Saturday, January 05, 2013
Big Engineering 53 Restoring Fish Stocks
British Columbia–based Haida native-American tribe ... voted to form the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation, financed it with $2.5 million of their own savings, and used it to support the efforts of American scientist-entrepreneur Russ George to demonstrate the feasibility of open-sea mariculture through the distribution of 120 tons of iron sulfate into the northeast Pacific to stimulate a phytoplankton bloom.
While massive amounts of data collected from this extraordinary experiment have yet to be analyzed and published, the first indications are that it may have been successful. NASA satellite images taken from orbit show a powerful growth of phytoplankton in the waters that received the Haida’s iron. It is hoped that these will serve as a food source for zooplankton, which in turn will provide nourishment for multitudes of young salmon, thereby restoring the depleted fishery and providing abundant food for larger fish and sea mammals as well. Furthermore, those diatoms not eaten will sink to the bottom, sequestering large amounts of carbon dioxide in their calcium-carbonate shells. Looks like a result to me.
At $2.5 million (£1.5m) this wouldn't put a dent in Scotland's budget.
Growing plants/plankton naturally absorb CO2 from air and water making this not merely "carbon neutral" but carbon negative.
Lets try another step.
Putting iron in the water stimulates growth. Putting nitrates (aka fertilizer) does too.
Deep sea water, 3000ft, contains nitrates and general formally living material. At that depth the water is its maximum compressibility (ie 4 C) and material that falls from higher elevations tends to lie there. This is why the deep oceans tend to be a desert for life - all the materials needed to sustain it have reached the ocean floor. I have described this before in relation to using Ocean Thermal Energy Collectors at the equator which draw deep ocean water to the surface.
In non equatorial areas, like Scotland, the temperature differential with the surface would probably not be sufficient to generate power and it would require an energy input to draw up water. On the other hand as soon as we allow the free market to produce electricity, from nuclear power, we will have off peak power to spare. This shows water depths around the UK & there are clearly significant depths close to the western shore. Actually the depth may not be so important if you are looking for nutrients rather than temperature differential since nutrients can't fall any lower than the sea bottom.
Most of the world's greatest fishing grounds are areas of natural upwelling where currents bring these nutrients to the surface.
Put the 2 together and the amount of plankton able to support shoals of fish would be greatly increased. So far more fish to be caught.
Even just doing the iron seeding would obviously have a significant effect and that could be done right now.
Well it could be done as soon as we leave the EU. I suspect the EU would ban it, at the very least they would take ages to allow it - despite the fact that with the Common Fisheries Policy they would be the prime beneficiaries as long as we were still in the EU.
The circled area in the first picture looks about 450 miles long by 200 wide so the entire Scottish coastal waters would be about 3 times that. This means it the normal cost would be not more than £4.5 million though it would have to be repeated regularly. This looks like a reasonable cost benefit ratio - equivalent to 340 yards of Aberdeen bypass or 4 metres of Forth bridge.
So do the "Greens" believe in their own carbon scare and want to cut the amount of it in the ecosphere? It is to laugh.
Of course they don't - the pseudo-environmental movement care nothing for the environment, they are just people who are scared of human progress waving a false flag because they know "Stop Human Progress" is a less attractive banner than "Save the World", though an infinitely more truthful one. Thus the article continues:
Far from receiving applause for their initiative, the Haida and Mr. George have become the target of rage drawn from every corner of the community of those seeking to use global warming as a pretext for curtailing human freedom.
“It appears to be a blatant violation of two international resolutions,” Kristina Gjerde, a senior high-seas adviser for the International Union for Conservation of Nature told the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper. “Even the placement of iron particles into the ocean, whether for carbon sequestration or fish replenishment, should not take place, unless it is assessed and found to be legitimate scientific research without commercial motivation. This does not appear to even have had the guise of legitimate scientific research.”
Silvia Ribeiro, of the international anti-technology watchdog ETC group, also voiced her horror at any development that might allow humanity to escape from the need for carbon rationing. “It is now more urgent than ever that governments unequivocally ban such open-air geoengineering experiments. They are a dangerous distraction providing governments and industry with an excuse to avoid reducing fossil-fuel emissions.”
Nothing must be allowed to cause a "distraction" from the War on Fire, allegedly being fought to cut CO", most especially not something that cuts CO2.
But the eco-fascists get under 1% of the vote, despite enormous support from the BBC state broadcaster and other state instruments. All that is required for them to fail is that good men (and women) oppose such fascism.
Friday, January 04, 2013
The End Of Kyoto - 28 Gate - Unpublished Letters
As we enter the new year may I ask people of good will to raise a small glass to the end of the Kyoto Treaty. It lapsed on 31st December with nobody, not even the European Union seriously pushing for its replacement.
Remember how, for years, we could not open a paper or hear a news broadcast without being lambasted about how the Kyoto treaty united the world (and of how its inevitable successor would bring in even more, desirable, restrictions in what only sceptics called "The War On Fire."
Sceptics, of course, were excluded from the broadcast debate because, as we were regularly assured "the debate is over" on whether catastrophic warming was taking place. Indeed the debate seemed over before it started when James Hansen asserted that temperatures would rise at least 1/2 a degree a decade. After all the world respected BBC had arranged a symposium of the world's 28 "leading scientists", representing all views according to court testimony, who had told them that the BBC was right to ignore its Charter duty of balance to push the global warming scare. Only in November did the news break online (across 23 million sites according to Google) that only 2 of the 28 leading scientists were actually scientists and that only alarmists had been invited to the impartial meeting.
As Kyoto disappears, mentioned in only 5,560 papers worldwide (including only 1 american and no British ones) let us look forward to a new year in which most of the costs ($800 million a day worldwide), in the form of subsidies for windmills, electric cars, trains, & extra taxes on everything from plastic bags to holiday flights, are still in place.
With 3 general letters and 1 to a specific paper since I last recorded it that means 561 letters sent to the dead tree press and not one published. A record matched only by their refusal to allow letters that mentioned the, now acknowledged but still censored, dissection of living people by NATO "police" in Kosovo. I will let you know when I hit 1,000. When you bear in mind that "reader's" letters are meant to be the last place in a newspaper where independent opinionn can be expressed (& that papers have long been known to write their own letters on slow days) censorship there is worse than censorship in si8mple "news" items which we all know are largely placed there by government agencies anyway.
Thursday, January 03, 2013
Predictions for 2013
Last year's predictions averaged above 50% though I was wrong to think Obama would lose, the euro crisis would be resolved, that there would be physical intervention in Iraq by Turkey, Iran & Saudi, and SpaceX took off later than I expected. On the other hand I was right about world economic growth continuing, about the refusal of our politicians to allow it to happen here, about the media dropping the term "catastrophic global; warming" (they have also dropped the word Kyoto), about UK electricity prices continuing to rise and about all the parties, other than UKIP, losing support (and members)
SpaceX will continue to be successful. Their share IPO will be oversubscribed proving there will be investment money available for commercial space development.
World economic growth will continue at around 6%, outwith the EU, and the EU countries will continue on the edge of recession. America, because of shale gas, will continue its modest growth.
By years end there wil be several arcologies, like Skycity One but aimed more at maximising volume than height, building or completed. At least one will not be in China.
The long predicted catastrophic rise inn global temperature will not occur.
There will be no broadcast admissionmn by the BBC of 28 gate but it will become public knowledge and trust in the BBC being in any way honest will continue to eva[porate.
UKIP's polling vote share will continue to rise and the Conservatives to fall. By years's end UKIP will not be 2nd party in the polls (except for the Euro election) but will be remarkably close.
Discovered shale gas resources will continue to grow worldwide and will fuel the modest economic growth in the USA & other anti-free enterprise states. Growth may even expand beyond 10% in a number of the growing economies for that reason and world economic growth overall will be slighjtly up because of the shale gas revolution. All parties in Britain will have publicly come round to nominally supporting shale development, even the SNP, but always with "due controls" which will make investing here dubious and thus our economy will continue to stagnate.
The Scottish economy will underperform the UK even more obviously and the scottish media will start to notice.
I'll repeat my prediction for last year about the euro - it will nominally remain one currency but in fact split into competing ones.
Brazil will start flexing its muscles as a bigger economy )now bigger than Britain's) - perhaps by actively supporting Argentina over the Falklands.
There will be a bloodbath in Syria - the western countries will disavow all responsibility and our media will tell us it happened because we didn't intervene when the truth is that it happened because we did.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Scotsman Letter on Growth & UKIP - Also Raise A Glass To The End Of Kyoto
Joyce MacMillan says “inequality is our biggest threat.” Might I submit that for any ordinary person, not consumed by jealousy over not being quite as well off as their neighbour, it is more important that we all as a society, on average, get better off than that we should live in a society where everybody is forced into absolute uniformity.
In which case a growing economy making us all better off would be greatly preferable.
In which case our "biggest threat" is that we have been held in recession for more than 4 years now, with no GDP growth, while the world economy (at least excluding the EU) has been growing at 6% annually & the rest of the world is now a quarter wealthier than then.
Much of the reason for our recession must be blamed on a political and media class whose views Joyce so ably represents. UKIP has a range of policies which would bring us the growth the rest of the world is achieving and it is difficult to deny 6% growth is possible when it is so common, but this is anathema to our political and media elite who prefer building a bureaucracy committed to total equality, in the Maoist style, to building a better future.
Neil Craig (Sec, UKIP Glasgow Branch)
The The editings are in bold. They all seem to me to reduce the force of what I said, on the other hand they may make it fit betterv with the other letters.
On the 3rd hand the mentions of UKIP and of how we, alone, are committed to the gropwth which is obviously achievable if the will is there, is retained, as is the identification of myself as in UKIP. When, years ago, I wrote letters signing myself as "9% Growth Party theyu al;ways left that out. I think it is important that UKIP be seen as having a broad swath of sensible policies not being just single issue.
Coincidentally Brian Monteith's article in the same paper has much to say against Cameron and inn favour of UKIP.
While Cameron looks more and more like a modern-day Ted Heath, believing a benign government can solve all our problems – by providing free financial advice, regulating our energy bills or alcohol intake through price controls, or bemoaning Chocolate Oranges at check-outs – Farage looks to emulate Thatcher by taking on the European establishment.
As with the SDP, it will only take one by-election victory for UKIP and our broadcasters, most especially the BBC, will then have to change their rules of engagement and provide the sort of coverage that the party’s current polling of 15 per cent deserves...
All the talk of a need for a new EU relationship only serves to supply greater amounts of oxygen for the UKIP boiler room and make the prospect of some electoral pact going into the 2015 election a necessity. Without such an arrangement – and after a much-anticipated UKIP success in the EU elections (remembering that UKIP pushed Labour into third the last time round), the chances of a Conservative victory are threatened by the haemorrhaging of votes to the new kid on the block.
On a separate issue may I suggest that you raise a glass at 3pm today, or soon after, to toast the passing of the Kyoto Treaty. As Mike Haseler of SCEF has long been saying:
"It is very likely that on the 31st December at 3pm (midnight Kyoto), there will be no Kyoto treaty, no prospect of a replacement for the Kyoto treaty, and universal condemnation of the idiotic trick by the EU to fabricate a treaty to agree to do what they have already done. It is likely the main stream press & politicians (without much if any help from sceptics) will finally wake up and smell the reality of a world which had not warmed in 15 years, a reality where climate researchers agree with sceptics that the modes have failed to predict the climate. "
Actually he seems to overestimate the integrity of our political and media classes. This Google news link currently shows only 5,560 news mentions of "Kyoto treaty"worldwide. Remember when it was mentioned in every eco-fascist news scare about alleged warming. Orwell wrote of how his Ministry of Truth spent its time rewriting old news stories to make them fit the old line but in reality the news controllers only have to ignore their previous lies to make them go away.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Big Engineering 52 Flooding the Qattara Depression.
the Qattara Depresssion is below sea level, with the lowest elevation being -133 meters. The eastern end of the depression is 210 km west of Cairo and 130 km southwest of Alexandria. Hughes and Hughes (1992) report the following charateristics for this region of northern Africa:
For those interested in military history it played a signmificant paqrt in WW2. The Depression was essentially impassable and thus provided the one area in the western desert where a defencive line could not be outflanked. As such the shortest line connecting it to the sea, at a place called El Alamein was the ultimate allied defence line against the German armies under Rommel
The proposal to flood it goes back some considerable time. According to Wikipedia
The Qattara Project is a large civil engineering project rivaling the Aswan High Dam intended to develop the Qattara Depression by flooding it. The depression is a region that lies below sea level and is currently a vast desert. By connecting the region and the Mediterranean Sea with tunnels and/or canals, water could be let into the area. The inflowing water would then evaporate quickly because of the desert climate. This way a continuous flow of water could be created if inflow and evaporation were balanced out. With this continuously flowing water hydroelectricity could be generated. Eventually this would result in a hyper-saline lake or a salt pan as the water evaporates and leaves the salt it contains behind.
All proposed routes for a tunnel and/or canal route from the Mediterranean Sea towards the Qattara DepressionThe proposals call for a large canal or tunnel being excavated of about 55 to 80 kilometres (34 to 50 mi) ...By balancing the inflow and evaporation the lake level can be held constant. Several proposed lake levels are -70m, -60m, -50m and -20m.
Plans to use the Qattara Depression for the generation of electricity date back to 1912 from Berlin geographer Professor Penck. In 1957 the American Central Intelligence Agency proposed to President Dwight Eisenhower that peace in the Middle East could be achieved by flooding the Qattara Depression. The resulting lagoon, according to the CIA, would have four benefits:
It would be "spectacular and peaceful."
It would "materially alter the climate in adjacent areas."
It would "provide work during construction and living areas after completion for the Palestinian Arabs."
It would get Egyptian president Gamel Abdel Nasser's "mind on other matters" because "he need[ed] some way to get off the Soviet Hook."
So for political reasons it never happened. But it does look like it would be easy to do nowadays. 80 km, even assuming a canal cost as much as the tunnels the Norwegians build (£4m per km) would be about $320m (£200m) plus the cost of the turbines to make electricity. For something that can produce 2.8GW for the next 500 yearsw, till the sea fills up & becomes a salt pan, that is incredibly good value.
Not so sure about it being a suitable home for the Palestinians - that does sound naive now but mainly because resettling the Palestinians has never been the Arab objective - their objective has ben to keep them as a moral stick to use against the Jews. Also if the land is going to be filled with salt water it will notbe so fertile. However salt water contains a number of elements that are valuable and which would be easier to extract from dry salt, or from more extreme concentrations of water, particularly if there was a cheap and reliable electricity supply.
Most, like gold and uranium, are not currently extracted that way because it isn't cost effective but much of the world's magnesium is.
The process of extraction of Magnesium begins by mixing the seawater with its suspended salts, including magnesium hydroxide (Mg (OH) 2), with calcium oxide (CaO), also called ‘lime’, to make a slurry.
The slurry is permitted to rest for the solids to settle down at the bottom and the water rises to the top.
Then, the solids are removed, filtered, and washed to remove residual chlorides.
The end result is a loosely packed “cake” of material which is calcined in a kiln (a type of high temperature oven) to leave magnesium behind. Calcination is a thermal treatment process applied to ores and other solid materials in order to bring about a thermal decomposition, phase transition, or removal of a volatile fraction.
In the quantities available here it should be possible to do it permanently at very competitive prices. It might well also become possible to extract the other materials when these economies of scale work and when so m,uch of the work is already being done to get magnesium.
Dam off the southern portion letting the seawater reach there in 2 stages. Thus most of the area would remain at salt levels not far above those of normal seawater and could be inhabited, with the concomittant improvement of the climate and the collection of magnesium be restricted to the south.
Assuming it is possible, if the technological will (or an X-Prize) is there, to mass produce filters that could let through sea water without the impurities that stop it being fresh, through, then build a barrier of such at the mouth of the canal and turn Lake Qattara into a fresh water lake. I have suggested this in relation to the Dead Sea. A fresh water sea would certainly be able to support a bigger population than ever lived in Palestine.
Or fill it with fresh water taken from the Nile. But I can see those living alongside the Nile objecting.
This does tie in with a previous Big Engineering Project for taking water from Zaire to water the entire Sahara, which could have had one of the ultimate outlets have flowed into Qattara. However looking at the 500 year timescale to fill the Qattara with seawater I suspect it would be at least centuries till all the other possible lakes had been filled and there was spare water to choose whether it shopuld go to qattara or the sea. Thus the 2 projects do not interfere with each other and since they both mean an enormous amount of water evaportating and mostly returning as rain, over the central Sahara, they complement each other.
George Kerevan in the Scotsman suggesting the Scotland copuld go for real indepednece - from the EU. Unthinkable to our political class.
"Staying out of the EU would not consign Scotland to isolation. The latest poll in Iceland shows that 59.5 per cent of its people want to scrap their country’s EU application for membership. But what is the alternative to Brussels?
Gordon Wilson, former SNP leader, and Jim Sillars, the party’s former deputy leader, suggest Scotland should open negotiations to join the European Free Trade Area (Efta). There are four countries presently in Efta: Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland."
Open letter to the BBC from the Global Warming Policy Foundation about 28 gate.
Tim Worstall on Britain's real corporation tax rate. As the irish proved this is the tax you want to cut to get growth.
From the Register which makes eveb our best "newspapers" look like propaganda sheets.
Reports suggest that the UK sits on one of the richest deposits of shale gas in the world. An unpublished but independent estimate of UK gas potential by the British Geological Survey suggests it may be more significant to the UK economy than North Sea oil. Cuadrilla initially estimated the UK has enough gas to make it self-sufficient for 15 years at current consumption rates - but this may be underestimated by a factor of four.
Note that this is only for the Preston field that Caudrilla are looking at.
But it may not matter because the government's nominal "permission to extract" gas has its own Merchant of Venice catch to prevent it.
they have a valuable consolation prize few have noticed. Under the proposed regulatory regime, during the fracking process any tremors that measure 0.5 or higher on the Richter scale may trigger an automatic halt to operations under a "traffic light" scheme outlined by the Lib Dem energy minister Ed Davey.
What does this mean? Well, tremors below magnitude 3.0 are considered to be barely noticeable, and bear in mind that the Richter scale is logarithmic: the energy released by a tremor of magnitude 0.5 is equivalent to the energy released by a large hand grenade.
But don't forget this is happening thousands of feet below the surface: a 0.5 event escapes the detection of all but the most sensitive seismic monitoring equipment.
Yet one 0.5 event alone will be enough to halt fracking and it can only be restarted by the minister.
A lorry driving by would do more damage. Indeed since such tremors occur regularly naturally and the default assumptionn is that fracking must be responsible such a halt is inevitable.
Obituary of Sir Patrick Moore who, as Delingpole says, would never have got a job in today's BBC, not least because, as a technological progressive, he was a proud member of UKIP
What Lord Monckton told the "climate change conference|" & how they reacted.
• There has been no global warming for 16 of the 18 years of these wearisome, self-congratulatory yadayadathons.
• It is at least ten times more cost-effective to see how much global warming happens and then adapt in a focused way to what little harm it may cause than to spend a single red cent futilely attempting to mitigate it today.
• An independent scientific enquiry should establish whether the U.N.’s climate conferences are still heading in the right direction.
Golden Spike, another new space start up company. I'm not sure this one is doing anything new rather than being m,iddlemenmt for SpaceX but it does show there are an increasing number of people convinced there is lots of money in it.
Richard Branson: the US has best regulatory landscape for private space travel
Practically half of the EU’s renewable energy currently comes from wood and wood waste, which produces less energy per kg of CO2 than coal does because wood has to be dried out.