Friday, March 23, 2012

perpetual nazi's

Guest articles both days this weekend
Today we do not talk about the relentless march towards fascism or communism or a curious unique American hybrid of the two.  We’ve talked of this before and will again.  But for now, I’d like to comment on the popularity of a certain genre in books.  There are a lot of books out there on perpetual motion, free energy, energy from water, cold fusion and the favorite “100 MPG carburetor”.  There are some that come close to almost passing the sniff test.  Harnessing the power of radio waves or the rotation of the earth or some such at first glance at least have some possibility of NOT violating the laws of physics.  If another source of energy is providing a secondary source of power, and it is just something that we haven’t yet found a way of harnessing, than at least it appears realistic.  I’m not talking about sources of energy already known, but which fail to pass the scalability issue ( a solar panel is fine for home illumination but fails to scale up top power a whole economy, for instance ).  Algae grown in vats or ethanol doesn’t scale up.  And the US is the worlds heaviest explored region for oil.  It is silly to assume we have huge pools undiscovered.  Drill, baby, drill doesn’t scale up.  The oft talked about hyper-efficient carburetor isn’t beyond imagining.  If the VW Beatle got 30 mpg and the VW diesel Rabbit got 50 mpg, I don’t think a 100 mpg unit is beyond possibility.  But again, that doesn’t scale up.  Tripling the car fleets range doesn’t save us from declining oil, it just postpones the inevitable Oil Age crash a few more years.  As far as all the other fantasy forms of perpetual energy, just keep the main three things in mind.  It has to scale, it has to live with the second law of thermodynamics and it can’t rest on a conspiracy theory which resulted from a benevolent teacher.  Any conspiracy that was revealed to one person by another in the know is pure BS.  “Person X, working in the highest level of government, confessed to me on his deathbed that aliens from planet Z who crashed landed at Roswell wanted to enslave the human race”.  Come on!  You know why all those stories get told?  The author wants you to think he is so friggin special that only he knows the truth. 

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I have read probably close to a half dozen books by Joseph Farrell.  He wrote a bit on space aliens, one on how the moon off Saturn or some planet was shaped like the Death Star ( the shape wasn’t natural, in other words ) and obviously an artifact from a long ago extinct alien race, and on Nazi perpetual motion energy.  Now, before going on, I love this author.  He takes a theory and explores it out to all its natural conclusions.  He doesn’t pretend to have insider knowledge.  But he does have impeccable logic if viewed within the framework of each theory.  He really is a hoot, exploring ancient religions and their texts as proof of Space Aliens As Gods, Einstein’s ignored theory as source for Nazi energy, how that ties in with The Philadelphia Experiment, etc.  You should check out some of his work.  What I’d like to present as conjecture is the reason for his popularity in the “fringe publishing” sector.  I think because he is quite educated and logical, he is a natural for the True Believers.  Those that want to believe we will never run out of unlimited cheap energy want to believe in a theory that will bolster their wishes.  Farrell must know his audience because the books keep coming.  If the selfish Powers That Be would just release those Double Top Secret Nazi Files, we could set up our Super Deluxe Power From Dimension X Generators and restore the American Empire to all its glory!!!
I don’t take any of his work seriously, but he does shine as an original thinker and a shrewd mind.  He is one of my guilty pleasures in reading.  And now, off on another topic.  Sometimes it embarrasses me slightly when I’m adored and worshiped from afar by all my minions.  Instead of referring to me as “Lord Bison”, let’s not be so obsequious.  I prefer “Mo-Fo”.  I am already Fair Haired One, FHO, pronounced FO.  And of course MO would be Magnificent Oracle.  So, magnificent oracle fair haired one- mofo.  And yet another topic.  Faustian bargains.  Notice how your job is a perfect example of a Faustian bargain?  You go in with the understanding that you will be compensated for your time, the stress you endure and the skills you bring.  After a time, you discover your pay, after adjusted for inflation, goes down yet you are expected to work longer, suck up unlimited stress and work at tasks both above your pay grade and outside your area of expertise.  You thought you were selling your soul at a reasonable price and then discover the compensation package was altered without your consent afterwards.  And don’t even get me started on marriage as a Faustian bargain.
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  1. Probably 56 years ago I made my first ethanol with sugar, water and bread yeast. I've been interested ever since. Clearly making ethanol from food (corn, sugar, potatoes, etc) doesn't make sense as an energy source. But there have been some developments that make it possible to make alcohol from any plant material including cellulose. A new microbe that will convert cellulose and other plant waste to a sugar and of course newer higher powered yeasts that can more effecively convert those sugars to ethanol. Take a large metropolitan area like L.A. and use automated and manual methods to sort their waste and grind up the fermentable waste and process it. The amount of ethanol that could be made from this resource is enormous.

    1. True there is enourmous amounts of energy that can be released by such a system but what is the total EROI?
      waste is, almost by definition, waste because it takes more energy to make than you can get out of it.
      How much energy would it cost to process the LA fermentables into usable fuels? How much energy does it take to MAKE the fermentables in the first place? Yes you can slow the energy loss through such 'recycling' but no new energy is entered into the system(laws of thermodynamics dont you know). The only 3 sources of energy are at the end the sun, gravity (and only sort of with gravity as it takes energy to ascend), and the radioactive decay process that heats the planet and is used in nuclear reactors.
      We have a limit on how much usable fisible material is on the planet, and the low usability and lack of concentration of most forms of sunlight make it a poor source of industrial level power (try smelting aluminum with a solar oven some time).
      We had a wealth of millions of years of 'banked' solar energy in the form of oil.
      it is running out.
      we are so boned.
      There might be a lot left, but it is still running out eventually... the longer it lasts the less chance we will wean ourselves off of it.