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Comment Re:ICANN, you failed... (Score 1) 146

This is all about money and Peter Dengate Thrush's (Ex-chair) world domination plans.

It's not a coincidence that he went for the position after discovering how much money could be made whilst the chair of Internet New Zealand and it's not a coincidence that he went from chair of ICANN to being a senior staffer in a DNS company. (It's also not a coincidence that his ethics are well-documented as being non-existent)

Comment Re:one in every home? (Score 1) 227

HVDC going all over the place is only in a few select places - and only crosses shallow water.

Even using HVDC, the oft-proposed "fill the Sahara with solar plants" would need the largest engineering project ever devised by mankind to get the electricity to europe (plus there's that pesky bit of water in the way, most of which is far too deep for power cables)

CO2 to Ethanol to heavier hydrocarbon is also useful in itself, because you can't run transport aircraft on batteries (they don't have sufficient energy density). This is the kind of "thing" where lowish conversion efficiency is tolerated because the overall benefit is worthwhile.

Comment Issues and strawmen (Score 1) 208

The PCBs on those bases are far more of a worry than anything else. Radioactives tend to decay fairly quickly, but chemical toxins last virtually forever.

In many ways this is pretty minor in the overall scheme of things - by the time any waste from these bases reaches the sea it will be well and truly diluted, but the principle of just abandoning waste all over the place is something that needs combatting.

The problem is that I have trouble taking anything from Greenpeace seriously.

Greenpeace pulled a showboating stunt near McMurdo back in the mid 1980s after collecting several tons of garbage which had blown almost 100 miles across the ice thanks to the base's dumps not being secure against the environment. It won them no friends but policies did change - not because of the protests (and garbage didn't reduce) but because the US military base commanders finally started taking advice on securing the dump from people who'd been offering it all along. The "unforseen" side of their showboating was that McMurdo was closed off to ALL non-military visitors for a few years and that badly affected operations for the civilian research site at Scott Base, including transport to and from Antarctica. Of course this didn't affect Greenpeace, because they'd already buggered off to new destinations on their protesting world tour.

They have a nasty tendency to show up and take credit for other people's work or parade around in front of cameras, destroying goodwill that other groups have spent years building up in an effort to combat pollution issues (Another incident I'm aware of put cleanup efforts back by around 15 years and resulted in the local greens being banned from the area despite having nothing to do with Greenpeace)

The thing they're best at is hoovering up money and spending it on their elite.

There's also the matter of the fraud committed in encouraging membership signups by promising a hand in governance after N years of membership, then constantly pushing that requirement out to longer and longer periods before silently cancelling it. This is why a lot of people are disillusioned by them - this is one of those organisations that's mostly show and little action. They may protest and grab camera views but they don't hang around for the long haul to actually effect changes (aka "corporate greenies", etc). In most cases they do more harm than good. - most of which is spot on.

Comment Re:Change the name! (Score 1) 106

The autopilot on my Cessna 302 had one function - it would hold altitude and heading. Just like a car's cruise control. Some are even dumber than that.

Nonetheless, Tesla's marketing leaves a lot to be desired, as do people who try to "prove" how good it is on public roads by operating outside the supported manner.

Comment Re:If only we could stop the creation of smog... (Score 1) 166

The problem with electrostatic stack scrubbers is that they're not fitted to small building heating systems, which is where the majority of the smog's coming from.

China's making a concerted effort to eliminate coal-fired heating and (ultimately) wants to entirely eliminate coal burning entirely. Part of that effort is a big investment in nuclear plant and massive anmounts of R&D into safer nuclear technologies such as LFTR.

They have a double barrelled incentive to do so - the smog is one thing but if sea levels rise much, 400 million people are going to have to move. The chinese coastal plains are at risk of becoming a couple of hundred miles of swamps, lagoons and mangrove swamps.

Comment Re:Good deal the rich can die slowly... (Score 1) 332

"most of the dangers we face are not the kinds of things you can "wait out in a bunker" like in some bad hollywood film"

Agreed in spades.

The most compelling _likely_ disaster scenario I can think of is an anoxic oceanic event (Look it up) triggered by high CO2 levels. This is likely to reduce atmospheric oxygen levels from the current ~20% to something around 11% within a century - which is about the same available rates as you'd encounter at 15-20,000 feet altitude.

It was once said that our decendants were quite likely to be oxygen starved apes. I'm beginning to suspect that this is going to happen in a matter of decades
  than aeons.

Comment Except they aren't. (Score 1) 332

Mass shootings are at a lower level than they were in the 1970s (particularly school shootings) and so are terrorist events.

What's changed is that they're being reported more and reported more emotionally.

Despite impressions, society is becoming less and less violent - that makes violent incidents more reportable as they're unusual, vs commonplace.

Comment Re:Can't turn, can't climb, can't run (Score 1) 343

That flyaway cost presupposes the numbers ordered will hold and every indication at the moment is that they won't.

It's disingenuous at best to avoid amortising the development cost of the aircraft across the numbers actually sold.

On the bright side, the USA will be so busying paying for this boondoggle that they won't be able to afford to go to war with anyone for a while.

Comment Re:What a joke... (Score 1) 113

"I could totally see shipping trucks being an ideal situation for electric"

Any kind of drayage work would be an ideal EV truck solution - and being a truck chassis you can hang a _lot_ more battery on the thing.

For long-haul transport regular IC (no hybrid) is still likely to be the most cost-effective solution.

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