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Oooooh, get her!

Richard Murphy seems to be rather full of himself as a result of his presenting a paper at the World Bank this week.

Reacting to a fairly mild criticism of his views on the efficient markets hypothesis he tells me the following:


Talk, talk, talk

I do action

Very different

It’s irrelevant that the issue may have been discussed if nothing has been done and the abuse goes on

That was my point

You just stick in blogosphere

I’ll get on with the real world, OK?


OK, let\’s have a look at this real world stuff then shall we?

I think we all agree that we\’d rather like there to be non-fossil fuel consuming methods of having transit, travel and energy generation, no? That fuel cells are at least an interesting possibility as a method of providing such, even if we\’re not entirely certain that they\’ll work as yet? That we should indeed be thinking about subsidising research in the area?

As it happens, one of the tiny baby steps to more efficient solid oxide fuels cells was in part funded by me. This one. The advantage the experiment proved was that by this mixture of rare earths used to stabilise the zirconia you can do two things: 1) cycle them on and off without their cracking, thus making them much more suitable for such things as cars rather than the prevous assumpton that they\’d only be good for power generaton and the like where they would stay on all the time and 2) that you could run such fuel cells at a lower temperature (as much as 200 oC less in some cases) making the entire manufacturing and assembly process vastly cheaper (you can use stainless steel for the structure for example, not much more expensive nickel). Oh, and at the same time making the fuel cell more efficient at turning fuel into electricty (it\’s the ionic conductivity you see).

I agree, I didn\’t pay for the scientists, the labs, the machinery, but the materials used came directly out of my paycheque. No, not a tax write off for a company, not an R&D credit, not something I blagged off a supplier, I paid for it.

Is that real world enough?

Or perhaps, this time as a company and for profit, you\’d prefer the work that\’s been done in supplying novel materials for friction stir welding? Or again novel materials which led to this patent, the 10 year research program it triggered threatening to make each and every airplane 2% lighter, thus saving really rather a lot of fuel and emissions? Or even the one I cannot link to which would make it possible to weld rather than rivet aircraft fuselages, saving another 10% of their weight and thus fuel on each and every trip? Or memory shape alloys for jet engines which will help to overcome the noise/efficiency trade off at take off and landing?

I don\’t claim to be doing all of these things, no, but I am indeed supplying the researchers with the materials they desire to do them.

I\’m even paying my own money again (tens of thousands in this instance) in researching new methods of extraction of the weird and wonderful metals necessary. So that if production does start then these materials can continue to be made: and we\’re even paying those tens of thousands so that we can extract what we want from the waste stream of another industrial process. Cleaning up the environment, reducing fossil fuel use and simply making life better for all.

Are these real world enough?

Or perhaps you\’d like to look at this picture?


50% of the light that you can see in that picture comes from my produce. From materials that I have sourced, purified and supplied as the manufacturers required.

Is that real world enough Richard?

Tell you what Mr. Murphy, you come back to me when the evidence of your activities on this planet is one of the defining images that one can make out of this planet from space.

Then we\’ll have a chat about the \”real world\” shall we?

17 thoughts on “Oooooh, get her!”

  1. You are the source of 50% of the world’s artificial lighting? I just can’t believe it – surely if you were you wouldn’t be seeking a living from writing spam about the sexual predilections of D-list celebrities?

    Tim adds: With a couple of qualifications it is in fact true: running a global near monopoly is nowhere near as profitable as some might think.

    Most of the light you can see from space comes not from incandescents or fluorescents. It comes mainly from street lighting. And street lights are halogen bulbs, nearly all of which work on a sodium/scandium iodide cycle. I currently handle (more by bookeeping, telephone calls and emails, to be sure, rather than actually malleating it into shape with my hands) 80% of the world supply of scandium to the lighting industry and over the last 15 years that percentage has varied between 80% and 100% pa.

    One more detail: you can make some 4 million bulbs from just 1 kg of scandium. So it’s a case of being a very big fish in an extremely tiny pond.

    I don’t claim to be the source of 50% of the world’s artificial lighting. Only that 50% of what you can see from space is created with the aid of what I produce (or if you prefer, wholesale, steal from the sweat of the worker’s brows, whatever).

  2. Kay Tie,

    He seems to be all over the BBC. He was on a documentary about porn, he’s on one about Lehmans tonight and was on Radio 5 the other day.

    A typical example of BBC bias.

  3. “He seems to be all over the BBC. He was on a documentary about porn, he’s on one about Lehmans tonight and was on Radio 5 the other day.”

    Just wait til next year. The GMG will lose most of its soft revenue, the BBC will have to trim its sails, there’ll be no taxpayer money for fake charities like NEF.

  4. See Richard Murphy flex his pecs…

    See Richard Murphy tear phone books in half with his bare hands…

    See Richard Murphy expose the hair on his manly chest…

    See Richard Murphy leap tall buildings in a single bound…

  5. I think we all agree that we’d rather like there to be non-fossil fuel consuming methods of having transit, travel and energy generation, no?

    No. 🙂

    Anyway, for those of us who have helped construct £24bn worth of oil and gas infrastructure at the arse end of the world, the likes of Richard Murphy claiming “I do action” is worthy of a belly laugh.

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  7. Nobody can be as great an idiot as this Murphy
    character hold himself out to be. I’m of the opinion that he’s entirely Tim’s creation–against whom to contrast himself so very favorably. (And, for a bonus, he gets to pawn off the drivel attributed to Murphy to mainstream rags for good money and even better laughs!)
    Come to think on it a bit, ain’t it a bit odd that you never find Tim and Polly Toynbee in the same place at the same time? Suspicious, I must say.

  8. Gene, I once floated the possibility that Murphy was just one of Tim’s fever dreams but it appears he is all too real.

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