yet religion is far more consequential and damaging as well as an impediment to human progress.

    Still, the study of religion causes us to think and thinking has its own set of consequences, many unpredictable and in this case advances the understanding of who and what we are.

    Gas!

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  2. You hear a lot about the politicization of science, but the real problem is the moralization of science.

    The New York University psychologist Jonathan Haidt has made a compelling case that moral differences drive partisan debates over scientific issues. Dan Kahan and others at the Yale Cultural Cognition Project have identified cultural differences that bias how people assimilate information. Together, Haidt and Kahan’s research suggests that what you believe about a scientific debate signals to like-minded people that you are on their side and are therefore a good and trustworthy person. Unfortunately, this means that the factual accuracy of beliefs is somewhat incidental to the process of moral signaling.

    For an illustration, consider a recent skirmish between Skeptic editor Michael Shermer and Mother Jones writer Chris Mooney. Shermer, whose political views lean toward libertarianism, wrote a column for Scientific American titled “The Liberal War on Science,” noting the left’s tendency to deny human cognitive evolution and the safety of biotech crops and nuclear power. Mooney, author of a book called The Republican War on Science, retorted with a story headlined “There is No Such Thing as a Liberal War on Science.” The right’s denial of evolutionary biology and man-made global warming, Mooney argued, are much more consequential for public policy. While acknowledging that a substantial percentage of Democrats don’t believe in human evolution or man-made global warming either, Mooney took comfort in the fact that “considerably fewer Democrats than Republicans get the science wrong on these issues.”


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  3. {…}

    Kahan identifies the ideological left as people who tend to have egalitarian or communitarian views. Egalitarians want to reduce disparities between people, and communitarians believe that society is obliged to take care of everyone. People holding these cultural values are naturally biased toward collective action to address inequality and the lack of solidarity. When the results of scientific research are perceived to perturb those values, it should be no surprise that left-leaners have a greater tendency to moralize them, to favor government intervention to control them, and to disdain conservatives who resist liberal moralizing.

    Haidt’s moral survey data suggests that ideological conservatives have a greater tendency to moralize about purity and sanctity than do liberals. This may be so, but it’s pretty clear that liberals are not immune from concerns about purity and sanctity. While conservatives moralize about the purity and sanctity of sex and reproduction, liberals fret about the moral purity of foods and the sanctity of the natural world.

    One particularly powerful moralizing tool that is chiefly deployed by progressives is the precautionary principle. Mooney blandly writes that this “is not an anti-science view, it is a policy view about how to minimize risk.” Beliefs about how much risk people should allowed to take or to be exposed to are moral views. In fact, as Kahan and his colleagues have shown, the strong urge to avoid scientific and technological risk is far more characteristic of people who have egalitarian and communitarian values. The precautionary principle is not a neutral risk analysis tool; it is an embodiment of left-leaning moral values.


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  4. Let’s look at what scientific research says—and does not say—about the moralized issues of climate change, biological evolution, nuclear power, genetically modified crops, exposure to synthetic chemicals, concealed carry of guns, vaccines, video games, fracking, organic foods, and sex education. I chose this list largely because I could find relevant ideological polling data and majority scientific opinions. Applying Mooney’s standard of seeing whether fewer of one ideological tendency gets the science wrong, we find that Democrats are less wrong on four issues, Republicans are less wrong on six, and the parties are tied on one.

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  5. {…}
    Climate change: The majority of climate scientists believe that human activity is causing the earth’s temperatures to increase. A recent Pew Research poll found that two-thirds of Americans also believe that the earth is warming. But a deep partisan divide yawns between conservatives and liberals on the cause of the warming: Only 16 percent of conservative Republicans believe that human activity is responsible, whereas 77 percent of liberal Democrats do. Moderate Republicans and Democrats accept human responsibility by 38 and 51 percent, respectively. Advantage: Democrats.

    Evolution: Both Shermer and Mooney cite a 2012 Gallup Poll that found that 46 percent of Americans are young Earth creationists—that is, believe that God created humans beings in their present form within the past 10,000 years. These constitute 41 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of Republicans. Adding those partisans of both parties who are intelligent design creationists, i.e., believe that God guided the process of evolution, the poll shows 73 percent of Democrats and 89 percent of Republicans holding creationist beliefs. In fact, 78 percent of Americans are either young Earth or intelligent design creationists. A 2009 Pew Research poll produced numbers that were lower but still high, showing that 52 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of Republicans can be counted as either intelligent design or young Earth creationists.

    The Pew Research poll also reported that 87 percent of scientists believe that humans evolved through entirely natural processes, whereas only 8 percent thought that God guided the process. Advantage: Democrats.

    Nuclear power: A 2012 Gallup Poll found that 72 percent of Republican think that nuclear power is generally safe, compared to just 45 percent of Democrats. Given these views, is it not surprising that 64 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of Democrats favored expanding this source of carbon-free energy. A 2009 Pew Research poll reported that 70 percent of scientists favored building more nuclear power plants. Although it seems unlikely that scientists would favor nuclear power if they thought it unsafe, perhaps the Pew poll is measuring cost/benefit views rather than safety views. I have not been able to uncover recent surveys of expert opinion with regard to the safety of nuclear power plants, but in a survey done more than a year after the Three Mile Island nuclear plant meltdown, 90 percent of the scientists surveyed said the nuclear power should proceed. A 1986 poll of radiation health scientists reported that the vast majority believed “the public’s fear of radiation is substantially greater than realistic, that TV, newspapers and magazines substantially exaggerate the dangers of radiation.”


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  6. {…}

    In 1993, a study titled “Decidedly Different” contrasted the views found in survey data gathered from the public and from members of the American Nuclear Society. The survey asked both groups, “How likely do you think it is that activities at the nation’s nuclear facilities will in the future cause health problems for those who live near such activities?” The responses were measured on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not likely to 10 being extremely likely. Thirty-three percent of the public picked 10; 40 percent of the experts picked 1. Overall, 69 percent of the public thought such future health effects were likely and 80 percent of the experts did not.

    Recall Mooney’s claim that there is “no currently pressing issue...where the left is monolithically in denial of basic science, or where this drives mainstream political policy—e.g., drives the stance of most elected Democrats.” It is true that the Obama administration has been pro-nuclear, but looking around the country it’s easy to find elected Democrats who take the opposite position. For example, Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley sued to close down the Pilgrim plant, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is pushing to close the Vermont Yankee plant, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo favors shutting down the two Indian Point reactors in 2013 and 2015. These Democratic politicians seem pretty “mainstream,” and there are no comparable officials from the GOP taking similar stances. Advantage: Republicans.

    Biotech crops: Every independent scientific group that has ever evaluated biotech crops has found them to be safe for people and the environment. Sadly, polling data suggests that both Democrats and Republicans have been spooked by anti-biotech disinformation campaigns. The most recent polling on this issue I could find was a 2006 survey by the Pew Trusts that reported 48 percent of Republicans believe that biotech foods are safe, compared to 28 percent who did not. Democrats are just slightly less likely to think biotech foods are safe, with 42 percent saying they are and 29 percent saying they aren’t. As far as mainstream impact goes, the California Democratic Party endorsed last year’s Proposition 37, which would have required the labeling of all foods made with ingredients from biotech crops. Advantage: Republicans.











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  7. The entire article appears in Reason,

    http://reason.com/archives/2013/03/15/why-do-people-believe-scientifically-unt

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  8. The conclusion of the article:

    {…}


    As a libertarian, my cultural bias is toward keeping as many issues and problems out of the realm of collective action as possible. Scientific research may identify some problems that truly require a collective response—perhaps man-made global warming—but for social peace, the default response toward most issues should be social and political tolerance of individual choices. Texas A&M researcher Chris Ferguson gets it right on how scientists should respond to any efforts to moralize scientific findings. “Put simply, it may be best for scientists to remain committed to the production of objective information,” he writes. He adds, “Deciding how such information ‘should’ be used arguably strays into advocacy and becomes problematic.” Knowing that something is factually true does not necessarily tell us what to do about it.

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  9. The Article:

    Why Do People Believe Scientifically Untrue Things?

    Because to do otherwise would be immoral.
    Ronald Bailey | March 15, 2013

    REASON

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  10. There's nothing inconsistent to, for example, be in favor of Nuclear Energy, and, at the same time, wanting the closure of a leaking nuke plant that's contaminating your local water supply (e.g. Yankee Trader in Connecticut.)

    A question for Libertarians: What if I don't want my tax money spent on multi-million dollar telescopes in Chile that are devoted to studying obscure chemical compounds in star systems a billion light-years, away.

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  11. An answer: If you return to the main post and consider what they are discovering: chemical processes that either cannot be repeated or observed on earth, for all sorts of reasons, are being observed. Any number of these observations may show an answer or a scientific dead end that could lead to a solution to many things, including energy discoveries.

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    1. .

      That's not an answer to the question, merely a justification for the money spent.

      It merely expands on the priorities issue that soon arise whenever a group of people join together as a society. Since it involves the allocation of resources, it is a political issue.

      It's merely speculation on my part, but I would imagine a 'true' libertarian, being a minimalist when it comes to government action and involvement in his life, would oppose using tax dollars for either space exploration or subsidies for clean energy projects on earth. (Again merely my opinion since I consider myself only about 80% libertarian).

      .

      .

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    2. I think it pretty clear that a Libertarian, especially of the Ron Paul flavor, would be opposed to tax money being spent on research. 'Let the market decide'!

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  12. There are also completely new reactions to discover. Anthony Remijan, of America’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory, who is one of the astronomers putting ALMA through its paces, is studying the formation of methyl formate, a compound widely used on Earth in applications from insulation to insecticides. Usually it is synthesised either from methanol and formic acid, or methanol and carbon monoxide. But there is, in theory, a third route that uses formic acid and an unstable substance made from methanol and hydrogen. This has not been seen in an Earthly laboratory, but Dr Remijan thinks it is an important pathway in space, and ALMA should soon tell him if he is right.

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    1. Still, Deuce, you provide NO justification for stealing my money to pay for Dr Remjan's research. Let private enterprise carry that load, if there is economic justification for the studies.

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  13. Energy development is a private enterprise, no need for that justification for wasteful Federal spending on telescopes. If Exxon wants to study the stars, they can have at it.

    The Federal government should not be funding space exploration or star studies.

    Private capital could do that just fine.

    Take away the nuclear power industry's Federal "Safety Exemptions", make them criminally and financially liable for their errors and let them build. But not with Federal protection from their errors and mistakes.

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    1. Way too expensive for private industry to build especially if they need hold money in reserve (or purchase insurance) to cover potential liabilities. Much cheaper to burn coal. Cheaper still if, as a libertarian market would decide, to burn coal dirtily.

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    2. of course the most 'business effective' way to build a nuke plant would be to form a corporation to build it and run it as cheaply as possible and then if something happened you go bankrupt the place and walk away.

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    3. If the caol damages you or yours, ash, then there is legal remedy, under common law.

      Unless, like in the case of nuclear power, the Government allows the damages to your well being.

      As for the expense of the research being prohibitive to the research....
      Then the research would have to be postponed, until there was economic justification.

      Perhaps the UN will fund it, then the US just has to cover 25% of the costs.

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    4. As for the REAL liabilities to nuclear power, there you go, ash.

      It is way to dangerous to be insured.
      Way to dangerous to be built.

      Unless the people support the effort, which they do not.

      Despite what the "Scientists" say about safety, without limits to industrial liability there'd be no nukes generating electricity.

      Nor should there be. My legal rights should not be limited by public avarice for cheap energy, which it turns out, is not cheap at all.

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    5. .

      From this, rat, I take it that you would argue against any subsidies for 'clean energy solutions'.

      .

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    6. That is right, rat, the nuke cost is high.

      This "common law" you mentioned, is that environmental protection common law?

      The Libertarians have a real problem with stuff like liability because you can escape much of it by bankrupting a corporation. One example is all those mining pollution problems in many states where the companies that benefited from the mining are long gone but the pollution remains. How does the libertarian deal with it without the 'collective'.

      Similarly, as a Libertarian, are you responsible for maintaining the street in front of your house? Are you to fill in the potholes? If you don't, heck, just let the roads decay?

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    7. From a ideological position, Q, yes.

      From a practical or pragmatic position, a little less so.
      I would argue against direct subsidies, but not as vigorously against accelerated depreciation schedules and tax holidays.

      The "Clean" solution is known, but not being rapidly implemented. Still ethanol production now matches Saudi crude imports while the US is still knee deep in the first generation of distilleries. Once the second generation of feed stocks comes on line, production from the existing distilleries should further expand.

      No direct Federal subsidy required, but the oil companies may have to be forced to mix the ethanol into the final consumer product. Is that to be considered a "Subsidy"?

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    8. Change the bankruptcy laws, ash, if that is the impediment to freedom.

      Make bankruptcy devastating to the shareholders.
      Criminal liability is, or should not be, protected by a corporate shield.

      That it is, at present, reason enough for reform.

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    9. Yes, ash, if Consolidated Edison damages you and yours you have the opportunity to pursue it under common law. Combined with "Class Action" the people can defend themselves from predatory corporate activity. If government does not stand shoulder to shoulder with the corporate interests.

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    10. .

      Is that to be considered a "Subsidy"?

      No, it's a mandate, something even more objectionable to the 'true' libertarian I would imagine.


      From a ideological position, Q, yes.

      From a practical or pragmatic position, a little less so.



      But isn't that the rub? We are all for or against policies until they affect us and what we want and/or believe, elitists all.

      .


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    11. One of the defining traits of the dynamic US economy has been American business folks legendary lack of risk aversion. Increasing the risk (changing bankruptcy law) could have some nasty 'un-intended' consequences in this regard.

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    12. What we have, now, ash, are the unintended consequence of previous policies.

      Who would have projected US/China relations would be where they are now, when Nixon and Kissinger sent that ping pong team to China?

      When Ross Perot described that "Sucking Sound" that would be crater the US middle class when Detroit factories moved to Juarez he was dismissed by the "Mainstream" as a fella with a screw loose. Even when proved "right".

      For Q, ideology, the pursuit of the "Perfect" should not make the "Good" and enemy. Incremental change, in the "right" direction should be encouraged, even if ideology has to take a back seat. It is HOW the policy is implemented that then becomes the ideological isue. Not whether the policy passes some type of litmus test.

      Better to gain an inch than to hold the line, waiting for deliverance that will not be coming.

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    13. .

      For Q, ideology, the pursuit of the "Perfect" should not make the "Good" and enemy. Incremental change, in the "right" direction should be encouraged, even if ideology has to take a back seat.

      A reasonable statement even if some would disagree with it.

      But then you argue against the government subsidizing those things 'you' deem 'not right'.

      Still, Deuce, you provide NO justification for stealing my money to pay for Dr Remjan's research. Let private enterprise carry that load, if there is economic justification for the studies.

      A little too slippery for me, rat.

      Who determines what is 'right'? You? Me? Consensus? Majority? How many times have those who take it upon themselves to define 'right' for the rest of us actually end up being 'wrong'? How many times have we been assured that things are 'obvious' to any 'rational person' used as argument? To me it's a subjective and elitist argument.

      Adjectives can be objective or subjective. The cat is black (objective). The cat is cute (subjective).

      IMO, "in the right direction" especially in the area of energy production is subjective. To argue that a particular policy should be subsidized or mandated is highly subjective.

      To argue 'philosophically' that the government should not engage in subsidies or mandates and then reverse yourself and argue that as long as it does so in a cause that is 'right' reflects, IMO, intellectual inconsistency.

      Better to gain an inch than to hold the line, waiting for deliverance that will not be coming.

      A rational statement on it's face but, underneath it and given what you have written today and before, your preference seems to be for 'ethanol' to provide that 'inch'. Many people disagree. There are a number of other alternatives people argue for, nuclear, solar, wind, NG, geothermal, etc. Should we subsidize them all or none or just the ones 'you' think are worthwhile?


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    14. I, Q, would be supportive of any fuel that would power our existing 300 million vehicle fleet.

      No electrical system need apply. Those cannot be retrofitted to the existing fleet.
      Nat Gas could and should be utilized in heavy trucks. I do believe those can be retrofitted, in aneconomically viable way. I would support government efforts to promote that.

      Domestic ol drilling on private land, I'm in full support. Tax support, accelerated depreciation and such should be available to them
      Drilling on Federal land, out of the control of mere mortals. I would open the Alaska Wildlife area to drilling, J McCain and his cohort will not. I would have the government receive full market value for the energy, no production subsidies on Federal lands. I would support privatizing those lands.

      Ethanol can fuel the existing fleet, blended with the petroleum products. It can be grown on farmland now standing fallow. The US government pays farmers to not grow crops. It is a ludicrous situation.

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    15. As for electrical grid systems...

      I think wind farms in the prairies could makes sense, but need not be subsidized by the Federals.

      The Chinese government seems to be subsidizing solar panel production, we can certainly take advantage of that, as consumers. No need for the Federal government to directly subsidize US companies to compete with Chinese slave labor.

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    16. .

      In my opinion, all the options you mention are reasonable. I have said all along that we should explore every option and invite every solution when it comes to meeting our energy neeeds.

      However, given our limited resources, deciding what to support and what to not support, at least financially or through subsidy or mandate, is the hard part. It is a political question and likely will recieve a political (usually translated into sub-optimal solution) solution.

      When I was arguing about what each of us consider the 'right' solution, I was not only arguing the politics and the science but also some modicum of common sense in what we do. Ethanol is a good example to make my point.

      You talk about being able to retrofit the existing 300 million vehicle fleet. IMO we should forget about the existing fleet. A mandate is unwarranted and likely futile. A program or even suggestion to switch the existing fleet would be useless, a waste of effort and resources, IMO. The auto makers are against it, the insurance companies are against it, there is not enough pumps to support it, and in the end the people will not support it. IMO.

      Likewise, the existing US car/light truck fleet is about 11 years old. The major auto makers this year are moving towards providing more and more flex vehicles. Ford said half its fleet had flex capability in 2012. The reality of this switchover would overwhelm any effort to retrofit the existing fleet. IMO.

      You can say 'it's all politics', but that is the point. You have your opinion and I have mine. I have no problem with people pushing whatever view they hold. What I do have a problem with is people that argue that their view is the only 'true' view and that views opposed to their view are, therefore, not legitimate.

      Energy is not the 'number 42'. It is not the basis of everything. While important, every dollar spend on some energy project is money not being spent on something else we need. Any dollar we 'waste' on energy has the same value as any dollar we 'waste' on climate change, or education, or housing programs that don't pan out.

      It's all political.

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      .








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    17. Well, Q, my truck is already retrofitted for ethanol. It is a stock 1975 Chevy 350 in a dually one ton pickup.

      Up to E30 the truck runs fine.
      We are at E10, already.

      The US could triple ethanol consumption, lowering demand for petroleum product for fuel by a like amount. Without any change in infrastructure, other than at the blending facility.

      Of course it is political, which for me is ideology balanced by pragmatism.

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    18. .

      Your experiance reminds me of Rufus' observation that race cars can run on pure ethanol.

      A nice anecdote and good for you. However, irrelevant when talking of retrofitting a fleet of 300 million.

      And once again, your view of 'pragmatism' is not my view of pragmatism. The same would apply to your view of lowering the cost of fuel by a third. There is cost and then there is cost. I doubt it would be hard to find many who would argue with your definition of 'cost'.

      .

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    19. Quirk, you didn't catch the gentle sarcasm. Rat's truck hasn't been "retrofitted." It came from the factory ready to efficiently run blends up to 30%. All vehicles of which I'm aware can easily operate of E30 (many on blends up to E50.)

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    20. .

      Again, your opinion, ruf.

      I could easily call up numerous articles, studies, etc that would dispute it. I might possibly ask where rat got his miracle vehicle, kind of like the potato shaped like the Virgin Mary, but the first question I would have to ask him is what filling station is providing him with the E30 to prove his statement.

      Likewise, you being at the forefront of this discussion, I assume you are currently running on E30.

      .

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    21. He's probably "splash-blending" (mixing E10 with E85 to attain E30.) It's pretty common in areas of the country that have a lot of E85 Pumps.

      I mostly use E85, but if I can't get over to Arkansas (there's no E85 in the Memphis/N. Ark. area) I use E10.

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    22. .

      That amazes me, Ruf.

      If you are telling me you mostly use E85 in a standard (unmodified) Chevy I admire your conviction as well as your courage.

      As for rat and the splash blending, if there is and E85 station near him, I can see where he could do it. In that case, not only would I applaud his level of conviction but also his penuriousness and, may I say it, even his courage.

      Hell, I don't even change my own oil anymore.

      .

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    23. No, I drive a Flex-fuel Impala. Its flexfuel capability was the prime reason I bought it.

      Many autos get virtually the same mileage on E30 as on E10 (93 Octane leads to lower RPMs, and less down-shifting.)

      So, you end up with less engine-wear, and a lower cost per mile - not to mention the satisfaction of telling the Saudis to pound sand.

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  14. .

    An article from Le Monde that is in agreement with Rufi's views on peak oil. It is hard to argue against much of what is said in it with regard to the fracking process economics giving the false information we have already seen from such major corporations as the big banks (J.P. Morgan being the latest).

    Following a hugely successful industry PR offensive, journalists and policymakers have largely ignored these studies. But the upshot is simple: Rather than ushering in a new wave of lasting prosperity, the eventual consequence of the gas glut is likely to be an unsustainable shale bubble, fuelling a temporary recovery that masks deeper structural instabilities. When the bubble bursts under the weight of its own debt obligations, there will be a collapse in supply and a spike in prices, with serious economic consequences.

    http://mondediplo.com/2013/03/09gaz

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    1. Meanwhile, North Dakota has virtuall no unemployment.

      Hard to argue that is a bad thing, even if it will not last forever.

      ...gives time AND ENERGY to pursue something.

      ...unlike welfare benefits and out of deficit spending.

      And Debt

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  15. desert ratSat Mar 16, 09:12:00 AM EDT

    Energy development is a private enterprise, no need for that justification for wasteful Federal spending on telescopes. If Exxon wants to study the stars, they can have at it.

    The Federal government should not be funding space exploration or star studies.

    Private capital could do that just fine.

    Take away the nuclear power industry's Federal "Safety Exemptions", make them criminally and financially liable for their errors and let them build. But not with Federal protection from their errors and mistakes.

    ---

    The best True Librarian Defense in the thread.

    All these weird-ass descriptions of the Universe can Stand or Fail on their own merits.

    I would not give one thin dime for the lot of them, because they make my brain hurt, so I regard them as Satanic.

    Exploring Mars with robots, or the moon with human rovers, that's my cup o tea.

    One small step for man, one giant turn-on for Doug.

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  16. Kim Jung is Ill

    What's going on with his hands?

    ...and is the old dude hanging on or steadying him?

    ...or himself?

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    1. They do look like a Happy Lot, tho.

      Should do a SNL featuring the Smiling North ROKetts as guests.

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  17. Is everyone aware that Francis is the first

    ONE LUNGED POPE?

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  18. ...Just recall a previous thread where it was pointed out that human life on Earth Would Not Exist w/o The Moon.
    ...in a response to a link by me.

    ---

    I was exposed to all these bogus numerical "proofs" of the inevitability of other life in the Universe in college, along w/the bogus threat of CO2 warming and poisoning.

    ...The fact remains, the only intelligent life we know of is on Earth, and in The Seas.

    And the Sun Determines Global Climate Change.

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  19. ...and nobody has yet concoted life in a test-tube with amino acids and lighting strikes.

    Even after we've deconstucted the human genome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since we are life and part of the universe and If the universe is infinite, then there are infinite possibilites for life across the spectrum of time after the elements that make us up were born through supernova nucleosynthesis. Those fusion reactions create the elements silicon, sulfur, chlorine, argon, sodium, potassium, calcium, scandium, titanium and iron peak elements: vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, and nickel. Personally, I find the connection more interesting and exciting than any other explanation. Big time.

      Delete
    2. One thing, if the universe was created by the big bang it can't be infinite.

      It seems like there could be an infinite number of "universes," however.

      Delete
    3. .

      If you look at the first few pages of wiki you will be told "The Big Bang Theory" is a popular TV show. A commentary on search engines or on us?

      As far as 'infinite', the universe is as infinite as anyone could want. We see this in the fact that 'space' is expanding at an ever increasing speed with no apparant limit. This creates the problem of horizons when viewing what actually happened in the past. As the speed of the expansion grows, the light we see from events that occurred in the past and which possibly affected the universe as it exists today never catches up to us for analysis.

      .

      Delete
  20. "humans evolved through entirely natural processes,"

    ...and Nature came from what?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Knowing that I will regret this and assuming that your question is not rhetorical, I suggest you should read the writings of Immanuel Kant on this (“kritik der reiner Vernunft” who wrote about this dilemma first. In this book he explained that a universe that existed infinitely was as provable as a universe that had a definite beginning in time. Now, from logic we know that only one of these options can be true, and one of them must be true. But whatever position we take, this will all lead us into abduridities or contradictions, and no there is no way to go around it.

      This situation is a central theme to dialectical-materialism, as it states that the world cannot be conceived of without contradiction.

      Delete
  21. Nature and Man's Fate.

    Dr. Hardin's first major attempt to bring the reading public abreast of current thought in evolutionary theory and to show them its implications for the future was published as Nature and Man's Fate (Hardin, 1959). Here he wrestled with Malthusian population theory and Darwinian selection theory, expanding on ideas initially learned from the ecologist W. C. Allee and the evolutionary biologist Sewall Wright.

    Professor Hardin wrote in the Prologue to Nature and Man's Fate that:

    It doesn't much matter whether you think man was created out of the dust six thousand years ago or came from the apes a million years earlier; whether the story of Noah's Ark is true, or dinosaurs once lived.

    Believe what you will of evolution in the past; but you had jolly well better believe it will take place in the future if you hope to make political decisions that will give your descendants a reasonable chance to exist. The principles of evolution are inescapably relevant to the analysis of man's predicament

    ReplyDelete
  22. In Praise of Waste

    "In Praise of Waste," the concluding chapter of Nature and Man's Fate (1959), contains Professor Hardin's first major discussion of an ideal humanist ethic. It is founded upon freedom of speech because this, among its other benefits, generates new ideas and combinations of ideas on which cultural selection can operate to bring about scientific and technological progress. The following passage, an echo of the conclusion of Darwin's Origin of Species, concludes Nature and Man's Fate:

    We know now that a completely planned heaven is either impossible or unbearable. We know that it is not true that design can come only out of planning. Out of luxuriant waste, winnowed by selection, come designs more beautiful and in greater variety than ever man could plan. This is the lesson of Nature that Darwin has spelled out for us. Man, now that he makes himself, cannot do better than to emulate Nature's example in allowing for waste and encouraging novelty. There is grandeur in this view of life as a complex of cybernetic systems that produce adaptedness without foresight, design without planning, and progress without dictation. From the simplest means, man, now master of his own fate, may evolve societies of a variety and novelty-yes, and even of a beauty-that no man living can now forsee (p. 346).

    The failure of both laissez faire capitalism and classic Marxism in avoiding ecological degradation and resulting tragic consequences for future generations of humans beings led Professor Hardin to propose a fundamental extension in morality. In "The Tragedy of the Commons," he developed a secular ethics that takes into account that at least some individuals operate in their own self-interest (exactly what one would expect on the basis of Darwinian adaptive evolution by selection theory) and that places the actions of individuals in an ecological context. The ecological ethic Hardin champions is system-sensitive to the state of the environment at the time the moral value of any particular action/inaction is determined. Professor Hardin expanded the situation-based humanist ethics developed by the theologian Joseph Fletcher to include ecological effects on individuals in the future-other individuals in present and future generations. Hardin's ecologically based consequentialist ethic uses the following rule: action/inaction is determined to be moral or immoral on the basis of its consequences not merely for the current participants but for individuals in the future.
    "

    ReplyDelete
  23. At CPAC, McConnell Embraces Rand

    Mitch McConnell, the leader of the GOP minority in the Senate, struck an upbeat tone in his Friday morning address to the conservative activists gathered at CPAC.

    “Friends, this is a moment of renewal. I truly believe it,” he said. In this era of new beginning, McConnell is seeking his sixth Senate term next year, and the 71-year-old conservative Republican is embracing his much younger Kentuckian, Rand Paul.

    “More than ever, we need the kind of constitutional conservatives we’ve got in the Senate who’ve been really bringing the fight to the left,” McConnell said to loud cheers. “And I’m going to mention my Kentucky colleague Rand Paul as an example of that. He’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about. He’s a warrior, and we need more warriors.”

    McConnell made sure to name-drop Paul several times for the crowd that received the junior Kentucky senator so well yesterday. He praised Paul, along with Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, as potential GOP presidential candidates in 2016. McConnell also lent his approval for Paul’s filibuster over drone policies.

    “Last week, Rand reminded the world that politics isn’t just about tactics,” McConnell said. “Actually, it isn’t just about ideas, either. It’s about standing up for your values and your principles. It’s about courage.”

    CPAC wasn’t the first time McConnell has aligned himself with Paul—and Paul with him. As minority leader, he was supportive of Paul’s filibuster from behind the scenes in addition to joining Paul on the floor of the Senate. Paul, meanwhile, has said he supports McConnell’s reelection effort, despite the fact that some grassroots elements of the Republican party in Kentucky were looking to mount a primary challenge to McConnell. Meanwhile, McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, worked for the 2012 presidential campaign of Paul’s father, Ron Paul.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/cpac-mcconnell-embraces-rand_707639.html

    ReplyDelete
  24. The Liar’s paradox: “This sentence is false.”

    If “this sentence is false" is true, then the sentence is false, which would in turn mean that it is actually true, but this would mean that it is false, and so on without end.

    Similarly, if “this sentence is false” is false, then the sentence is true, which would in turn mean that it is actually false, but this would mean that it is true, and so on without end.

    We just will never know.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Finally, the first good conversation in months. Where have you assholes been?

    You have uncovered the truth - wittingly, or not.

    Deemocrase works,

    but it is Hard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liberalism, however, along with Libertarianism, Conservatism, Communism, Rostafarianism, and antidisestablishmentarianism, cannot stand alone. The individual philosophy (ies) have not the tools, or reach, for satisfactory "governing."

      Delete
  26. Let me be clear about one more thing; I have nothing but the greatest respect for the people, and the business model that made the "fracking boom" possible. It came along at a wonderfully opportune time.

    However, it Is going to "Peak" and "Decline" fairly quickly (probably within a year, or so." We saw, in January, the Bakken Production decline by 32,000 bbl/day, even with 115 new wells being added. That's a 4.5% Decline in ONE Month (that would be over 50% Annually.)

    We need to be preparing the "next trick." And, we need to understand that we don't have all day to do it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Biofuels are the most corrosive of all petrobases, they destroy engines and rot metal like acid. They will also destroy our praries. South Dakota State University finds that U.S. farmers converted more than 1.3 million acres of grassland into corn and soybean fields between 2006 and 2011, driven by high crop prices and biofuel mandates. Why doesn't some libertarian science institution just prove that biofuel emissions are far worse than smoking?

      Delete
    2. Because it is not.

      I know you'd like prove fro you biases, but that does not make it so.
      There are over 3 million vehicles in Maricopa county that run on an ethanol mix. The engines do not fall out and the gas tanks do not rot.

      There are much more productive feed stocks than corn from which to distill ethanol. That the US chose corn for the first generation feed stock ...

      Politics.

      Delete
  27. ”Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.” Joseph Campbell

    ReplyDelete
  28. The area of the United States is slightly more than 2 Billion, 428 Million Acres.

    We can spare a million.

    ReplyDelete
  29. God says, "keep building those micro and tele scopes amd better computers and I will keep showing you more stuff."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where, to who, when?

      Who else witnessed the event?

      Delete
    2. Everyone who chooses to listen.

      Delete
  30. That got a little jargony, but the point is, utilities used to be in the business of generating power at big power plants and then sending it to consumers over one-way lines for a set price. That basic “hub and spoke” model is rapidly becoming obsolete. There are more and more small-scale power generators and power storage nodes on the network, sending power back and forth in massively parallel fashion. Utilities cannot hope to centrally manage all those transactions. They will be forced, whether they like it or not, to move to what’s known among nerds as a more “transactive” model, in which their main job is to manage power markets, to dynamically price (value) power so that the market can react accordingly. Smart-grid analyst Jesse Berst explains:


    Transactive energy distributes decision-making throughout the system. Devices can be programmed with the “price” they will respond to at different times and conditions. Then they can respond on their own when they see a value signal that matches. When done properly, distributed values incorporate prices and constraints across the system to achieve reliable results. No need for centralized intervention.

    Another way of looking at this is, utilities are going to have to get used to power markets behaving more like actual markets. Conservatives ought to love it.

    One fascinating aspect of the utility picture is that experimentation and evolution are happening fastest in the developing world, where electric systems are often being built from the ground up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. It is likely that electric utilities in North America and Europe will have much to learn from the utilities that mature in the developing world. In regions currently lacking a central grid, utilities will come to represent flexible and robust machines, instead of the slow-moving giants of the developed world. Ultimately, the system that grants individuals and companies the most stable and least expensive source of electricity will lead the market. This model will likely come from a fresh perspective on how to generate and distribute the electricity that is currently evolving in the developing world.

      This is kind of a fancy way of saying that behemoth utilities in the U.S. and Europe are likely to be impediments to change for the foreseeable future.

      Anyway, add these three metatrends together — energy being democratized, small-scale technologies converging into new solutions, and utilities being dragged into the 21st century — and you get the metametatrend of decentralization. Energy, power, and control are leaking out of their centralized repositories and spreading out into more hands.

      I expect this to have salutary effects on both the pace of innovation and the strength of democracy. It’s a real ray of hope in an energy world that can sometimes seem hidebound and dismal.

      Energy Systems Go Libertarian

      Delete
    2. Libertarianism is all about "devolving" power back to the people, right?

      The German capital has resolved to buy back its power supply. On Wednesday, the grand coalition that governs the city-state passed a resolution to buy back its grid and switch to renewables.


      On Wednesday, the grand coalition of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats governing the city-state of Berlin announced that it was taking power supply back into its own hands and switching to renewables. Next week, Berlin's Senate (equivalent to City Hall because the city is simultaneously a state) is to review the bill, which includes the founding of a municipal utility under the direction of BSR, the city's waste authority, which already operates a number of large photovoltaic arrays and waste incinerators that generate electricity.

      The move marks a stark reversal to the neoliberal policies of the 1990s, when a large number of German municipalities were convinced to sell their public services to large corporations. The result was skyrocketing water and power prices. A court in Berlin even ruled that the water provider would have to lower its prices. Sweden's Vattenfall currently provides power to Berlin, and the firm has made a dubious name for itself not only for a number of mishaps at its nuclear power plants, but also for its attempt to undermine the concession process for Berlin's grid, which is to come under the hammer again at the end of 2014. For instance, Vattenfall has greatly overstated the value of the city's power grid.
      .
      The citizens of Berlin responded with a ground-roots campaign to take over the the city's grid again. A citizens group is taking part in the round of . . . . .

      Berlin to Buy Back Grid, Go Renewables

      Delete
  31. 300 Million people in the U.S. All driving cars powered by Ethanol Mixes (anywhere from 10% to 85%) for close to a decade now,

    and I can find Nothing on the internet of any specific cases of an automobile engine being "destroyed" by ethanol.

    We're talking something like 2.7 Trillion Miles per Year.

    Probably over 15 Trillion Miles, total.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      A meaningless statement since most people drive their cars with fuel that is appropriate.

      .

      Delete
    2. People drive their cars with fuel that is "appropriate?"

      I'll bet you can't even give me the price points at which it is "appropriate" to move "your car" from 87 Octane to 89 Octane.

      Delete
    3. People in Phoenix pull in and get at least an E10 blend, with every fill-up.
      In summer months the EPA may mandate a higher level, E15 or E20 dependent upon air quality. There is and always has been high particulate counts in the air, it's a dusty desert.

      Regardless, E20 is appropriate for ALL vehicles that can burn gasoline.

      Delete
    4. .

      People drive their cars with fuel that is "appropriate?"

      Exactly. This in response to your comment that people have been using ethonol at various ranges for a decade now when I am sure what you really meant to say is they have been driving their cars with ethanol levels appropriate to their various vehicles for a decade now.

      We have been through this discussion before Rufus and I went to the trouble of digging up the info for you then. That was at the time when you were telling everyone here that ethanol was currently saving everyone $1.09 per gallon.

      However, you are right. Today I couldn't give you the 'price point' where it is appropriate to move your car from 87 octane to 89 octane without looking it up again. More importantly, most people don't really give a shit about that question. What they care about is how far a gallon (in most cases of regular) gas takes them and at what 'total cost'. This question involves a lot more than some formula on octane.

      You delve into minutiae and purport it to be knowledge. As with your comments on race cars, you talk about technical potential and ignore practicality.

      .

      Delete
    5. .

      Rat, you give me info I was unaware of.

      Naturally, I am aware of the different blends that are mandated both regionally and seasonally to address various concerns and to make sure the blends operate properly under different environments. I am also aware that E10 or E15 might not actually be E10 or E15 but somehting more or less depending on various factors and EPA rules.

      What I am not aware of is instances were the EPA mandates the use of E20. If you could provide a source it would advance my knowledge in this area.

      Regardless, E20 is appropriate for ALL vehicles that can burn gasoline.

      A good many people, as well as, the major auto companies, the insurance companies, and the federal government would disagree with you.

      .

      Delete
  32. No, Quirk, I'm a very practical person. I check my mileage. I've found that I get about 5% better mileage on 89 Octane than I get on 87 Octane. Therefore, when the price differential is less than 5% I use 89 Octane.

    For instance, when 87 Octane is selling for $3.70 as it is here, I will buy 89 Octane if the price is less than $3.88. When 87 goes to $4.00 I will pay up to $4.20/gallon for 89 Octane.

    If it's close I will go ahead and use 89 Octane, anyway, due to the superior torque, lower RPMs, and less shifting, that results in less wear on my engine and transmission.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      Gee, I just keep my tires inflated and avoid fast acceleration.

      .

      Delete
    2. Except for when you just say fuck it and floor it.

      Delete
    3. Rufus spends 25 hours a day doing mathmatical calculations.

      ...just to make life meaningful.

      Delete
    4. At an early age, he was taught that man's greatest achievement was the spreadsheet.

      Delete
    5. Rufus said...

      "If it's close I will go ahead and use 89 Octane, anyway, due to the superior torque, lower RPMs, and less shifting, that results in less wear on my engine and transmission."

      ---

      He NEEDS all that torque, just to pull himself out of the many quagmires he creates in his head.

      Delete
    6. Rufus is fighting a hopeless battle against the inevitable frictions of real life.

      Delete
    7. .

      Except for when you just say fuck it and floor it.

      Hasn't happened in a long time, and even then, it was prompted by a pre-ignition boost of an 80 proof ethanol mixture, either that or having an old Asian lady driving in the lane next to me.

      .

      Delete
  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deuce

      Since we are life and part of the universe and If the universe is infinite, then there are infinite possibilites for life across the spectrum of time after the elements that make us up were born through supernova nucleosynthesis. Those fusion reactions create the elements silicon, sulfur, chlorine, argon, sodium, potassium, calcium, scandium, titanium and iron peak elements: vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, and nickel. Personally, I find the connection more interesting and exciting than any other explanation. Big time.

      ---

      I find the argument banal:

      What created "supernova nucleosynthesis?"



      Delete
    2. The at of creation does not imply a creator. Creation can be a reaction to a previous unseen and unknown event. Quirk explained that quite well above. It is similar to coming into the middle of a movie. You can speculate about what happened previously but not know for certain.

      Delete
  34. Quirk said...

    "As far as 'infinite', the universe is as infinite as anyone could want. We see this in the fact that 'space' is expanding at an ever increasing speed with no apparant limit.

    This creates the problem of horizons when viewing what actually happened in the past.

    As the speed of the expansion grows, the light we see from events that occurred in the past and which possibly affected the universe as it exists today never catches up to us for analysis.
    "

    ReplyDelete
  35. Quirk claims to be 80 percent Libertarian, yet he seems to trump all the rest of you wrt smacking down your claims for the need of government intervention in this or that pet cause.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Seems to me, Quirk's cite proves that if there are an jillions of intelligent life forms out there, it doesn't make A DAMNED BIT OF DIFFERENCE, since they're all speeding away from us at a rate that makes the idea of them or us communicating, much less meeting, absurd.

    In the extreme.

    ReplyDelete
  37. ...and on the Seventh Day, God created "supernova nucleosynthesis"

    Well, whoop de fuckin do!

    Give God two stars for his second grade project.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is far greater evidence that man create God than there is the reverse.

      Delete
  38. Rufus said...

    "This is kind of a fancy way of saying that behemoth utilities in the U.S. and Europe are likely to be impediments to change for the foreseeable future."

    ---

    I still think Rufus's greatest contribution was suggesting Solar Installations in Iraq.
    For a fraction of what we've spent, we could have freed Iraqi's from Much of the Tyranny of the powers from above.

    And who knows, they might have started taking showers, rid their heads of towels, and started behaving like adult humans.

    ReplyDelete

  39. What the oil industry probably fears the most from the RFS is the prospect that EPA will approve higher ethanol-gasoline blends solely to protect the mandate – as the Agency did with the waiver for E15 (15 percent ethanol, 85 percent gasoline).

    Their fear is well founded, particularly since EPA will continue to regulate mobile source emissions. And with increased regulation, the Agency could approve and certify a higher blend of ethanol and gasoline for air quality compliance purposes, thus helping automakers develop engines with complementary fuels. If and when that happens, the RFS and its blending requirements would likely become moot. Refineries and blenders would be required to increase significantly the amount of ethanol in the fuel pool.


    http://blog.heartland.org/2013/02/how-the-american-consumer-got-saddled-with-the-rfs-and-why-it-needs-to-change/

    ReplyDelete
  40. Big Oil's best kept secret from the American consumer is Brazil's fuel ethanol mandate, which started during the 1970s as a result of the OPEC oil embargoes. In Brazil, where ethanol is made from sugar cane, all gasoline contains 20 percent to 25 percent ethanol (E20-E25). At retail stations, consumers can choose to fuel up on 100 percent ethanol (E100) or with E20 to E25.

    For decades, conventional unmodified automobiles in Brazil ran on E20-E25 with no engine problems whatsoever.


    http://www2.tbo.com/news/opinion/2013/feb/24/vwviewo1-big-oils-big-smear-ar-641293/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Better, Q, than studies and tests, let US look at twenty years of practical, real whirled application of ethanol products in every day use.

      We have the ultimate test site for ethanol and automobiles, in Brazil.
      The last twenty years E20 has been in use, there.

      Phoenix for the past ten years, E10 every day.

      Delete
  41. Today, approximately 50 percent of Brazil's motor fuel supply is ethanol because of ethanol's mandated use, which has allowed Brazil to eliminate the importation of foreign oil altogether.

    Brazil is essentially energy independent, thanks to its ethanol program, which supplements its own domestic supply of petroleum.Today, approximately 50 percent of Brazil's motor fuel supply is ethanol because of ethanol's mandated use, which has allowed Brazil to eliminate the importation of foreign oil altogether.

    Brazil is essentially energy independent, thanks to its ethanol program, which supplements its own domestic supply of petroleum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does the vast majority of that come from Sugarcane?

      The idea of Ethanol from Corn is criminal.

      Delete
    2. ...except for making distilled spirits.

      Delete
    3. oops, you already said they are Cane Fired.
      So to speak.

      Cane fires are impressive, let me tell you.

      Delete
    4. Ethanol from corn, doug, is political not criminal.

      Not especially practical, but really political.

      The first step in the long hard slog to displace the Wahhabi from the US marketplace.

      One cannot oppose radical Islam and US ethanol in the same breath and not be found to be a fool.

      Delete
  42. No doubt more than a few aborigines in Brazil have been displaced by ethanol production.

    No free lunch in this cruel World.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Nobody has answered my question about what Kim Jung is holding in his hands.

    ---

    ie:
    DougSat Mar 16, 09:59:00 AM EDT

    Kim Jung is Ill

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FWIW, Greek soldiers used to walk together holding hands when I was on a base near Larissa in the sixties.

      Delete
  44. We will keep increasing the amount of corn we raise until we hit equilibrium price (probably in the range of $4.00 to $4.50/bushel.)

    Meanwhile, the detractors continue to ignore the fact that only the starch (sugar) from the corn is used in ethanol production.

    All the Protein, and other Nutrients are returned to the food chain through the Distillers Grains.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How much petro energy per calorie produced is consumed in growing, feeding, harvesting, etc?

      Delete
    2. Also, the stalks/cobs/stover/etc are starting to gain value.

      What this all means is, it's quite likely that we may soon have Protein from corn on the market for less than it would be w/o ethanol.

      Delete
    3. There is very little petroleum used in the production of ethanol. Approx 4 gallons of diesel per acre (480 gallons of ethanol.)

      Delete
    4. No fertilizer, no water pumps, etc, etc.?

      Delete
    5. 96% of ethanol is produced from Non-irrigated corn.

      The fertilizer is produced using nat gas (eventually, probably bio-gas.)

      Delete
    6. :-)

      NATURAL GAS!

      MY, MY, MY!

      DOWN W/FRACKING!!!

      Delete
  45. Arabs seem downright Jovial compared to North Koreans.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Are we all aware of how the 70 k (plus obamabennies) Tesla performed in the Northeast for the New York Times?

    ...shades of Mat's Magic Israeli Batteries.

    ReplyDelete
  47. "Probably, that particular discovery will have no practical consequences. The known syntheses are effective, and methyl formate is already cheap. But it will prove a principle about using the cosmos as a chemistry laboratory, and the hope is that similar findings about other molecules that are harder to make may allow chemical engineers at home to reformulate their processes. If that happens, the test tube in the sky really will have proved its worth."

    ---

    That is more defensible than the absurd concept of meeting and greeting Ailiens.
    (reminder: check up on Art Bell in the Phillipines)

    Maybe that's why I started out as a Chemical Engineer @ Beserkly.

    ...but turned out to be too uninterested, shiftless, or lazy to stay the course.

    Such is life.

    ReplyDelete
  48. The High Points Gotta be the Acolytes Chest Deep in the Sea Cheering their Great Leader.

    Shades of Obamamania.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I'm very happy to find this site. I wanted to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely liked every little bit of it and i also have you book-marked to check out new information on your website.

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    ReplyDelete
  50. I clicked and got the crabs.

    ...just sayin.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Danica Patrick ran over me in my sleep after I clicked that one.

    ...then got outta her car and threatened to beat me.

    GoDaddy

    ReplyDelete