Saturday, June 14, 2008
Following yesterday's article here are figures in billions of $ & kilowatt hours for GDP & electricity consumption of the world, the EU & the top 23 countries.
Note that, as in golf, a high score is bad since it means the economy has an ever more constricting bottleneck in electricity production, at least in countries where subsistence farming is not common:
State -----------GDP-------Electricty--wealth for 1 kwh
1 World--------------$ 65,610--------16,830------$3.90
2 European Union-----$ 14,380---------2,820-----$5.10
3 United States------$ 13,840---------3,816-----$3.62
4 China---------------$ 6,991---------2,859-----$2.45
Note that China is now producing more electricity than the entire EU this is a historic & worldshaking change
5 Japan---------------$ 4,290-----------974-----$4,40
6 India---------------$ 2,989-----------488-----$6.12
7 Germany-------------$ 2,810-----------545-----$5.16
8 United Kingdom -----$ 2,137-----------348-----$6.14
9 Russia--------------$ 2,088-----------985-----$2.12
10 France-------------$ 2,047-----------451-----$4.54
11 Brazil-------------$ 1,836-----------368-----$4.99
12 Italy--------------$ 1,786-----------307-----$5.82
13 Spain--------------$ 1,352-----------243-----$5.56
14 Mexico-------------$ 1,346-----------183-----$7.34
15 Canada-------------$ 1,266-----------540-----$2.34
16 Korea, South-------$ 1,201-----------368-----$3.26
17 Turkey---------------$ 888-----------129-----$6.88
18 Indonesia------------$ 837-----------108-----$7.75
19 Australia------------$ 760-----------219-----$3.47
20 Iran-----------------$ 753-----------136-----$3.84
21 Taiwan---------------$ 695-----------221-----$3.14
22 Netherlands----------$ 639-----------108-----$5.91
23 Poland---------------$ 620-----------120-----$5.17
24 Saudi Arabia---------$ 564-----------147-----$3.83
25 Argentina------------$ 524------------89-----$5.89
and trying a few smaller countries with either high growth or particular power situations:
Ireland------------------$186-------------24----$7.75 Could be trouble
Israel-------------------$186-------------43----$4.33 Difficulty in importing
Singapore----------------$228-------------36----$6.33 Small overcrowded island
Iceland-------------------$12--------------8----$1.50 Hydro & geothermal
Bangladesh---------------$206-------------19---$10.84 Basket case
South Africa-------------$467------------241----$1.94 Use a lot in mining?
Norway-------------------$247------------114----$2.17 Lots of hydro
So the vast majority of big economies have a productivity within $1.50 per kwh of the world average of $3.90. The Chinese ration is at the very bottom of this distribution & Russia, with plentiful supplies of everything even lower which suggests both have the potential for massive growth, which indeed is what they have been achieving. Brazil, Indonesia & India are high but all are undeveloped. Bangladesh even moreso. Climate seems to have little effect with Singapore on the equator being a low user but nearby Australia being a high one. What is clear is that countries with large resources of power & where it is presumably fairly cheap use a lot of it & countries in the EU where we are all "environmentally conscious" but not conscious of much else, use relatively little.
Because the really poor countries have little electricity the average figure for developed countries may be different. Taking an average of the US, China & Japan (top developed non-EU economies) we get $3.49 productivity per kw which may be a good figure to aim for.
As you will see the UK figure of $6.14 is pretty disastrous, making us 3rd worst among the worlds 23 biggest after Indonesia & Mexico, both undeveloped & not visibly going anywhere & thus worst in the world among large developed economies. If I was running Mexico I would be inviting US companies to build lots of reactors south of the border, which I suspect they would do for free if promised 1/3rd of the power would go north. Note that the top 23 make up over 77% of the world economy). It looks like the constant Green assurances that we can do fine by just conserving won't cut it.
What this means is that if we could produce power at the cost of 1.3p a unit as France does with nuclear we could easily double our electricity usage, I would bet on quadruple & get our economy into the ranks of the world's fastest growing.
To do this we need to do 2 things
1) Build new nuclear - If we were to complete 6 new 1,000 mw reactors a year (which probably means starting 12 a year for 8 years & assuming they will take 4 years to build) we would be increasing our production by 10% a year, which would allow us the potential for comparable growth. This does not mean 12 new sites - you can put as many reactors as we want on current sites - Britain is a geographically small country so transmission losses are not the problem they would be elsewhere.
2) Don't let the "environmentalist" Luddites load these reactors down with immense bureaucratic costs. Professor Bernard Cohen has written on how reactor costs were artificially multiplied perhaps 10 times by regulation in the US & it is quite obvious that the eco-fascists here intend to use prolonging enquiries, violence& regulations to make everything many times more expensive & delayed than need be. We know it is possible to produce power at 1.3p a kilowatt hour because it is being done in France. And to build within 3.5 years because Westinghouse have said they can. Any delay & cost beyond that is going to cost us dearly & probably lead to blackouts. It is the prime duty of government to protect against enemies, domestic & foreign & allow people to carry out their business in freedom. I absolutely defend the eco-fascist's right not to use nuclear electricity themselves, though I know of none who do, but it is government's duty to ensure they do not deprive the rest of us of electricity & prosperity.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Voters in Ireland have rejected the European Union's Lisbon reform treaty in a referendum by 53.4% to 46.6%....So "No plan B" then. I'm getting to like Klaus - right on global warming being a lie & Al Gore "insane" - right on saying he was ashamed the Czechs had "recognised" Kosovo & right again.
The Irish No campaign won by 862,415 votes to 752,451. Turnout was 53.1%....
An earlier, more wide-ranging EU draft constitution failed after French and Dutch voters rejected it in 2005.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he had spoken to Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen and agreed with him that this was not a vote against the EU.
"France and Germany quickly issued a joint statement expressing regret over the Irish result.
The people of Ireland have shown enormous courage and wisdom in analysing the facts presented to them and making the decision they have
Spain has said a solution will be found but Czech President Vaclav Klaus said ratification could not now continue.
"The response of governments and financial authorities by making ever more credit available to failing banks may buy a temporary alleviation but in the longer term is only likely to make matters worse unless the world's energy supply is increased accordingly. The root cause of the problem is not a lack of credit but fears of a lack of energy and in particular of electricity. The governments of the industrialised countries must restore confidence that the supply of electricity will always be available at an affordable price to fuel the economic expansion that is required to carry the mountain of debt.
There is a causal relationship between energy usage and economic growth"
This is from a paper by Supporters of Nuclear Energy (SONE) which you can join here
It got me thinking about how directly close our electricity supply is to our national wealth & there does seem to be general agreement among economists that "Electricity demand is pretty much a linear function of the gross national product" (GNP). Not an absolute one to one relationship since there are other factors but still close.
I am going to put up some figures on this in the next day or two. Even the free market won't work without electricity.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Shadow home secretary David Davis is resigning as an MP to "take a stand" against the Government's 42-day terror detention plan.
Mr Davis said he was protesting against the "insidious and monstrous" erosion of civil liberties in Britain.
He said: "Up until yesterday I took the view that what we did in the House of Commons, representing our constituents was a noble endeavour because with centuries of forebears we defended the freedoms of the British people - well we did up until yesterday."
Mr Davis said 42-day detention was "the most salient example of the insidious, surreptitious and relentless erosion of fundamental British freedoms
I like Davis - he seems to be a classic economic liberal & is smart enough to have thoroughly beaten & dispatched several government ministers he was shadowing. Cameron got the top job on charm & good looks. The question which I am sure all those involved will carefully not answer is whether Cameron had decided that if the Lords kick out the 42 day Bill the Tories should oppose it when it comes back. He has found a very good way to make himself unassailable within the party.
On the one hand it is courageous - he is fighting on the internment for 42 days bill which all the polls show is actually on balance popular with a frightened electorate. He has thus broken the cardinal rule about keeping the electorate frightened by hobgoblins & should have to debate the issues seriously.
On the 2nd hand the LibDems have said they won't stand against him which could look like an honourable stepping aside so as not to split the vote & let Labour in if there was any chance of that. There wasn't so we can say he has already won.
MP David Davis (CON) Share Prediction
CON 22,628 47.40% 55.12%
LIB 17,615 36.90% 32.83%
LAB 6,064 12.70% 6.23%
OTH 1,436 3.01% 5.81%
So with the LibDems spiking their own guns the only question is whether he will get the largest majority in the country or not. I think this a mistake on their part - on the principle that failing to step aside could never have let in the pro-Bill Labour party - on the practical side a lot of LibDem voters are going to get used to voting Tory. They have also broken the tradition that the LibDems normally do well in bye-elections.
It is a calculated but nonetheless courageous gamble in a political scene where courage & principle are not widely noted & at least in electoral terms it has already worked. Whether it will end up giving him a de facto veto over the more PC policies of Mr Cameron will depend on how the Tory in the street reacts.
Both Iain Dale & John Redwood have instantly offered their support - mind you so has David Cameron.
59 That this is an SSI seems to be the main problem (apart from Trump being rich & American) that objectors have. Yet I have never seen any objectors actually showing any knowledge of its SSIness.
Quick - what is the nature of the special scientific interest classification & how many scientific expeditions have gone there in the last 5 years.
No looking it up on Google you enviros, but purely from your personal knowledge. On your honour.
200 posts later & despite numerous attacks on me not one of those claiming that the SSI & "environmentalism", rather than Ludditism & a general dislike of rich Americans, is the reason for their opposition was actually able to say what this SSI that is their totem actually is. I posted
165 - I must admit I had initially thought that, after a couple of hours of bluster SOMEBODY, willing to go to the barricades to defend this SSI, would actually have been able to look up what it was ;-)
I have repeated the question today on 3 threads
and so far the level of "environmentalist" ignorance of what they allegedly stand for looks the same.
The answer has been put up - unsurprisingly by someone quite definitely not on the eco-fascist side
62 La La Lands,12/06/2008 13:24:57
Thanks for the support. Many of us have America relatives.
The SSSI at Menie only covers some rare plants, so rare nobody can now find them, as the report was written over 20 years ago. The SSSI was given to cover the Forvie Nature Reserve which is approximately 20 miles away across the Ythan estuary.
Many of the SSSI awarded are not of much national importance but were sorted by landowners in order to receive grants from public money ie the taxpayers.
That was the main interest for holding a SSSI.
Site of Special Scientific Interest. SSSI are not carved in stones and the status can change when the circumstances change.
It is going to come out in the enquiry shortly exactly what the SSSI at Menie covers, and what the main part of the SSSI covers. It was awarded to Menie Estate by default.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Remember all the scare stories about how AIDS is going to wipe out civilisation, probably in the 1990s? How it is going to grow at a geometric rate, as all infectious diseases do, until we find a cure? Sure you do - they were all over our media since 1980, 10s, perhaps hundreds of billions have been spent on it?
Well as you were. WHO have said there is no chance of this
A quarter of a century after the outbreak of Aids, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has accepted that the threat of a global heterosexual pandemic has disappeared.This is completely inconsistent with any claim that it is primarily an infectious disease since it is at last admitted not to be spreading by infection. If AIDS was an infectious disease rather than the body reacting to injection of foreign substances as Peter Duesberg has been saying for 30 years then it would be infecting people. He has said that HIV is unrelated to AIDS & in fact harmless but because it was widespread in the gay & drug communities it was blamed & used a s marker. WHO have thus, by a back door method, admitted he was largely or entirely right. I would like to think the very brave Professor Duesberg's contribution & those of others ( see Virusmyth )who spoke the truth will be justly rewarded but I suspect the scammers are too deeply embedded.
In the first official admission that the universal prevention strategy promoted by the major Aids organisations may have been misdirected, Kevin de Cock, the head of the WHO's department of HIV/Aids said there will be no generalised epidemic of Aids in the heterosexual population outside Africa....
Whereas once it was seen as a risk to populations everywhere, it was now recognised that, outside sub-Saharan Africa, it was confined to high-risk groups including men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, and sex workers and their clients.....
In 2006, the Global Fund for HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis, which provides 20 per cent of all funding for Aids, warned that Russia was on the cusp of a catastrophe. An estimated 1 per cent of the population was infected, mainly through injecting drug use
Throughout Professor Duesberg has proposed double blind testing of HIV "positive" patients which would have proved or disproved the theory. Double blind testing is normal medical practice. Despite the billions going to researchers on a cure the few hundred thousand required to test if it was true was never available.
Considering the amount of propaganda put on this story for decades the fact that coverage is pretty much limited to a small article in the Independent (picked up much more extensively on the net) is disgraceful.
I must admit though I did do an article on this in 2005 & have mentioned on occasion since I have been unwilling to commit myself wholeheartedly to the theory that this "epidemic" was a scam. Despite it being clear a lot didn't fit & some people engaged in fraud were pushing it the officially expressed opinion was so overwhelming that I found it difficult to believe it was hysteria or worse. Well now there can be no serious reason to doubt it was a false scare & the most successful of them all. Neither Global Warming nor the Coming Ice Age, nor passive smoking nor peak oil nor any of the rest quite succeeded to overawing opposition so well as the AIDS scare.
Doubtless we will still keep hearing about the "AIDS epidemic" in Africa for a decent interval. Not only is it alleged to be widespread but it is diagnosed without any expensive HIV tests. Basically if you come down with some disease or malnutrition which weakens your immune system in Africa you've got "AIDS" & strangely enough quite a lot of Africans have these symptoms. Bit tough on those who actually died of AZT the medication that was said to "cure" them.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
"Unless we have the technology to make a steep and quick emissions cut that the sponsors want, this bill will do nothing but add $6.7 trillion, a tax increase on American families and workers," says Rep. James Inhofe (R) of Oklahoma, the leading opponent of global-warming legislation
Despite almost every TV news & newspaper here seemingly carrying at least one article about global warming, or as it now spelled climate change, no mention of this great or catastrophic event (according to taste) appears in the British media.
Martin Ford, the Liberal Democrat opponent of allowing Donald Trump to invest £1 billion in Scotland, is saying that any country which doesn't enjoy the benefits of our planning system (a three-year delay in allowing investment and therefore a loss of £360 million in foregone taxes so far) must be a "banana republic" (your report, 3 June).
I suspect, being stuck in the racial stereotypes of an earlier generation, he is unaware that Bermuda is now the second wealthiest place in the world per capita and several other Caribbean islands are also doing remarkably well by opening up to foreign investment.
North Korea, Burma, Zimbabwe, etc, where government is perhaps even more discouraging to investment than Aberdeenshire, seem to be his template. While displaying all the "environmentalist" virtues of self-sufficiency and miniscule growth, they do not appear very popular with their inhabitants.
The original Liberal party and movement was founded on free trade and progress through private enterprise as described by Adam Smith. The founders must be spinning in their graves to see what these bureaucratic, economically illiterate, petty dictators are doing in their name. The party cannot honestly call itself "Liberal" when it is a condition of membership that one be illiberal.
Be interesting to see if this produces any opposing letters. Previous experience suggests not.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
I have regularly advocated X-Prizes as a method of encouraging scientific, particularly space development. An X-prize is a substantial financial prize given for a specific technological achievement.
Although it is best known for the $10 million prize the Burt Rutan won for the first private flight into space there are historical antecedents. The best know are the ones that Lindberg got for the first solo crossing of the Atlantic, the $25,000 Orteig Prize and the prize the British government offered (& tried to welch on) for a way of measuring longitude won by John Harrison.
In a newspaper letter I tried to mention Archimedes as the winner of the earliest known such prize when his king, Hiero of Syracuse, offered a prize for a way of measuring the purity of gold. Archimedes realised he could measure its volume & therefore its weight by volume & immediately, allegedly, jumped from his bath shouting Eureka & rushed off to tell everybody (he didn't hide his algorithms or anything else thus establishing himself in the true scientific tradition). The paper edited that bit out, presumably not expecting the readers to care about classical references.
Now I have found another:
Billiards were big business in the 1800s. Just about every affluent home had a billiard table and it was one of the most common forms of indoor recreation. Most billiard balls were made of ivory. Throughout the later years of the century manufacturers in both Europe and America fretted over the possibility that the elephant might become extinct. Possibly because the Civil War was restricting imports, in 1863 a New York billiard equipment distributor announced a 10,000$ prize for an artificial ivory.So that the plastics industry set up.
Hyatt took up the challenge. While his first attempts at molding billiard balls from wood pulp and gum shellac failed, they did give him experience forming objects under a combination of heat and pressure. This was the critical component, earlier inventors used heat to help work the solvents into the pyroxylin and then allowed them to evaporate. Hyatt and his fellow printer James Brown applied heat and pressure to their mixture of camphor gum and pyroxylin. It resulted in a durable, though sometimes flammable material.....
The celluloid patent was issued to Hyatt and his brother Isaiah who coined the name celluloid
The more it gets looked at the more effective putting up such a prize as a way of stimulating innovation becomes. If anybody knows of any others, or perhaps of prizes which didn't produce results please let me know. I thought of all those royalty who offered money (well gold) to alchemists if they could only produce gold but these seem to be more like conventional scientific grants - if you have the credentials you get the money in advance & it is for looking not for finding.
Just as the Victorians thought they were about to hit peak oil in the 1850s due to lack of whales they also thought they had hit peak billiard ball material. In both cases it was solved by technology - someting today's "peak" alarmists seem never to have thought of.