JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Double your Hype: Climate meets Cryptocurrency to kill the world and save it

Cypto currencies are killing the world and saving it at the same time

It’s the battle of the cryptos. Bitcoin is set to destroy the global climate due to exponential electricity consumption. Mining for bitcoins consumes the same electricity as 159 countries (probably more now), and by 2020, the world. I suspect we’ll be saved by reality — transactions now take hours and cost $20, $40, $50 (depends on the day) — making bitcoin not useful for buying a beer. But Michael Kile has found a competing cypto which will save the world — bound to relieve climate believers of their normal cash while offering them gold-hopey-hyper-cubits which may evaporate at a moments notice. Don’t mock it, in people with the right brain, these may briefly increase oxytocin and reduce cortisol.

So say hello to the saviour ClimateCoin. It wants to be an “exponential environmental organisation…” (because linear ones are achieving so much, and the square of zero could do so much more right?) They are not even pretending to produce anything real. Their mission is to “create a symbol for the common man to be able to participate in the struggle against climate change…” No uncommon people need apply. [...]

Renewable Australia update: Fear of blackouts means diesel generator sales up 400%

Welcome to a clean green Australia where we gave up coal to move to diesel.

Back to the future. Diesel’s prototype engine circa 1892.

Channel Ten news tonight discusses the sudden surge in demand for diesel generators

Homes and businesses are so afraid of blackouts in Australia that some retailers are selling four times as many generators as normal. Mygenerator.com.au reports a 425% increase year on year. The strongest growth has been in South Australia, Victoria and western Sydney.

According to Channel Ten, Energy companies across Australia have sent letters to their customers to warn customers to be prepared in case there is a blackout. But one company says it’s just a precaution they are required to do every year. (Does anyone ever remember getting a letter like that?)

Once, the renewables industry just wanted “certainty” for business (as in certainty of taxpayer funded subsidies). Now “certainty” means a diesel generator.

h/t Dave B

 

Weekend Unthreaded

EPA exodus of staff and scientists

This is what winning looks like.

The NY Times reports on Droves of Scientists Leaving EPA

WASHINGTON — More than 700 people have left the Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office, a wave of departures that puts the administration nearly a quarter of the way toward its goal of shrinking the agency to levels last seen during the Reagan administration.

This is 700 of 15,000 employees. The cuts started under Obama (“blame” Republicans) and is just the start:

The cuts deepen a downward trend at the agency that began under the Obama administration in response to Republican-led budget constraints that left the agency with about 15,000 employees at the end of his term.

…the administration is well on its way to achieving its goal of cutting 3,200 positions from the E.P.A., about 20 percent of the agency’s work force.

After skeptical scientists have been sacked, exiled and subject to RICO threats, NOW they worry about “silencing” scientists?

Many also said they saw the departures as part of a more worrisome trend of muting government scientists, cutting research budgets and making it more difficult for academic scientists [...]

Help. Science blogger needs support…

NEW POSTS ARE APPEARING BELOW

Oops, please. The bank balance is trending to zero, and I must pay attention. Can you can spare the equivalent of a beer, a steak, or a month of bandwidth ($100) for 2018? I, we, will be ever so grateful.

We can do this thanks to philanthropists like you. It’s a testament to the fantastic readers here that nine years, 2,863 posts and 450,000 comments later, this blog is still going and somehow a family of five just gets by. Long live the internet! Details on how to help below:

[...]

Welcome to renewables world: Australia plans for blackouts, throws billions of dollars, but ABC says it will get “cheaper”

The fear is palpable

How much fun can you have living in a global experiment? In Australia, peak summer is about to hit in a post-Hazelwood-electricity-grid. There’s a suite of committee reports as summer ramps up. Everyday there’s another Grid story in the press, and a major effort going on to avoid a meltdown. Minister Josh Frydenberg announced today that “we’ve done everything possible to prevent mass blackouts”. Or as he calls it, a repeat of the South Australian Horror Show. Politicians are so afraid of another SA-style-system-black that they are throwing money: The “Snowy Hydro Battery” will be another $2 billion. Whatever. It’s other people’s money.

This is what they are afraid of:

The red bars mean “Reserve Shortfall”. The dark blue matter is “Generation”. The graph covers two years (sorry about the quality) so the two red bursts are summer 2018 and summer 2019.

SA Medium Term Forecast, Outlook, AEMO, Nov 16th 2017, South Australia.

Oddly we are headed for a critical time, but this’s the most recent graph I can find — thanks to Wattclarity – from November 16th, 2017. (Here’s an earlier version from March 2017. and from Dec 2016). Perhaps there is a newer [...]