Good and bad

Image

Motor in a wheel.    Image Protean Corp.

This is the good. Wow! Look at this. A US company is going into production (in a Chinese factory) with this motor in a wheel, to power electric cars. Instead of having one big motor inside the car, with energy-losing drive shafts and couplings, each wheel has a motor. Maybe only two wheels, maybe four, but it means each wheel can be powered separately allowing differentially controlled power delivery. The article puts many hurdles to be overcome, but I think this is very elegant design. It also means much more free space inside the car.

Alongside this article is one saying the Tesla people are ramping up production to a million batteries a year for car propulsion, and another saying a new technique has made Li-Sulphur batteries much more efficient and longer lasting. And another article from Israel showing a battery capable of being recharged in 30 seconds.  Electric cars are coming.

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Now the bad. Another big meteor (or perhaps space junk, they’re not sure) crashed to Earth near Murmansk in Russia yesterday, 19th April. It lit up the sky, as captured on a car dash cam (www.universetoday.com). This is one day after I read a report that there have been 19 multi-megaton sized meteor strikes on Earth since 2000. This has become known because there is now a very sophisticated network of stations built to detect nuclear explosions and their location, in case tests are being done illegally.

So big meteor strikes on the Earth are much more frequent than we knew before. It’s only a matter of time before one hits a big populated area.

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This awful Liberal government strikes again.  The suburban lawyer, Brandis, says climate change deniers should be allowed as much space to speak as the world’s scientific community who are saying, “The question is settled”.

The counter argument was very neatly put. If someone says 2+2=5, should they be given equal time to promote this view? It’s not bigotry to say 2+2=4, it’s been proven. Saying 2+2=5 has no proof.

There’s another counter argument: by actively denying climate change, the deniers are putting our future in dire jeopardy. Look at it this way – if we believers spend a lot of money on greenhouse gas reductions and are successful, the money will have been well spent. We’ll have much cleaner air, the sea level rise will be slowed or stopped, people in Bangladesh will not drown and Australian innovators will do well making and selling anti-pollution and solar systems. Win-win.

But if the deniers have their way and we go on as we are, and the predicted catastrophic effects do happen, what are they going to say or do? “Ooops, sorry, we were wrong. Er, we’ll fix it.”  It’ll be too late. People will die. It’ll be too late to admit they were wrong.  The stakes are too high to gamble.

Personally, I think it’s already too late. We’ve passed the tipping point and there’s too much apathy and outright opposition from complacent rich people like Brandis and Abbott for anything to happen. And the rest of the very rich people of the world.

Meanwhile, spending hundreds of billions of dollars on military equipment is seen as OK. $40bn for F-22 fighters? Done deal. Another $40bn for 12 submarines?  Soon to happen. It’s madness.

It’s too late.  The human race is headed for extinction, or at the least, a very, very hard fight for survival. If we think we’re seeing refugees now, wait until low lying parts of the world are flooded.

Meanwhile, this government puts obstacles in the way of climate change mitigation, removes the carbon dioxide emissions reduction incentive levy (erroneously pushed by them as the “carbon tax”) makes more cuts to science budgets, and is set to allow the resumption of logging in the Tasmanian wilderness national parks.

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