Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Why A Hydrogen Economy Makes No Sense

In a recent study, fuel cell expert Ulf Bossel explains that a hydrogen economy is a wasteful economy. The large amount of energy required to isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas, biomass), package the light gas by compression or liquefaction, transfer the energy carrier to the user, plus the energy lost when it is converted to useful electricity with fuel cells, leaves around 25% for practical use — an unacceptable value to run an economy in a sustainable future. Only niche applications like submarines and spacecraft might use hydrogen.

We Could Remain In Iraq 20 Years

For 20 years now, NASA has gone through one iteration after another of supposed "dramatic" self-reevaluations, and always come to the same conclusion: All existing spending programs having to do with the astronaut corps are sacrosanct, regardless of whether they serve any purpose. With public-good space needs unmet and the enunciation of a moon-base plan that will waste colossal sums of public money, agency director Michael Griffin has simply raised NASA's middle finger to the taxpayer.

Substitute President Bush and the political establishment's position on the war in Iraq for NASA. Bad ideas and endevours often take on an enormous inertia that makes them as immovable as a mountain. It's the syndrome of the gambler who keeps losing but keeps squandering his dwindling resources, hoping for one lucky strike. Think of WWI.

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