Has the TUC gone nuts?

Yeah, yeah, I know, they’re for the workers etc but seriously, has the TUC now gone entirely doolally?

The exploitation of any new energy source should be based on sound science and economics. The Prime Minister may come to regret his remarks that some people are “religiously opposed” to shale gas, declaring this “irrational.” In a 3,500-word submission to the House of Lords inquiry into shale gas fracking, the Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association responds: “Some politicians label us ‘irrational’. But we in Balcombe have been soberly studying fracking for the past two years.” They draw on “peer-reviewed science, our experience of Cuadrilla operating in our village, and on personal contact with North Americans and Australians whose land and lives have been severely damaged by this industry.”

Why is the TUC backing such an obvious set of loons?

Two interesting facts:

1) Balcombe is an oil well, not a gas one.

2) They’re not using fracking and have stated that they’ve no intention of either.

So, what is all this wibble about fracking for gas in an oil well that doesn’t frack? And why’s the TUC backing these loons?

44 thoughts on “Has the TUC gone nuts?”

  1. Some understanding of marxist theory is useful here, in the sense that it contains a lot of analysis of the structure of society. In particular, what we are seeing here is ideological hegemony in action.

  2. I’ll make a bet that within 2 years of the next Labour Govt, Shale Gas will be embraced by Labour and TUC, and relabelled ‘Worker’s’ Gas or ‘The People’s’ Gas or some such Tosh.

    The ‘science’ will suddenly be compelling that it is safe.

  3. What’s “TUC” ???

    “The exploitation of any new energy source should be based on sound science and economics.”

    Only if done by The Collective. For private business people, the risks are borne by the investors.

  4. Here is some more trade union nonsense I stumbled across this morning. The International Labour Organisation has published a book about work sharing which costs about £75.00. There is no free online version.

    Now most of suspect that the trade union movement knows naff all about work sharing, or economics in general. Though anyone with an interest in work sharing might look at a free online version of the book. But pay £75.00??? Hilarious. The workers have nothing to lose but their chains, one chain being the ILO. See:
    http://www.amazon.com/Work-Sharing-during-Great-Recession/dp/9221245632

  5. The TUC in alliance with bourgeois property owners in Balcombe? Both holding their noses there.

    My guess – The TUC has worked out that high energy prices suit their members, fuck knows how. Or they are such political fucks that they would oppose lower energy prices just because they happen under the Tories.

  6. I don’t think that progressive organizations like the TUC really care about specific goals for their specific constituents anymore. They’ll support anything that furthers the broader progressive cause.

    For instance, you have the service workers union in the US supporting immigration amnesty, even though a loose labor market undermines their own bargaining position. But it’s going to bring in millions of new Democratic voters, so they’re OK with it. It’s all about big picture leftism with these people. The details no longer matter.

  7. Don’t get why TW is so keen on fracking.Cells like the Bloom Box are the technology which makes clean energy using the scandium he’s so heavily involved in .He should be slagging off all forms of conventional energy production( and transmission ,Bloom boxes for instance being self-contained.)

  8. TUC branches receive donations from the Co-op; the Co-op bank has a billion invested in renewables and funded the UK launch of Gasland, ergo, when the Co-op says “jump”, the TUC replies “how high?”

    And on trade union solidarity, their French counterparts hold a pro-fracking position. Something to do with cheap energy, enhanced productivity and security of supply.

  9. I was in Balcombe last year, back end of the anti-frak camp. Father was in a nursing home there. Spoke with lots of local people but [email protected]@k knows who Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association is. Nobody I met.

    “Why is the TUC backing such an obvious set of loons?”

    Because it’s been taken over by avid professional socialists. Jobs & wages are the least of their concerns. Union members are an irritating sideline. They do politics.

  10. @ DBC Reed
    The quick answer would be that he believes that shale gas provides major benefits to his “home” country and that outweighs any financial benefit he might get from the “Bloom Box”.
    However The Roman church need not yet line TW up for beatification because, according to wikipedia, the Bloom Box is *not* an alternative source of energy – it is merely a means of converting an energy source into electricity.
    So the financial benefits to young Tim are independent of the energy source whether it be shale, other sorts of natural gas, naphtha, petroleum, biofuel even coal.
    His belief in shale gas is valid but does not involve the degree of self-sacrifice you mistakenly postulate.
    Your comment is quite reasonable, just slightly mistaken.

  11. These anti fracking people will refuse to import gas or oil from any country using fracking? Or does a principle not apply for what happens in johnny foreigner land?

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    DBC Reed – “Don’t get why TW is so keen on fracking.Cells like the Bloom Box are the technology which makes clean energy using the scandium he’s so heavily involved in .He should be slagging off all forms of conventional energy production( and transmission ,Bloom boxes for instance being self-contained.)”

    Bloom Boxes are not self-contained. They have an input – natural gas. Thus there is a perfect alignment of interests here. Your Bloom box needs some sort of liquid or gaseous hydrocarbon. Such as natural gas. Fracking produces it cheaply.

    It is a pity that they are so damned expensive:

    The current cost of each hand-made 100 kW Bloom Energy Server is $7–800,000. The company announced plans for a smaller, home sized Bloom server priced under $3,000.[8] Bloom estimated the size of a home-sized server at 1 kilowatt, although others recommended 5 kW

    So you can pay $40,000 to have a unit installed in your home – and that is going on their own figures which are probably too high. And then you can pay for the gas too.

    You ought to repeat to yourself every morning – engineers are not stupid. One hundred times. Well not all of them. But most of them. So if we do something, like burn gas in large central power stations as opposed to lots of small ones in our own homes, there is probably a damned good reason for it. As there is in this case. It doesn’t mean they are always right but it does mean that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

  13. “Bloom estimated the size of a home-sized server at 1 kilowatt, although others recommended 5 kW”
    What!?!?
    1KW wouldn’t run the lighting. Even the 5KW would need batteries to spread the load across 24 hours.. You’re not an order of mag out, are you?

  14. I often wonder what the union or labour movement position on coal mining would be, if we were on the cusp of seriously developing or expanding it.

  15. So Much For Subtlety

    bloke in spain – “What!?!? 1KW wouldn’t run the lighting. Even the 5KW would need batteries to spread the load across 24 hours.. You’re not an order of mag out, are you?”

    An order of magnitude would be a pretty serious installation. I think that 5kW is low balling it, but I have this vision of DBC in a dank bedsit. He wouldn’t need a lot. Still, 50 kW? What sort of air conditioning are you running down your way?

    By way of comparison, you can buy an off-the-shelf home generation unit that produces around 4-5 kW for $300-400. If you want to run a proper sized home with, you know, actual electronic devices, you can get them for anywhere between $1,000 and $4,000.

    http://www.generators.smps.us/ratings.html

    I expect everything in the UK is more expensive. But not ten times more expensive which is what these boxes are offering.

    MyBurningEars – “I often wonder what the union or labour movement position on coal mining would be, if we were on the cusp of seriously developing or expanding it.”

    Well it is not just the Unions. The Health regulations would not have allowed either penicillin or aspirin to make it to human trials. I doubt anyone would have got approval for coffee if it was discovered new today.

    In fact the list of normal things we can’t be trusted with is, sadly, long indeed.

    But on coal mining they would be right. Deep cut coal mines ought to be banned.

  16. So Much For Subtlety

    Just in passing, does anyone think it is time for a generic protest group that is just automatically against groups like the Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association? They can only get away with presenting themselves as the voice of the locals because most locals don’t give a damn and are too busy with, you know, their actual lives to be bothered.

    But if there was a general group of people who were opposed to all sorts of claims made by these sorts of tossers then all the Single Issue Nuts would have a hard time claiming to be anything other than the three professional Trots and a handful of mad cat ladies that they are.

    I suggest a name like the Anti-Woo League adopting a slogan from Father Ted – Down with this sort of thing.

  17. Bizarrely, I dreamed that I met DBD Reed last night. He was an old man, living in a bedouin style tent at the end of my road. Frustratingly, I can’t remember anything else of the dream other than that we had some kind of conversation.

    Presumably my brain concocted this from “better than a prefab, no rent” or something.

  18. Not that I know anything about engineering ,thank God, but the gas inputs into the Bloom box are more of the catalyst level whereby a multiplier effect sets in and electrical energy coming out is many times greater than the gas energy going in ( which is n’t burned, or combusted as you engineers might say in your pompous way). In which case conventional forms of gas distribution would suffice.The Bloom box inventor says they could work on solar.
    BTW Good piece of engineer pomposity above from SMFS .I quote with as much accuracy as it deserves” We engineers are not stupid.If gas is burned and distributed from a central power station rather than burned in every home then there is a reason for it.” The fuel cell doesn’t burn fuel ( I think) and the good reason fuel cells are not more general is that nobody has cracked the cost issue.
    What I was actually saying, before the engineers and non-Arts educated types, ran over the hills and far away with the argument is that TW (typically silent) would be better off cosying up to Bloom box technology which relies on his raw material .Politically the face-off is likely to be the old American military-industrial complex which is invested in oil and nuclear and the Californian hippy types (who developed so much computer technology) now working on fuel cells and appear to be ,in the case of the Bloom Box, backed with some serious billion dollar money possibly from some at- arms length branch of the same military industrial complex.(Colin Powell’s on board with Bloom Box)
    TW’s the future lies with individualism and lone genius number does not play along behind the Bloom box development which is capitalised to the max and has been taken on, totally untested at $800k a time, by some monster corporations.The Inventor of the BB came from Nasa. Smells like covert State involvement? Does if you believe the American State includes the corporations as Eisenhower obviously did when he went on about the military industrial complex.
    I just think TW is backing the wrong (Romantic individualist) horse.He should be coming over all hippy dippy-cum-techno kid and disparaging fracking as a crude fossil-burning thing of the past.

    Tim Adds: “Not that I know anything about engineering”

    Correct, you don’t.

    “but the gas inputs into the Bloom box are more of the catalyst level whereby a multiplier effect sets in and electrical energy coming out is many times greater than the gas energy going in”

    No, in no manner is this true.

    “( which is n’t burned, or combusted as you engineers might say in your pompous way).”

    That is not true either. We are still converting H2 and free O into H2O. So it is indeed a form of combustion but it is under much greater control and is thus more efficient. That description wouldn’t please a chemist but it’s good enough for us now.

    And the energy that is captured is indeed only the energy already present in the gas. There is no multiplier. We’re just capturing said energy more efficiently.

    “The Bloom box inventor says they could work on solar.”

    No. What can be done is to use solar to produce H2 which is then fed into the Bloom Box. But this is inefficient given the energy costs of conversion. Might be worthwhile if solar becomes cheap enough though and I’ve long suggested that it will. But it ain’t yet.

    “TW (typically silent) would be better off cosying up to Bloom box technology which relies on his raw material .”

    Cosying up to? Shit, I’ve been known to supply the damn material. As well as fund some of the research they are basing their Box upon.

    “The Inventor of the BB came from Nasa.”

    “Inventor” isn’t quite the correct word there. The basic technology has been known for 150 years. I did some work on it with Westinghouse before Bloom was even founded. There are multiple other companies working on variations of the very same technology. Toho Gas in Japan for example.

  19. whereby a multiplier effect sets in and electrical energy coming out is many times greater than the gas energy going in”

    It’s a perpetual motion machine?

  20. Even better than a perpetual motion machine since the magnifier effect is many times greater.

    A runaway perpetual machine!

  21. So Much For Subtlety

    DBC Reed – “Not that I know anything about engineering ,thank God”

    We noticed. We noticed.

    “but the gas inputs into the Bloom box are more of the catalyst level whereby a multiplier effect sets in and electrical energy coming out is many times greater than the gas energy going in ( which is n’t burned, or combusted as you engineers might say in your pompous way).”

    So you have discovered the magic beans at the end of the rainbow? You know, an eternal energy device? It is a pity that the manufacturers do not agree with you. They think it is just another fuel cell. A little more efficient, they claim, than the usual, but a fuel cell nonetheless:

    The Bloom Energy Server (the Bloom Box) is a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) made by Bloom Energy, of Sunnyvale, California, that can use a wide variety of inputs (including liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons[1] produced from biological sources) to generate electricity on the site where it will be used

    Which means the natural gas is not a catalyst – you know what that means, right? It is the fuel.

    “BTW Good piece of engineer pomposity above from SMFS .I quote with as much accuracy as it deserves” We engineers are not stupid.”

    Thank you. Except you have not quoted it correctly. I said engineers were not stupid. I did not say I was an engineer.

    “The fuel cell doesn’t burn fuel ( I think) and the good reason fuel cells are not more general is that nobody has cracked the cost issue.”

    Fuel cells burn fuel. We have been using them since the 1950s. They powered the Moon programme. We do sort of know how they work.

    A solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is an electrochemical conversion device that produces electricity directly from oxidizing a fuel. Fuel cells are characterized by their electrolyte material; the SOFC has a solid oxide or ceramic, electrolyte.

    The problem is science is hard. You probably got picked on at school or made to feel stupid or something. So you need to think you’re smarter than all those nerds who had no problems with science. That is the real function of the Bloom box. But remember, engineers are actually quite smart. They tend to know what they are doing.

    “What I was actually saying, before the engineers and non-Arts educated types, ran over the hills and far away with the argument is that TW (typically silent) would be better off cosying up to Bloom box technology which relies on his raw material .”

    For which he would need to frack.

    “Politically the face-off is likely to be the old American military-industrial complex which is invested in oil and nuclear ”

    Blah, blah de blahdeblah. It is always the same isn’t it?

    “He should be coming over all hippy dippy-cum-techno kid and disparaging fracking as a crude fossil-burning thing of the past.”

    No one has any alternative to burning fuel. You do not. The Bloom box does not. One day solar may be cheaper. As TW keeps saying. I hope not myself. Can’t stand the things.

  22. The only successful unions are now in the state sector. They have thus become an unofficial part of the fakecharity government funded propaganda movement (bearing in mnd tha fakesharities are already unofficial as state propagandists).

    They no longer have an interest in the private sector doing well enough to employ people but are 100% incentivised to promote more government parasitism.

  23. I repeat: I am not concerned with the Science trivia side of things.I was trying to suggest that it is very poor marketing for TW to extend his reflex defence of big business into the field of fuel cells where the emerging players in the market are in competition with the established big business (wed to fracking etc) but have somehow got hold of billions of capital and placed what are almost prototypes in the establishments of Coca Cola ,Bank of America ,Fed Ex etc ,having also been given a lot of money by the American government.TW has ,above, disparaged and belittled the Bloom Box an emerging market leader.Not sensible.

    Tim adds: DBC. You seem to be missing my point. This is the very field that I work in. I am convinced that fuel cells plus solar is going to be the energy system of choice in a decade or two.

    However, I have had dealings with Bloom, know and understand their technology, and I’m deeply, deeply, unimpressed. They should be able to do what they’re doing at half the cost already and should be halving it every 18 months. This really isn’t rocket science and they’ve got enough money as well.

  24. Long way up the thread, but since he asked:
    @SMfS
    “50 kW? What sort of air conditioning are you running down your way?”
    3KW
    But it was the 1KW or 5KW for the servers seemed miserably inadequate. This apartment has a 9KW supply. Even with the 5KW installation there’d be so little headroom over what even the smallest home draws, running an energy budget would be nerve-wracking. I’ve lived in a place got around 5KW from combined solar/wind/battery through an inverter.* It was a case of turning off almost every other electricity using device so the washing machine could be run. It’s not the constant running consumption but transient peaks as devices turn on & off. Even switching on a light can overload & drop the circuit breaker.

    *Hence my horror of “sustainable off-grid living”. You try it. You don’t want to do it again.

  25. So could live off grid sustainably, but would need a lot more generation capacity to cope with general running of the home?

  26. @ DBC Reed
    “oxidise” is a technical term for a particular type of chemical reaction but when you meet it outside the laboratory it is usually a fancy name for “burn” although it does include “rust” and, occasionally “bleach”. When fuel is oxidised, that means burnt.
    Being oxidised is not acting as a catalyst
    However that is not your real problem with the scientific jargon – the real one is that a fuel cell is *not* fuel – it is analogous to the battery on your laptop or, even more so, to the adaptor that links it to mains electricity – it takes in one form of energy and produces out the other side 90+% of that energy in a different format.
    There are thousands of idiots out there who try to tell people that “fuel cells” are an energy source – they are equivalent to a snake oil salesman who has diversified into perpetual motion machines. Don’t listen to them. The passion for electric cars is mostly about moving the smog caused by citizens of Los Angeles from Los Angeles to Colorado or Wyoming or Dakota so the advocates have created a smokescreen pretence that electric cars/fuel cells create no pollution whereas, in fact, they *increase* pollution unless the product of the %age efficiencies of the electricity generating plant and the transmission system across several hundred miles and the electric car is greater than the %age efficiency of the diesel or petrol car it replaces. Coal-fired power station have efficiencies around 30%; transmission losses average 6.5% but from Wyom,ing to Los Angeles it would over 10%; 60 years ago my best friend’s dad had an Austin 30 which did over 50 miles to the gallon so I should be very very surprised if the electric car with a fuel cell produced less pollution than the petrol/diesel car it replaces.

  27. @Martin
    The cost of the solar/wind/battery + the ongoing expense of maintaining same wasn’t much better than the cost of paying the electricity supplier to run a grid connection in & paying for the juice. If you want to double your generating capacity it scales almost linearly. It’s really just twice as much of everything. So, unless you’re a hell of a distance from the nearest supply line, it’s not economic.
    That’s Spain, of course, where suppliers’ entitlement to run powerlines is pretty well absolute. And very few would bitch anyway because they want a hook up too. May differ in other countries.

  28. It strikes me, it’s going to be the same story for domestic Bloom Boxes. OK if you have your own frak well. Having liquified gas trucked in to turn into electricity would make the energy so expensive you might as well run the grid in.
    Using your own solar/wind to produce hydrogen to cover generation gaps? Hydrogen’s tricky & expensive to store. Even for a short period. Even compressed it’s enormous volumes & very dangerous. Be cheaper to use batteries.

  29. D’y know, I was just thinking about some of the wonderful ideas our no-engineering friends come up with for electricity generation & hydrogen storage & fuel cells. And i’ve got this vision of this incredibly complex piece of kit bubbling away being operated by our non-engineering friend & being able to see the fireball from about 10 miles.

  30. So Much For Subtlety

    DBC Reed – “I repeat: I am not concerned with the Science trivia side of things.”

    Yeah but it does kind of matter don’t it? Especially in this case. One thing that the Right keeps screaming about alternative energy is that the science is wrong – and if we all listened to you, we will have the economy of Haiti by this time tomorrow. You can’t simply will an alternative to the real world into existance. You have to deal with the cards God has given us. Or at least understand them. As John McCarthy used to say, if you don’t speak mathematics, you speak nonsense. Or words to that effect.

    Now if you want to confess you have nothing worthwhile to contribute, please do. Otherwise, please, learn some of the basic facts so that you can make a sensible contribution. Let me recommend David J Rose’s Learning About Energy as a place to start. Or if you want to start out at the Hippy end of this nonsense, try John O’Mara Bokris’ (now very old and out of date, but still interesting) Solar-Hydrogen Alternative.

    “TW has ,above, disparaged and belittled the Bloom Box an emerging market leader.Not sensible.”

    Because it isn’t. Look, if you want a really expensive alternative to centralised generation, I can do that for you. I know a guy. If you don’t like diesel, I am sure that for $40,000 I can get you a natural gas powered steam engine, in a cute little box, that would also provide your hot water and your central heating. Small enough to fit in a pantry. It would even look nice – I would coat everything in brass.

    But there is a reason why people don’t do that. Still, don’t let me discourage you if you want to disconnect. You can buy a home-sized unit here for instance:

    http://www.whispergen-europe.com/

  31. So Much For Subtlety

    bloke in spain – “But it was the 1KW or 5KW for the servers seemed miserably inadequate. This apartment has a 9KW supply. Even with the 5KW installation there’d be so little headroom over what even the smallest home draws, running an energy budget would be nerve-wracking.”

    Yeah. I would want some spare capacity myself.

    “Hence my horror of “sustainable off-grid living”. You try it. You don’t want to do it again.”

    I spent many years in a home with no heating, no cooling, no sewage , heated soely by burning wood. Originally no water either. Been there, done that. Don’t really want to try it again. Well, I might try it again, but I would want a proper power supply. Even if I eventually get around to buying a small place down by the sea, just for holidays, I would want a serious power supply.

    bloke in spain – “The cost of the solar/wind/battery + the ongoing expense of maintaining same wasn’t much better than the cost of paying the electricity supplier to run a grid connection in & paying for the juice.”

    I used to know a guy who offered solar cell units. He claimed that if the customer had to pay for the connection, solar became economic at a remarkably short distance from the main power line. A few hundred metres. And that was back when I were a wee lad so it must be better now. A lot better.

    Except, of course, most places the local equivalent of FDR makes sure the urban dwellers pays for it one way or another so it does not make economic sense.

    bloke in spain – “It strikes me, it’s going to be the same story for domestic Bloom Boxes. OK if you have your own frak well. Having liquified gas trucked in to turn into electricity would make the energy so expensive you might as well run the grid in.”

    I have lived in a place that was heated by propane gas. I hated it and it was a bugger to get the truck in. But it is an option.

    “Using your own solar/wind to produce hydrogen to cover generation gaps? Hydrogen’s tricky & expensive to store. Even for a short period. Even compressed it’s enormous volumes & very dangerous. Be cheaper to use batteries.”

    No one has got a good way to store hydrogen yet. I doubt they will either any time soon. Although metal sponges and the like. Better to do something else with it. If you want to heat your home with solar you’re probably best off growing some trees.

  32. Brilliant! I suggest the fracking debate might be an entrée for some marketing of fuel cells; Tim( in the fuel cell business) disparages the Bloom Box, a highly capitalised leader in the field, and then his techie cohorts pile in and try to outdo each other with boring detail in rubbishing fuel cells completely. This strikes me ,a mere Arts educated observer, as a tad self-defeating or detrimental to the commercial success of fuel cells.(About which I do not care either way: it seems to be worth developing them as far as possible as Coca Cola, Fed Ex and the US government think also.),
    I note that when SMFS was living very Spartanly, he had no sewage. Would n’t this have been an advantage in the circumstances.?
    (BTW buried in all this over-detailed persiflage is a debate about funding innovation.It would appear that the Bloom Box is another example of the Prof Mazzucato argument that scientific innovation is more successful for “State ” involvement .)

  33. @SMfS
    DBC Reed – “I repeat: I am not concerned with the Science trivia side of things.”

    It always gets me, the sort of people who will say that with a certain air of smug superiority have an attack of the vapours if one says one isn’t interested in classical music, Shakespeare, literature… On the other hand, i can usually sort out recalcitrant tech without assistance but I don’t find many of them providing their own overtures, 12th Nights or Wars & Pieces.

    ” He claimed that if the customer had to pay for the connection, solar became economic at a remarkably short distance from the main power line”

    Yeah well. Don’t we all
    Really depends what you want. Few solar panels, couple old car batteries. I’ve seen people living like that. Preindustrial but with added radio & a couple of 12 volt bulbs so you can see the cockroaches scuttle.
    To live a reasonably comfortable modern life, even here in Southern Spain with less rainfall than the Sahara standalone solar PV won’t cut it. You need a whole package. Solar PV & solar water heating, wind, a back up genny for when both solar & wind have failed for a while. batteries And of course gas or oil for heating & hot water when our short winter gives us cloud cover, torrential rain & cold.
    That’s the problem. it has to work 24/365 or it’s not worth having at all. The freezer has to freeze, the washing machine wash, the taps run hot & the lights light. Or what do you do? Book in a hotel when your house doesn’t work?
    Last time I priced it was close 35K€ for the package for a small house, no aircon. If you have the grid run in you can run the whole thing on electric. it’s not that expensive. I heard of someone had it run for 2 1/2 km for something in the 50K€ range.

  34. @BiS
    We, on the Arts side, lost the so-called Two Cultures debate, so I was not being smug when dismissing much low grade Science as trivial ,I was being shockingly unconventional and insurgent in a context like this blog where Arts types are routinely mocked ( by TW particularly) and anybody who can quote algebraic symbols to describe an economic relationship is accorded absurd respect .

  35. @ DBC Reed
    I did not rubbish “fuel cells” completely – some of them do have some uses for energy storage – I *tried* to explain that they are a storage or conversion mechanism and *not* a fuel source.
    My wife is an Arts Graduate but *she* is quite capable of reading a jargon-free explanation – or pointing out where I have accidentally slipped into jargon. If there was some jargon that slipped into my last post that you did not understand,please tell me and I shall ask her to interpret into language understandable by an Arts graduate.
    If not …

  36. @J77
    Actually I did n’t have any beef with your explanations ,which I took on board, being helpful and polite.It was everybody else going on about their experiences with various systems in various out of the way places, (where sewage was n’t supplied).
    The fact is, though, that Tim has nailed his colours to the mast with (above)” I am convinced that fuel cells plus solar is going to be the energy system of choice in a decade or two .”
    It seems to me that little he says or worse , what his so-called supporters say, will further that end.He says the external fuel source will be solar then bulls up fracking.

    The Arts/Science split is very apparent on the Net and in blogs like this where the Science/Technical/Computing bods ,thrash about in the field of written argument where the Arts type are better trained: to back statements with quotes and evidence and to admit the possibility that there are at least two sides to the argument ( the whole basis of dialectical argument), the reduction ad absurdum being Margaret TINA Thatcher, a proper Scientist she claimed,who thought there was only one explanation and solution to everything.
    This discussion has gone entirely off the subject thanks to techies trying to claim they know more technical details than each other.
    I repeat : there is a political argument about encouraging technical innovation here for which Prof Mazzucato’s work might be a starting point but a glimpse of a machine like the Bloom Box humming away and the techies can’t leave it alone.
    There is an episode in a Kingsley Amis novel where the protagonist ponders why he ,a classicist, sees a record player as a mere means of accessing some good music whilst his more scientific flatmate is always taking it to bits rendering it useless.
    Dunno why this has gone bold and twice the size in the middle.That’s machines for you (shrug).

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