JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Tuesday Open Thread

I’m back. Apologies that the Weekend Unthreaded didn’t make it…

9.3 out of 10 based on 11 ratings

116 comments to Tuesday Open Thread

  • #
    Brian the Engineer

    Well that “was” a long weekend without a thread to vent on.

    10

  • #
    Jojodogfacedboy

    This second wave of Pandemic in Canadavis totally the fault of our government trying to normalize far too early without changing anything. Figuring a few added restrictions would be good enough, while opening up areas that should never been opened right now until these changes were enacted.

    13

    • #
      RickWill

      The experience in Victoria, Australia shows just how dumb people are from the Premier, his Ministers to a myriad of dills throughout the population.

      It is almost unimaginable that people are still going off to work while showing symptoms but it is still happening regularly. One cleaner has left a trail of now 40 infected people across 4 different locations. Felt she had to go to work to make a living despite a safety net being available probably equal to what she would earn after tax.

      AND the government is STILL employing contractors to police hotel quarantine – that is after spending $6m dollars on an inquiry to determine why contractors were used in the initial stage of hotel quarantine that resulted in the second wave.

      This woke state has not yet woken up.

      Australia has had large crowds at some spectacular finals football matches across the two main codes – none in Victoria though. So most of the country are smart enough to keep CV19 at bay.

      I note Sweden did not allow football crowds on the weekend as they planned because CV19 cases are rising again there.

      US CV19 death rate now running around 1.6% of reported cases. No doubt keeping hospital busy but daily deaths of 750 is probably manageable in a population of 330M.

      I will not be pleased if the travel limit of 5km in Melbourne is not lifted on the 19th Oct. Not much else matters for me. Right now my diesel car has a fouled particle filter and needs a run to go into the burn mode. Cannot do that in a 5km radius in my location.

      72

      • #
        yarpos

        The beat goes on, today flaws in the so called “permit” system have been pointed out. Basically they are just doled out without any vetting.

        The pollies stand up and mouth phrases like hotel quarantine, work permits, ring of steel etc but scratch one layer deep and there is nothing but public sevice incompetence. They have little to no clue how to do anything real.

        20

  • #
    RickWill

    I was waiting for Weekend Unthreaded to post the following that I posted off-topic on the previous thread so repeated here unthreaded:

    For about 2 years now, I have been trying to understand why tropical ocean surfaces never appear to exceed 305K (32C). I believe I have now nailed that. It is an emergent property of the atmosphere known as CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy).

    What I have determined is that the maximum CAPE rises with the 4th power of temperature above 277K. That gets close to a brick wall around 305K:
    https://1drv.ms/b/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNg2bZUBb60GfpUmGr

    CAPE is the fuel of storms. A cape of 5000J/kg will produce an updraft velocity of 100m/s. That is a severe storm likely to develop into a cyclone/hurricane over water. This is not the sole condition for a cyclone/hurricane to develop but CAPE above 2000J.kg is a necessary requirement among others.

    The feature of tropical storms is that they produce lots of reflective cloud. That cloud reduces the input to wide regions of the oceans for a number of days or even weeks and the surface cools as a result of the storm.

    I looked at the wake of Hurricane Florence in early September 2018. This chart compares the change in the ocean surface temperature from the week before the cyclone to the week after:
    https://1drv.ms/b/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNg2fysG93NziCOK9k
    The hurricane developed near Africa and moved across the Atlantic to Florida then turned north. The cooled wake is particularly noticeable near Africa to the mid Atlantic. This clip shows its development in time lapse from satellite imaging:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcYeZMNAbNs

    The other really interesting temperature change over these three weeks is seen in the northern Indian Ocean. 2018 was a particularly intense period for tropical storms in that part of the world.

    The ocean surface temperature cannot get colder than 271K because it forms sea ice. At the other extreme it cannot get above about 305K because severe storms form and reflect solar energy. It does not surprise me that the average SST is close to the numeric average of these two extremes – 288K.

    If you think that climate models would naturally embody the physics that defines the development of cyclones/hurricanes, you would be mistaken. Clouds are just parameterised inputs. They are not coupled to CAPE as the models do not have the resolution to produce CAPE values. The inability to produce the emergent features of tropical storms is another of the glaring unphysical nature of said models.

    I doubt climate modellers want to know that ocean surface temperature is tightly constrained between 271 and 305K. The area average SST is of course a function of the distribution of the water and its ability to transport heat across the globe. In the present era, the ocean area averaged surface temperature is close to the numerical average of the the two extremes.

    72

  • #
    MrGrimNasty

    Beirut blast now estimated at about 8.5% of Hiroshima bomb at the high end. One of the biggest non-nuclear man-caused explosions in history.

    I estimated 10-15% on this very blog, despite being a fair bit out, I’m officially better than most climate modelers!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-54420033

    100

    • #
      el gordo

      Its a weird coincidence that the Beirut blast happened at the same time as the Hiroshima 75th anniversary.

      40

  • #
    RicDre

    The Guardian: Americans Need to Accept Climate Migrants from California

    A very confused Guardian article which seems to suggest global warming is reproducing 1930s dust bowl conditions, and poor forest management is a climate migration issue.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/10/03/the-guardian-americans-need-to-accept-climate-migrants-from-california/

    My first reaction was the same as yarpos’ comment on October 4, 2020 at 2:00 am:

    Yep, Stupidity Migrants not Climate Migrants

    60

    • #
      yarpos

      How is it that “climate” impacts all seem to fall on California and few seem to want to migrate from neighbouring States? Basic common sense would indicate its more about how California operates than anything else. But of course it was a Guardian item.

      10

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Then all those forest fires “due to Global Warming” in California & Oregon** suddenly and drastically reduce as the border to Canada is crossed.

        **Guess which party is in power in those 2 States; choice from 2.

        20

  • #
    RicDre

    Some Planets May Be Better for Life Than Earth: Researchers Identify 24 Superhabitable Exoplanets

    Another article based on a small number of facts and a huge amount of speculation, or as Mark Twain said:

    “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

    https://scitechdaily.com/some-planets-may-be-better-for-life-than-earth-researchers-identify-24-superhabitable-exoplanets/

    61

    • #

      RicDre shows us this:

      Some Planets May Be Better for Life Than Earth: Researchers Identify 24 Superhabitable Exoplanets

      and then offers up the perfect rejoinder:

      Another article based on a small number of facts and a huge amount of speculation…

      And if I can add a wry comment here, aimed not at Ric, but at the masses who just lap up stuff like this without even entertaining the slightest thinking about it.

      The article mentions that the ….. ‘CLOSEST’ of these Exoplanets is still beyond 100 Light Years away.

      I can see the buzzing right now on all the ‘socials’ how we need to be spending money on building Arks to get to these new Planets. (Arks, you know, for all the telephone sanitisers etc)

      100 Light years, you know, like a trip from inner city Melbourne to a spot five point one kilometres away.

      That’s, umm, 537 Trillion miles away, yep, 537 followed by twelve zeros. (and the closest one is further away than that)

      At the current technology, (escape velocity 17,500MPH increasing slightly over time) that will only take us 4 Million years, give or take.

      I guess that this is those climate change supporters Planet B. (and CDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTU)

      No wonder the Government raised the cost of a Bachelor of Arts. They’re also on that first Ark.

      Tony.

      There’s sarcasm here on so many levels it’s hard to know where to place the /sarc.

      160

      • #
        RicDre

        TonyfromOz,

        Excellent comment, though as a word of caution I will note that after they sent all of the telephone sanitisers away, the remaining Golgafrinchan population was wiped out by a virulent disease contracted via unsanitary telephones.

        40

        • #

          …..the remaining Golgafrinchan population was wiped out by a virulent disease contracted via unsanitary telephones.

          Yeah, Wuhan CCP Coronavirus Mark Two.

          Tony.

          40

      • #
        Graeme#4

        Tony, would be interested to know Australia’s annual energy percentages obtained from coal, gas, wind, solar and other sources.

        10

        • #

          Graeme#4

          Same link as I showed at Comment 16.1.1 below, and to save you a few seconds, here it is again, at this link.

          It always opens at the Default, the whole AEMO, and for the last seven days.

          Now, you can navigate around, because it will take you ages to see the whole wealth of information provided at the site, ostensibly put up by a green group, but if you want the data you are looking for, then it’s all there ….. for anyone to use.

          Okay, your direct question Upper left, see the Tab Headed NEM, than what you see is for the whole AEMO coverage area, all five States.

          Under that tab, you see two tabs. Click on 1Y and that will bring up data for the last 365 days, a rolling 12 Month’s worth of data. Alongside that, click on day, and you’ll see all the data for each of those 366 days. (leap year currently)

          On the right, you see the list of power generation sources, each with a coloured square alongside. (and if you rest your mouse, not click, but rest it over any colour, it will highlight just that source on the main bar graph centre screen.)

          Alongside each source is the percentage supplied across the full year.

          So for coal, that’s 67% for the full year.

          The rest you can see there, but be aware that rooftop solar, (as with every recording site) is just a best guess as it is not metered.

          I will also suggest then clicking on the Qld, (on the NEM heading drop down menu) It gives coal at 80.1%. However, ALL exported power is coal fired power, all of it, every single watt of power, so under that list at right see Exports at 7.4%. Take that from the 80.1%, and you have 72.7%, actually consumed in Qld, but all of it generated there in the State.

          When I mentioned that fact at the Qld 50% renewable inquiry Rockhampton round of the debate, I was told by one of the overall Panel members that that does not count towards the overall, because it is consumed in NSW.

          Queensland 50% renewables without reducing that coal fired power total, then good luck with that, and one of the main findings of the inquiry report was that none of those coal fired plants will be closed.

          Never hold an Inquiry unless the result is already worked out, and hey, we’re pretty safe because the ‘plebs’ don’t understand any of it anyway.

          Tony.

          70

          • #
            Graeme#4

            Thanks for taking the time to explain how to use the link Tony – much appreciated. Will follow up tomorrow.

            10

          • #
            Serp

            Choosing ALL enables one to view by mouseover the arrival of wind and the diminution of brown coal, proxies for money politics; good stuff.

            00

  • #
    RicDre

    An interesting article on Judith Curry’s blog asking for help fleshing out bullet points for article called How we fool ourselves

    I could use some help fleshing out each of these bullet points with examples from climate change, preferably with specific web links either to journal articles or media/blog articles.

    https://judithcurry.com/2020/10/04/how-we-fool-ourselves/

    30

    • #
      Jojodogfacedboy

      Our biggest problem is our government designated experts and media never get challenged the accuracy of claims and only hyper-focus on propaganda that has no scientific merit when close scrutiny is applied. Explains why Centuries old groups are still around pushing faith not fact.
      Their also too focused on accuracy of statements from high profile individuals than news now.

      20

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    24 June, 1988, James Hansen, the “father of global warming”:

    “At the same time, heat would cause inland waters to evaporate more rapidly, thus lowering the level of bodies of water such as the Great Lakes.

    The point at which the warming will be apparent has been described as the greenhouse “signal,” which Hansen acknowledged in an interview following his testimony that he was laying claim to having detected.

    “That’s exactly what I’m saying,” he said.”

    https://realclimatescience.com/2018/04/thirty-years-of-the-james-hansen-clown-show/

    01 OCTOBER 2020: The Great Lakes are filled to their brims, with no signs of receding

    “Experts see the fingerprints of [global warming] on the lakes’ record high water levels

    The past 10 years have been the wettest on record for the Great Lakes watershed.

    An extended period of excess evaporation that started in 1998 more than offset the added precipitation until the polar vortex event in early 2014 caused most of the lakes to freeze over. Since then, water supply has exceeded evaporation, partly because of several especially cold winters, Gronewold says.
    He adds that the 2014–17 period saw the fastest three-year increase in water levels since record-keeping began.”

    https://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/PT.3.4589

    Wait. What?

    2018: 30 years later, deniers are still lying about Hansen’s amazing global warming prediction

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/jun/25/30-years-later-deniers-are-still-lying-about-hansens-amazing-global-warming-prediction

    Deniers ahoy!

    Climate change is driving rapid shifts between high and low water levels on the Great Lakes

    https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-driving-rapid-shifts-between-high-and-low-water-levels-on-the-great-lakes-118095

    70

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Well he was predicting about 3℃ rise in temperature by 2020. Also that rising sea levels would submerge The Maldives (and lower Manhattan) by 2018.
      Has anyone heard about the flooding of parts of Wall Street?

      40

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Budget Australia, 2020:

    Treasury estimates 4.7 million are on JobKeeper, which is 38% of all people with a job.

    JobKeeper dropped from $1500 per fortnight to $1200.

    On Jan 4th will go to $1000 and zero on March 28.

    Australia is about to witness the biggest housing, business, economic crash in history.

    Oct 2, via twitter:
    https://twitter.com/DamoPelham/status/1311929730485030917

    30

    • #
      el gordo

      Australia has a housing bubble of enormous proportions, but with low interest rates worldwide there is no reason to suspect a crash.

      Weaning people off Jobkeeper is good, it puts incentive back into the market economy. By March 2021 everyone who wants a job should be able to get it and those that don’t will end up on unemployment benefits.

      31

      • #
        RickWill

        The lack of immigrant workers is expected to push up food prices. But it has been a bumper growing season over most of Australia. And fuel prices are still low.

        It is difficult to imagine all the new money not fueling inflation.

        32

        • #
          el gordo

          No inflation for years, time to print money.

          We need guest workers, backpackers aren’t coming, so incentives will be given to young Australians to fill the void. Its a bumper season and food prices should fall.

          22

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          Inflation.

          Isn’t that now referred to as “quantitative easing”?

          Sounds much less dramatic: almost like the government has done something remedial to the economy/our future.

          The massive shutdown that went way past what was necessary and destroyed fifty years of hard, disciplined work.

          Fixed with a little drop in the value of the Aussie dollar, but oops, every COVID19 government has the same idea.

          70

          • #
            el gordo

            ‘ … destroyed fifty years of hard, disciplined work.’

            Link?

            13

            • #
              Kalm Keith

              Link, a dink, a dinka dinky dinky doo, that’s all I ever want from you.

              O.K. so you’re too young to remember.

              30

              • #
                el gordo

                Self funded retirees?

                Stock market is going well and property prices are stable, no value in savings.

                02

              • #
                yarpos

                stock market going well? what else is happening in you universe? it sounds better than down here

                20

              • #
                el gordo

                The market likes the Budget

                ‘After a slow start the ASX200 powered ahead to finish Wednesday’s session 74.3 points, or 1.3 per cent, higher at 6036.4.

                ‘It was the market’s best close since September 3 and the first time the index has recorded three straight sessions of gains since early July.’ SMH

                02

            • #
              Environment Skeptic

              Quentin Quarantino might do a movie on it one day.

              10

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            Maybe it is called quarantative easing? 🙂

            50

      • #
        Travis T. Jones

        EG, I did wonder if it was alarmist talk, but, tend to agree (and hope) you are on the money.

        20

  • #
    PeterS

    This will be interesting. If only we knew the truth. Perhaps one day we will. At the moment I would suggest a certain state Premier here in Australia ought to be worried of being one of the first to be hauled into an international court for crimes against humanity.

    Crimes against Humanity

    60

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    If carbon (sic) causes everything, it causes nothing – update:

    Temperature climbs to 30 degrees across Sydney ahead of weekend cold front

    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/temperature-to-climb-to-30-degrees-across-sydney-ahead-of-weekend-cold-front-20200903-p55rw1.html

    40

    • #
      Greg in NZ

      To the tune of ‘Dem Bones’ –

      d’ warm front connected to d’, cold wave,
      d’ cold wave connected to d’, snow, hey!

      Same thing happening here; lovely warm nor’wester preceding a southerly cold (and snowy) blast, yet alarmist hex-spurts are confusing ‘weather’ for ‘climate’, as well as highlighting their pig ignorance of basic meteorological science (my apologies to all tasty bacon pigs).

      50

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    President Trump: “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”

    For too long we have let this virus – and the media’s hysteria around it – dominate us.
    We need to take back our lives, our schools, our government, and our whole world.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1313186529058136070

    Thank you, President Trump.

    140

    • #
      Gary Simpson

      And the Donald’s latest act of political theatre,’the drive by’, had exactly the desired effect – it got right into the heads of the lefties and triggered them completely. Genius.

      140

  • #
    el gordo

    Narrabri gas gets the green light, but not everyone is happy.

    ‘Scott Morrison has rebuked the New South Wales energy and environment minister Matt Kean for describing the controversial Narrabri coal seam gas development as a “gamble”, declaring Kean is out of step with the premier and the state’s own policy.

    ‘The prime minister on Thursday used an interview on the Sydney radio station 2GB to tell Kean, the NSW Liberal frontbencher and a vocal advocate for renewable energy, to pull his head in, declaring “if you are not for gas, you are not for manufacturing jobs”. Guardian

    81

    • #
      Serp

      How could anyone be happy about running a gas pipeline to a working coal mine?

      20

      • #
        el gordo

        The whole thing is madness, but until we can prove CO2 doesn’t cause warming, we are stuck with it.

        Scott and Glad plan to build the gas fired power station to support the Renewable Zones way out west. Their primary aim is to drive decentralisation through the rebuilding of our manufacturing base. New cities connected by fast trains.

        They are on the same plate when it comes to making Australia drought proof, pipes and dams everywhere.

        00

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          plate? plain? Can’t be aeroPLANE as they emit CO2 (except n flights to Climate Conferences).

          What worries me is that this gas fired station is probably a CCGT one but is intended to ‘firm’ supply from renewables. That this hasn’t worked in Ireland or Germany** seems to have passed over the heads of our politicians and bureaucrats.
          In Ireland it resulted in inefficient running of the CCGTs (as Open Cycle types) causing lower efficiency hence higher costs and CO2 emissions, and more shutdowns for maintenance.
          In Germany the owners shut down their plants and in 2 cases disassembled the plant (one less than 2 years old) and shipped them to countries less infected by stupid and ignorant politicians.

          **Add the UK to that, as the trouble the Government has had trying to get someone to build a CCGT plant.

          20

          • #
            el gordo

            Thanks for that G3, presumably they will leave the Gas Fired Power Station off the agenda until the last minute. It would be vindication for us if the Renewable Zones fail, but they cannot let that happen. The Keynesian model where taxpayers build the GFPS is not a good look, the market should determine what works.

            Anyway, there is the promise of cheap natural gas throughout NSW, its a vote catcher.

            00

        • #
          Chad

          I fear ScoMo’ and his advisors are so far removed from real working practicalities…and common sense, that they are basicly shooting in the dark with semi random progets.
          For droughtproofing, they should just bite the bullet and build the “Revised Bradfield” water transfer project.
          …That would be a real “ Building the Future Nation” project .!

          00

          • #
            el gordo

            The Premier will talk to the PM after the election.

            “Perhaps we need to work with the federal government to see if we can do any planning together, for example, when it comes to a smaller version of the Bradfield scheme,” she said last year.

            “I’ve had people talk to me about it in the regions, and I’m more than happy to have a conversation with the Prime Minister.” Brisbane Times

            10

            • #
              robert rosicka

              Never a better nation building project than the Bradfield scheme but they need to make it as big as possible .

              00

              • #
                el gordo

                Post Covid dreams come true, lets go for the larger version, but only if Bradfield water flows into the Darling. Otherwise you’ll get the smaller version.

                12

              • #
                robert rosicka

                Absolutely yes into the Darling system .

                00

        • #
          Lucky

          ” until we can prove CO2 doesn’t cause warming, ”

          I thought that the showing of such proof was the main topic of this site.
          There is a problem tho’ in getting the facts to public attention. The mass media has its aims and biases, scares always get noticed.

          00

      • #
        el gordo

        They are going to make NSW the gold standard in eliminating the cyclic impact of drought.

        https://www.pm.gov.au/media/billion-dollar-investment-nsw-dams

        00

  • #
    Another Ian

    “Ottoman Empire Redux: Turkey’s Erdogan Tells the World ‘Jerusalem Is Ours’ ”

    https://www.breitbart.com/middle-east/2020/10/04/turkeys-erdogan-tells-the-world-jerusalem-is-our-city/

    Two can play at that game

    How about Italy stakes a claim for the return of Byzantium then?

    60

  • #
    Another Ian

    “Trump On The Mend, CNN Hardest Hit”

    “@JackPosobiec – All of the anonymous sources just died”

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/index.php/2020/10/04/trump-on-the-mend-cnn-hardest-hit/

    50

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Prepare and plan for perfect weather in Western Australia …

    Mark McGowan (WA premier)

    “Batteries are clearly shaping as key to the future of energy – so to help tackle this challenge, we’re looking to install a BIG battery for our grid.

    It’s set to be housed at the decommissioned Kwinana Power Station, and the project is expected to create around 100 WA jobs.”

    https://twitter.com/MarkMcGowanMP/status/1311890454825168896

    It is expected that if feasible, a contract could be awarded next year and the battery could be operational by late 2022.

    20

    • #
      RicDre

      “Batteries are clearly shaping as key to the future of energy – so to help tackle this challenge, we’re looking to install a BIG battery for our grid.”

      I have some slightly used double-A and triple-A batteries I’d be willing to donate to the cause. I’ll even throw in a few gently used C-batteries. I’m sure it will work out as well as the new Mercedes AA class car.

      https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/new-mercedes/3021121

      80

      • #

        “Batteries are clearly shaping as key to the future of energy – so to help tackle this challenge, we’re looking to install a BIG battery for our grid.”

        To get just an idea of how WHOOOJE batteries really are in the scheme of things, go to this link.

        The site opens at the default of the overall NEM (AEMO) for the last seven days, and you can easily navigate your way around for so many things at the site.

        However, go to the menu bar at the top left where it is headed as NEM and if you click on that, a drop down menu appears, and that shows the five States, and you can then click on South Australia, and all the data opens for that State. Now click on Year (1Y) and week on the two tabs under that upper tab you clicked on for the State.

        Down the right side are the colour buttons for each individual power source, and you can just rest the mouse on those colours to highlight just them, or even isolate them out on that main graph, and again, just work your way around, and you’ll see just how much data there is and what it indicates. The blue square shows the Battery discharge, when it is in use, and if you hover your mouse over that blue square you can see when it has been used on the main bar graph at left of this. (Umm, you’ll have to look real close now)

        With respect to that hugest battery on the Planet though, as you look at that data for the (blue square button) Battery (discharge) note that it never ever reaches one Percent of the total supply, and in fact, it only ever tops out at half of one percent on very very few occasions. That’s a half of one percent of a State only consuming 6.2% of Australia’s total power, so it’s minute even in its own State.

        Oh yes, Batteries will make up a very very very large tiny part of the future power delivery.
        Tony.

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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Link not working but have seen it before; very amusing.

        Incidentally was browsing batteries and found aluminium batteries still being worked on. That idea in England of a sealed unit which you run your EV on for around 1,000km. then switch units (a few minutes) while the old one is sent off to a factory to recharged still looks good.

        10

        • #
        • #
          RicDre

          “That idea in England of a sealed unit which you run your EV on for around 1,000km. then switch units (a few minutes) while the old one is sent off to a factory to recharged still looks good.”

          It doesn’t sound very economical if they have to ship them all the way back to a factory for a recharge; I wonder what their target price is for a power pack replacement, would it be a lot more than the $45 US I’d have to pay for my SUV to go that far? Also, how big and heavy are these power packs? Can they be changed by hand or would you need heavy equipment to change them? if they are big and heavy, I have my doubts that it would only take a few minutes to change them.

          20

          • #

            It is a cassette model and would require a standard for all manufacturers to follow.

            I found this which sort of explains how it would operate

            https://jetcharge.com.au/blog/are-swappable-ev-batteries-really-a-dead-end

            01

            • #
              Peter C

              Wow. What a great idea.

              Has it been tried before?

              Victorian MP Even Thornley was enthusiastic about the idea and resigned his seat (2008) to pursue the idea as an executive of “Better Place’
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evan_Thornley

              He was formerly the CEO of Better Place Australia and Global CEO of Better Place LLC, a now-defunct company which intended to supply electric cars and the charging or switching stations to support them.

              On 28 December 2008, Thornley announced that he would resign from the Victorian Parliament, despite speculation that he would be chosen to serve as a minister in John Brumby’s government.[1] His resignation was received angrily by some Labor colleagues who thought his decision “insulting” and a “disgrace.”[2] He had been appointed as the CEO of Australian operations for Better Place, a company promoting electric cars.[3]…..
              Having served as the Australian head of Better Place since his resignation from parliament, Thornley was elevated to global CEO of the company following the sacking in October 2012 of its founder and major spokesperson Shai Agassi. However Thornley severed his connection with Better Place only three months later.[6]

              20

              • #
                Serp

                Finkel had a scientific role at Better Place until it went bust after the Danes withdrew subsidies and ultimately he came home to ply his trade in the Turnbull led paradise for climate hucksters.

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            I remember that idea was around in the 1980s. Alcoa was very keen on it since it would increase the consumption of Aluminium at a time of low world Aluminium prices. From memory it falls apart on economic grounds since in the discharged state the hydrated Alumina just can’t be fed straight into smelting cells but needs to be treated in much the same way as Bauxite – i.e. Caustic Digestion, precipitation and calcination. Although the term for Aluminium as “Congealed electricity” might sound as if somehow vast amounts of electricity can be extracted from metallic Aluminium the chemistry of the closing the loop doesn’t stack up economically.

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      Gary Simpson

      DEcommissioned Kwinana Power Station! Why don’t they just REcommission the bloody thing?

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        Graeme#4

        They have already started to dismantle sections of the power station.

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        Graeme#4

        Also a lot of it is 50 years old, built in 1970 as oil-fired then rapidly converted to coal when oil prices rose. Later on was converted to gas, then part went back to coal, and finally back again to oil. Later unit added was gas. I believe in the end wasn’t a commercial proposition.

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      Graeme#4

      Was wondering when McGowan was going to follow SA and wreck WA’s cheap energy.

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        I’m very interested in the WA Grid (SWIS) — not just because I live there — but because it’s small with only 2m people and they are running a big experiment, and hardly anyone seem sto be paying attention. There is almost no independent commentary on it.

        The NEM doesn’t include WA or the NT, and most of energy commentators in Aus are not looking at WA at all. Indeed the forgotten state doesn’t even register with some of our national institutions like the AER.

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          Graeme#4

          And so far it’s a very effective system, keeping domestic energy prices low while using gas peaking plants situated along the north-south gas pipeline running through the metro area to supply more energy at peak times. And it also provides lots of energy, again at low prices, to many large industries.
          However, the Bluewaters large coal power station, while fairly new, is being allowed to run down and eventually, if nothing is done to provide more energy from either gas or coal, or worse still, more renewables are added, then this entire grid could be at risk. Already it’s not far behind SA for instability issues due to house solar at low demand times.

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          Graeme#4

          Actually the Isolated SWIS grid is now being managed by AEMO, not sure why.

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      yarpos

      He has no clue how silly he sounds. I wonder who briefs him?

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    Another Ian

    “How to take down America.”

    https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2020/10/04/election-fraud-in-the-2020-election/

    “You won’t be voting for a president this coming November but for the survival of your whole system of governance and your very culture. It’s that important.”

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    A modest news item that received zero coverage in this country.

    Indonesia signed an MOU with Thorconpower to develop a 50 MW demonstrator molten salt reactor which if successful will lead on to a number of 500 MW units constructed in South Korean shipyards.

    https://neutronbytes.com/2020/08/01/thorcon-inks-mou-to-develop-a-50mw-thorium-reactor-for-indonesia/

    Indonesia is interested in nuclear power because although it has coal reserves these are being exploited aggressively and do not have a long future life. (Using Indonesia’s current coal production compared to proven and inferred reserves gives a life of 6 years for proven reserves and 20 years for inferred). Russia has been selling its PWR designs to the Indonesians but there may be some concerns in Indonesia given the Fukushima experience.

    The Thorconpower design is a modernisation of the original Oak Ridge molten salt reactor which ran in the 1960s. The salt is Sodium Fluoride with a few percent Beryllium Fluoride. The original Lithium Fluoride used at Oak Ridge is nearly impossible to use because of nuclear material proliferation concerns. The fuel, once the reactor is stable is Uranium Fluoride and about 60% Thorium Fluoride. The reactor vessel contains Graphite moderator and has a service life of 4 years before the Graphite needs to be changed out. Thorconpower say that they can deliver a 500 MW plant for about half to two thirds the capital cost of a HELE coal plant with a plant fence electricity cost of US 3c/KWHr. Much more at:

    http://www.thorconpower.com

    It seems to me the Thorcon plant or something like it would be ideal for Australia. A simple, cheap plant that can be run by operators of limited experience and “walk away safe”.

    I guess if the Indonesians had said they were pursuing a nuclear weapons option our politicians would have woken up and taken notice. I suspect only the threat of becoming radioactive dust in the stratosphere along with everyone they know would wake most of our pollies from their slumber.

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      Analitik

      Roger Hargreaves has always worded Thorcon’s presentations to imply that the reactor has been built and tested with only final approval needed for deployment. Sadly, there are still aspects of the LFTR that require development and testing. It’s a beautiful concept still a fair way off from being deployed.

      Terrestrial Energy’s IMSR Is a far more mature design that could be used to take advantage of our uranium deposits. Again, no working prototype has been built yet but it is designed on principles far closer to the original Oak Ridge MSRE
      https://www.terrestrialenergy.com/

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        The project plan for the Indonesian plants (see the Thorconpower website) says that Thorcon wants to first build a “cold” (non-radioactive) test bed to check that their understanding of the fluid dynamics of the molten salt loops is accurate as well as confirm the modelling. The test rig will be heated by electricity to the expected operating temperature of the operational reactor. I would also think that they want to check that the scale factors they’ve used in their calculations are appropriate since the Thorcon design is overall larger than the Oak Ridge MSRE. The Thorcon construction scheme of building modules in a shipyard would seem to allow a telescoping of the project since the plant build phase can occur in parallel and isn’t rate limited by building massive concrete structures.

        There are downsides to the Thorcon and Terrestrial approaches in that the reactors are graphite moderated and that graphite has a limited life due to swelling and distortion caused by neutron bombardment. Thorcon proposes changing out the complete reactor vessel so their plant has one active reactor and one sitting cooling down and allowing some of the short lived fission products to go away.
        Their plan is to swap reactor vessels every 4 years. Even if the reactor vessel was not recycled this represents only a fraction of the waste created by a PWR. I don’t know what Terrestrial proposes to do about graphite moderator exchange.

        Ideally a reactor which can burn pretty much anything – spent fuel rods, U235, U238, Thorium and Plutonium would be the perfect solution but you’d need a fast neutron reactor to do that. I can’t see a country like Australia with very limited nuclear experience would be capable of running a molten metal cooled reactor but there are fast neutron molten salt reactors…

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          Analitik

          As I said, it’s a beautiful concept that is still a fair way off being deployed. The proposed test indicates how much the Thorcon is a paper design.

          The graphite moderator was the main constraint for the IMSR core unit having a 7 year lifespan. It is also designed to be swapped out but as a sealed unit without the draining envisaged by Thorcon. I assume that with IMSRs small output and size, Terrestrial would deploy multiple IMSRs at a site to allow for a unit being replaced without losing a major portion of the plant capacity.

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            I believe Thorcon’s route via a cold test plant was, in part, to reassure the Indonesians it was going to
            work as predicted. I get the impression that the Indonesian Govt works by activities and decision making
            distributed across silos which contribute to decisions but there isn’t a master decision authority. Ultimately
            it seems that there is a final signoff a presidential level but all the contributing silos seem to have to
            work out a compromise that everyone can live with before signoff occurs.

            A feature of molten salt reactors which is almost never discussed is the self-clearing of fission products.
            Most molten salt reactor designs use Helium at low pressure to sweep out any gaseous fission products and
            these are separated from the Helium flow and allowed to decay in separate tanks – mostly the gaseous fission
            products decay and plate out as a non-volatile isotope. Ed Pfiel from Elysium Industries said in one of his talks
            that their calculations suggest that up to one third of all fission products produced will escape from the molten salt
            as a gaseous isotope (Xe, Kr mostly) and be removed from the reactor without having to do anything to the salt to clean it.

            I agree that more work needs to be done but it is happening. My thought is that the MSRs are going to be much easier
            to engineer than the high pressure PWRs were and will turn out to be cheap and safe.

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    Fresh new observation never mentioned in the scientific literature:

    http://phzoe.com/2020/10/05/geothermal-to-the-moon/

    What do you think?

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    A quick look at the weather for September and its implications for climate change. Keeping the casual observer in touch with reality.
    http://www.dinosaurdiary.com.au

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      el gordo

      Good effort, a blocking high pressure will create clear weather and cold nights.

      ‘The conversation (in some circles) seems to be turning to the idea that clouds and sunshine are the main drivers of temperatures after all.’

      Its a chicken and egg thing, clouds are hard to model. My hypothesis is that the oceans have the capacity to alter atmospheric temperatures, we see it with ENSO. The last big La Nina in 2010-12 dumped so much water onto Australia that sea level fell.

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    beowulf

    Here’s one for TonyfromOz to eviscerate.
    Boris is at it again.

    “. . . the UK Government has decided to become the world leader in low cost clean power generation – cheaper than coal and gas – and we believe that in 10 years’ time offshore wind will be powering every home in the country, with our target rising from 30 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts.”

    “. . . the green industrial revolution that in the next 10 years will create hundreds of thousands if not millions of jobs.”
    “You heard me right. Your kettle, your washing machine, your cooker, your heating, your plug-in electric vehicle – the whole lot of them will get their juice cleanly and without guilt from the breezes that blow around these islands.”

    “And we will not only build fixed arrays in the sea, we will build windmills that float on the sea – enough to deliver one gigawatt of energy by 2030, 15 times as much as the rest of the world put together.”

    “As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind – a place of almost limitless resource, but in the case of wind without the carbon emissions and without the damage to the environment.”

    “I remember how some people used to sneer at wind power, 20 years ago, and say that it wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding.”

    “They forgot the history of this country. It was offshore wind that puffed the sails of Drake and Raleigh and Nelson, and propelled this country to commercial greatness.”

    And it was offshore wind that for centuries becalmed fleets until steam was harnessed. It was UK offshore wind that wrecked the Armada.

    For those commenters here who suggested a couple of threads back that Boris has only become erratic since his brush with Covid, I say that this is entirely in character. He has only ever been a loose cannon ruled by whims. He may yet stuff up Brexit at 1 minute to midnight as well. He has already agreed to a 1 month extension in the talks, overriding his 2 previous “red line” deadlines.

    https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/newslondon/boris-johnson-wind-power-to-run-every-home-in-britain-by-2030/ar-BB19JgAz?ocid=msedgdhp

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      Annie

      I think Boris has forgotten those UK winters where there are many weeks of fog and frost, no wind and no sun. 🙁 It doesn’t happen all the time but certainly enough of the time to make wind and solar look very silly.
      The winters that are like that are very depressing; I went through enough of them!
      Mind you, the winters here in country Vic are like that too; our area often has fogs lasting until lunchtime and sometimes well beyond.

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        Peter C

        As I found out recently while watching an episode of ‘The Crown’. The Great SMOG of 1952 killed 12,00 people in a few days.
        https://www.vulture.com/2016/11/crown-recap-season-1-episode-4.html

        Churchill almost held his nerve but reversed the day before the weather changed, saving his Prime Ministership.
        The subsequent anti-coal (in domestic fires and local power stations) legislation was good for Air Quality in London. But was it the right response?

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          Graeme No.3

          They moved the power stations out of London to the coalfields. Larger and more efficient ones (until the miner’s strikes).
          Battersea power station was known as ‘Old Smokey’ and pictures of it still surface occasionally on Green sites, long after it was shut down.

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      Analitik

      Bores needs to find a new squeeze who isn’t a rabid CAGW adherent. The U.K. Is being led by Boris’s private member.

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    Dennis

    First coal mine to open in Great Britain in decades.

    Purpose steel production, but how long before they stop importing biomass?

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cumbria-50274212

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      The world market for good quality coking coal has been strong for a while so it isn’t too surprising that some of the old British mines should be considered for reopening. As usual, any discussion of coal produces a reaction similar to the antichrist at the Vatican. The ignorance is strong among these people. Without coking coal there would be only tiny amounts of steel available – I guess the Greens et al would be able to cope with the lack of transport – perhaps with wooden Flintstones vehicles.

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    Another Ian

    Hi Jo

    Re WordPress

    “UPDATE: Ongoing Site Issues, and Apologies…”

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/10/05/update-ongoing-site-issues-and-apologies/

    [No problems here yet that I’ve seen but thanks for the info.]AD

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    Serp

    Britain is worse than us at this climate game and the streets of the City are paved with spivs who love Boris’s easy way of distributing large wodges of cash among them.

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    el gordo

    James Cameron is having a dream run.

    “Where we are right now – I’m down in New Zealand shooting. We’re shooting the remainder of the live-action, we’ve got about 10 per cent left to go. We’re 100 per cent complete on Avatar 2, and we’re sort of 95 per cent on Avatar 3.”

    ‘Cameron also praised New Zealand’s Covid-19 response: “We’re very lucky in that we chose this as our production site years ago, we made the first film here in New Zealand. It turns out to be the first or second-best country in the world for its Covid response.” SCMP

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    Peter C

    HydroxyChloroquine!

    Donald Trump discussed hydroxycholoquine treatment with his doctors at the Walter Reed Memorial Hospital. Apparently they talked him out of it.

    I can sort of understand why. If they tried and it did not work the situation would have been explosive. They thought that their treatment would be sufficient anyway.

    None the less they were prepared to try an unproven remedy ie remdesivir. It is even more experimental but does not have the political risk. There does not seem to be any indication that it actually contributed to his condition. He was getting better anyway.

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      ren

      You need to wait about 5 days after finding an infection. Cov-19 disease does not progress overnight. It is caused by the narrowing of the cryovascular vessels after the ACE2 enzyme has been neutralized by the virus. ACE2 is found in the epithelium of the vascular vessels. As a result, there is a dangerous hypoxia in the organs.

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    el gordo

    Solar Cycle 25 has begun and Leif gives his forecast.

    ‘The predicted size of the new cycle 25 is 128±10 (on the new sunspot number version 2 scale), slightly larger than the previous cycle.’

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    el gordo

    ‘Prompted by the observation that dramatic COVID-related reductions in 2020 human CO2 emissions had zero impact on the Earth’s CO2 concentration, two scientists conduct extensive statistical probability analyses to conclude temperature changes lead CO2 changes, not the other way around.’ Notrickszone

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    Another Ian

    Links in here for people looking for ways around the Google/Facebook/Twitter et al censorship

    “For Every Action, There Sometimes Is An Opposite Greater Reaction…”

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2020/10/05/for-every-action-there-sometimes-is-an-opposite-greater-reaction/

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    Chad

    Following a few days of clear windy weather, Dr Karl posts this ill informed gem on Twitter…

    Dr Karl
    @DoctorKarl
    Renewables>fossil! (In Oz!!)
    The share of renewable energy broke new records for third consecutive day on Saturday, with wind & solar providing more than 50 per cent of demand on Australia’s main grid for first time, and for extended periods (>4 hours).

    If he had stopped to think for a few moments, he might have noticed that the biggest contributor during those magical periods , was Roof top solar at about 6 GW, or 50% of all the renewable generation……which is NOT part of the grid demand .!
    .. but , hey ! Who cares about actual facts !

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      yarpos

      extended periods > 4 hrs? good grief he cant be serious. Yes a triumph indeed, well worth the billions.

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    CHRISTOPHER KENT

    Dr Carl is an individual of total irrelevance

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      Kalm Keith

      Christopher,

      anyone who is leading so many people along the wrong path to a super expensive, unaffordable, industry unfriendly and future damaging supply system, is not irrelevant.

      KK

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        Chad

        Yes, Dr K is a Media personality and a Social “influencer” ..which makes him a dangerous individual….especially with his obvious limited level of comprehension ..

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        Serp

        That’s right. He’s yet another fungating tumour on our body politic. In enlightened times we’d bulldoze his mob into mass graves.

        10