February 20, 2011
Massacre in Libya
Details have emerged of huge casualty figures in the Libyan city of Benghazi, where troops have launched a brutal crackdown on protesters.I don't guess anyone needs me to comment on Gadaffi murdering folks at funerals. Its barbarity speaks for itself.
More than 200 people are known to have died, doctors say, with 900 injured.
The most bloody attacks were reported over the weekend, as funeral marches were said to have come under machine-gun and heavy weapons fire.
One doctor, speaking amid the sound of fresh gunfire on Sunday, told the BBC that "a real massacre" had happened.
Human Rights Watch says at least 173 people have been killed in Libya since demonstrations began on Wednesday.
Benghazi, the country's second city, has been a leading focus of protests against four decades of rule by Col Muammar Gadaffi.
Witnesses said troops used machine-guns, mortars, large-calibre weapons, and even a missile, against the mourners.
Opposition supporters said the attack was unprovoked, although security sources suggested some protesters threw firebombs at the compound.
Some described scenes of chaos as army snipers shot from the roofs of buildings and demonstrators fought back against troops on the ground.
The doctor told the BBC that some Benghazi residents had been shot outside their homes by neighbourhood militias and bodies had been dumped on the street.
Isn't he held up as a Good Muslim in the struggle to kill infidels?
Why now is he murdering Muslims instead?
Here is some video from Libya, graphic truth warning.
A couple more recent uploads below the fold. Please feel free to contribute more in comments.
October 10, 2010
My replies, when one isn'tenough:
June 14, 2010
Airing on Wind Farms
British writer James Delingpole weighs in on wind farms. In a nutshell, he would rather have his wife make land mines than work in the wind farm industry.
If there’s an industry in the world that deserves to be stigmatised more than any other, it’s the despicable, reprehensible, money-grubbing, mendacious, taxpayer-fleecing, bird-mangling, landscape-ruining, economy-blighting wind farm business.I agree. Simple review of weather and cost data indicates that wind energy is an unreliable and expensive luxury. Although wind energy works in some specific unique applications, it's not the cost-effective electricity source needed for an industrialized economy.
July 08, 2009
T. Boone Pickens Scraps Wind Project
T. Boone Pickens announced yesterday that he has 687 giant wind turbines for sale now that he has abandoned plans for a wind farm in the Texas panhandle. Blah ... blah ... blah, empty bandwagon. Cutting losses.
It appears that T. Boone counted his chickens before they hatched.
March 04, 2009
Good News: Obama Cuts off Funding for Yucca Mountain
Snapped Shot on another idiotic promise Obama is keeping:
In keeping with a pledge President Obama made during the campaign, the budget released last week cuts off almost all funding for creating a permanent burial site for a large portion of the nation's radioactive nuclear waste at the site in the Nevada desert. Congress selected the location in 1987 and reaffirmed the choice in 2002. About $7.7 billion has been sunk into the project since its inception.So, instead of shipping off the radioactive waste to a pretty good, if not perfect, permanent disposal site we'll keep all that waste at pretty terrible on site short term storage sites .... forever.
Now that's a problem environmentalists should be worried about.
November 02, 2008
Shocka: Obama in San Franciso - I Will Bankrupt the Coal Industry
27 Coal mining states be wary of the Hope & Change person. He plans to spread the greenhouse tax from coal plants and give to "greenies".
What I've said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else's out there.[...]
So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.[...]
So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.
It's just that it will bankrupt them."
I am damn sick of this Hope & Change person.
2003 table of coal states"
September 08, 2008
Pickens and the "Buy Time Scheme"
Is anyone else getting annoyed seeing T. Boone Pickens on television telling everyone that time is running out and he knows how to buy time?
Although Pickens talks in generalities, I sense that one unmentioned specific is that his "Buy Time Scheme" will need to be paid for by the American public.
When a businessman plans to prop up his project with taxpayer dollars, I am suspicious of the commercial viability of the project. As a result, I also lack trust in what Pickens says.
August 12, 2008
Debunking Environazi Myths on Offshore Drilling
National Review The Washington Post:
[T]here are three "truths" masquerading as fact among drilling opponents that need to be challenged:h/t: Volokh.
· Drilling is pointless because the United States has only 3 percent of the world's oil reserves...
· The oil companies aren't using the leases they already have...
· Drilling is environmentally dangerous...
At least the Russians are still Russians...
August 05, 2008
Did General Patraeus Save the U.S. Economy?
Short answer: Yes. Now here's a post worth reading. Seriously, it's not often that I'm thrown something unexpected. But connecting the success of the surge to the recent downward pressures on oil prices? Now that's some original thinking. And you know what? It makes a lot of sense. Especially when you think about the what if/counterfactual: "what if we had listened to Barrack Obama and withdrawn our troops?" Iraq's oil production would be much less than it is today and world prices even higher.
July 16, 2008
Isn't calling Nancy Pelosi a troll redundant?
October 24, 2007
The Honda CR-Z Hybrid
As a tribute to our hybrid-obsessed readers, I bring you the Honda CR-Z hybrid:
(Click image for full gallery)
From the Honda Press Release:
The CR-Z is a next-generation lightweight sports car equipped with Honda's original gas-electric hybrid system which achieves both clean performance and a high level of torque...Nice....
'CR-Z' stands for 'Compact Renaissance Zero'-an expression intended to capture the idea of a renaissance in the design of compact cars that begins anew from fundamentals.
This design research model of a lightweight hybrid sports car features advanced technologies that deliver enjoyable driving for all while reducing the vehicle's environmental footprint.
Renewable Energy Retailing in Texas
Yes, I fully realize Wal-Mart Corporation is working overtime selling our country out to the godless and bloodthirsty ChiComs, but even so, this is pretty cool:
Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, unveiled a new store outside of Dallas, Texas that could revolutionize how the company builds and powers their stores. The experimental design combines a host of renewable energy technologies including numerous solar PV arrays, two, small wind turbines, a bio-fuel boiler to recycle and burn recovered oil from store operations and a nearly endless list of energy-saving and sustainable design principles.All it's missing is a big fleet of cool-ass HYBRID CARS in the parking lot. Ah, well, all in good time...
The project represents an industry first for big box retailers. For the next three years, the company has arranged through the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other partners to carefully analyze every aspect of this experiment in sustainable, big box store design. The results, if satisfying, could profoundly change the way Wal-Mart, and even the retail industry as a whole, designs, constructs, and manages buildings and their energy use.
May 19, 2007
A "Revolution" in Renewable Energy? Maybe Not.
Snake oil or salvation? Via MSNBC:
A Purdue University engineer and National Medal of Technology winner says he's ready and able to start a revolution in clean energy.Wow. It sounds almost too good to be true. Yet another new process for generating energy from water. With all the water on this planet, our energy problems should be behind us in no time. We can finally tell Hugo Chavez and those damned Saudis to kiss our asses!!! Sayonara, suckers!!!
Professor Jerry Woodall and students have invented a way to use an aluminum alloy to extract hydrogen from water — a process that he thinks could replace gasoline as well as its pollutants and emissions tied to global warming.
But Woodall says there's one big hitch: "Egos" at the U.S. Department of Energy, a key funding source for energy research, "are holding up the revolution."
...or maybe not. Find out why below the fold.
It seems like we're seeing stories like this on a fairly regular basis, usually written by enthusiastic, but often technologically-challenged, journalists who are willing to believe almost anything a researcher tells them. I have no reason to doubt that the process described in the article works to generate hydrogen from water. It probably does, but this process isn't a revolution, or even an "invention."
Elemental metals like oxygen, and aluminum likes oxygen a lot. Aluminum's not unique in this respect. Drop some metallic sodium in water sometime and see what happens. (I strongly recommend you watch from a safe distance.) You can mix other things with water to make fuel. You can generate acetylene, for example, by mixing water and calcium carbide. In other words, the idea of generating hydrogen by reacting water with a metal or other chemical is far from revolutionary, controversial or even new. This would've been ground-breaking stuff in 1750. In 2007? Not so much.
The article doesn't mention it, but Prof. Woodall filed for his patent on this almost 27 years ago and the patent has long-since expired. (It's patent number 4,358,291 if you want to check it out.) Even though the chemistry here is likely sound, it's far from novel, and there are some troublesome facts that didn't make it into this article.
Generating hydrogen fuel from water and metal sounds like a really good idea until you realize some troublesome facts, starting with...
TROUBLESOME FACT # 1 : By mass, water is mostly oxygen. There's not much hydrogen in water.In fact, in NINE pounds of water, there's only ONE pound of hydrogen. Since a hydrogen-burning engine generates water as its waste product, this isn't as big a problem as it may first appear, as the waste water can likely be recycled.
The other troublesome facts are, however, more "troublesome."
The article touches on the fact that this process consumes aluminum, but it fails to go into any detail as to how much. The article refers to the aluminum almost as if it were just some type of catalyst or something, but in fact this process consumes very large quantities of aluminum. I noted above that it takes 9 pounds of water to get 1 pound of hydrogen. This brings us to...
TROUBLESOME FACT # 2 : The process of reacting aluminum with water consumes roughly NINE pounds of water and EIGHT pounds of aluminum for every ONE pound of hydrogen it generates.Now, 16 pounds of solid waste product may not seem like a big deal until you realize that the 1 pound of hydrogen fuel you've just generated is the energy equivalent of less than ONE HALF GALLON of gasoline. That's where the big, 350-lb. chunk of aluminum alloy comes in. The article mentions that there's a 350-lb. chunk of aluminum alloy added to the vehicle and that some aluminum is consumed by the process, but the article fails to elaborate...
TROUBLESOME FACT # 3 : The process of reacting aluminum with water generates roughly SIXTEEN pounds of aluminum oxide waste for every ONE pound of hydrogen it generates.
TROUBLESOME FACT # 4: At an average level of automotive efficiency, the 350-lb. chunk of aluminum will be consumed every few hundred miles.This is an important fact that was left out of the article. Another thing...
TROUBLESOME FACT # 5: Given the same assumption on efficiency, the 350-lb. chunk of aluminum will be converted into a 700-pound chunk of aluminum oxide which will, again, have to be disposed of every few hundred miles.
Bottom line : it's not that water can't be reacted with metals to generate hydrogen. It certainly can, and scientists have known of this phenomenon for centuries. The problem is that "filling up" your car for this would morph from a simple matter of adding a liquid fluid (gasoline) to a tank into a process much closer to removing the old fuel tank and putting in a new one. And this would have to be done every time you "fill up." This just doesn't seem to me like something most drivers would be willing put up with unless the product was virtually free.
A revolution? Not quite.
April 03, 2007
Gas Prices Rising, Democrats Doing Nothing
A gallon of gas costs an average of $2.68 nationally and is rising -- about the same price as last spring when Democrats on the campaign trail vowed to swiftly ease the pain at the pump if elected.Imagine that. Congress can't control the free market, and when they try, they are either ineffective or make matters markedly worse.
The Democrats went on to win control of Congress, and the House quickly passed a bill to roll back oil subsidies, a measure leaders trumpeted as "a first step toward a future of energy independence." But months may pass before the Senate considers the bill, and analysts predict gas prices could hit $3 per gallon by summer.
[...] Mr. Townsend contends the Democrats' "CLEAN" bill, which passed the House 264-163, would have little impact because high gas prices are not the cause of record oil-company profits. He said that pump prices have nothing to do with political leaders or their bills.
The Democrat plan in action (the inconvenient truth they didn't tell you on the campaign trail.)
March 17, 2007
"Global Warming" : Is it in Dispute?
The Bush Administration says it isn't, and claims that scientists know with "virtual certainty" that:
A warming trend of about 0.7 to 1.5°F occurred during the 20th century. Warming occurred in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and over the oceans (NRC, 2001).Is this accurate? Not accurate? Do we have any climatologists in the audience? If so, please weigh in.
March 07, 2007
Testing "Tidal Turbine" Generators in the East River
A company is installing underwater turbines in the East River for power generation. Story at Popular Mechanics.