* Posts by gmciver

11 posts • joined 22 Apr 2011

China confirms plans for first Moon visit later this year


I don't think they've any intention of building a manned moon base. They're just trying to get the Americans to waste money

Boffins fire up old dish to send interstellar SMS



I agree with the consensus that sending out a message saying "here's a planet that is suitable for life" is an incredibly stupid idea when we have no idea how rare/valuable such planets are.

The only consolation is that stars of this type are incapable of supporting life for a period long enough for intelligent life to evolve. We have only got this far with Earth because our type of star gradually increases its heat output over time. As the CO2 is converted by algae to O2 thus decreasing the greenhouse effect, the sun's radiation increases. This does not happen with red dwarfs. Incidently this heating rate is about 1 degree centigrade per 10 million years so even with zero CO2 content we "only" have another 300 million years.

So one stupidity cancels out the other.

[The reason the heat increases - more helium "ash" in the core means that the thermonuclear rate of burning increases slightly]

Last time CO2 was this high, the world was underwater? No actually


Would a 35 metre searise be the main problem with global warming?

Well that explains why we haven't got a 35 metre sealevel rise on 400ppm of CO2 now. Though what sort of CO2 level would we need for that and what will it rise to in the future?

No we don't face disaster if we don't stop burning fossil fuels at the current rate - maybe just a billion dead in a hundred years due to reduced agricultural capacity - or more likely in wars over access to that capacity. No real problem then.

Steady Antarctic ice growth 'limits confidence in climate predictions'


"global temps mean more energy in the polar current that circling Antarctica, thus it and the winds with it go faster ,thus further isolating the continent from the heat the rest of the world get"

And so as I see it, since the rest of the world is more isolated from the heat sink of Antartica, the temperature of the rest of the world goes up a bit. Oh dear. It's quite clear that increasing CO2 content of the atmosphere increases the heat retained by the Earth. I learned about infra red spectroscopy about 50 years ago as a chemistry undergraduate. Where does Lou think the heat is going to?


Jimbo Wales: Wikipedia servers in UK? No way, not with YOUR libel law


I suspect this article has a lot to do with the fact that Wikipedia originally questioned having an (self penned)article about Andrew Orlowski on the grounds that he wasn't important enough. Suggest people read his current entry

UK's thirst for energy falls, yet prices rise: Now why is that?


I wasn't aware world demand for oil was dropping

E-Cat pitching cold fusion to Australians


Some evidence about green energy enthusiasts being this gullible? As opposed to some green energy enthusiasts being as gullible as the population at large.

As it stands this is just an allegation about some people the author doesn't like.

Only global poverty can save the planet, insists WWF - and the ESA!


There is a surprising number of these strange people that have fallen from the nut tree, maybe it is something in the water?

Or a CIA mind control experiment gone wrong?

Exactly, when I saw the summary I knew it was a Lewis Page article



Re: I'm not sure about this...

Yes, taller because they have longer legs usually. Short legs (like Europeans') are a cold weather adaptation. Long legs lose heat quicker. House sparrows were introduced with European settlers to North America and now now the further south you go in the USA, the longer their legs.

This article is rubbish as far as any human implications go. The timescale is too short to have any effect on human evolution and countervailing trends (not the least sexual selection by women of taller men) put pressure in the other direction.

Energy minister gives grudging nuke endorsement



The other thing missing from Chris Huhne's speech, at least as reported here, is onshore wind farms. These are possibly up to half the cost of offshore (cheaper to construct, service and decommission) making it competitive with nuclear. A fact not lost on the French - you will see a lot of wind turbines as you drive through northern France. France being a country that generates most of its electric power from nuclear.

No political party in the UK seems prepared to confront the whining middle class NIMBYs on this issue. Not even the Green Party which emphasises offshore windpower on the grounds that it generated more jobs! Meaning that it is more expensive.

Japanese gov makes Fukushima evac zone compulsory

Thumb Down


With regard to this article, surely the reason for the evacuation isn't because of the current levels of radiation, but because there's a possibility of a large sudden increase in radiation if something goes rapidly very wrong at one of the reactors. Or as the Japanese government put it - it's "precautionary".


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