Scotland’s first Climate Change Adaptation Plan published. Makes Me Feel Much Better.

May 30, 2014

Scotland’s first Climate Change Adaptation Plan published:

Scotland’s first ever statutory Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme has been published. The aim of the document is to increase the resilience of Scotland’s people, environment and economy to the impacts of a changing climate.

(Via Scottish Energy News)

TrueCrypt WTF

May 30, 2014

TrueCrypt always had a great reputation. Like that reported by others, I haven’t the foggiest idea about what is going on. But the “news” to me, which I had not appreciated, is that the developers are anonymous. Golly. Had I known that I would have paid no attention to True Crypt.

See Bruce Schnier at TrueCrypt WTF.

Change in Energy Generation in USA

May 29, 2014

This is not intended to be a political statement, but more of a timeline as to what has happened in USA over the last six years, probably for no real good reason.

Before President Obama took office in 2009, the amount of electricity being produced by coal-fired utilities was approximately fifty percent of the total. Today it is approximately forty percent and, when the Environmental Protection Agency regulations take effect as of June 2, more such utilities are likely to close their doors. The basis for the regulations is utterly devoid of any scientific facts.

Read more at:

Spreadsheets … or not …

May 28, 2014

There is an interesting thread about “Why You Shouldn’t Use Spreadsheets for Important Work”. See

I’m not against spreadsheets like I’m not against using a tool to write with, e.g. a word processor.

What I advocate is avoiding spreadsheets whenever possible unless they are “properly done. Spreadsheets start as a blank sheet of paper and your not using the shoulders of giants. The key is full understanding and then implementation of the algorithms and data model, with appropriate testing and verification. This all difficult (costly) with spreadsheets compared to other methods.

I particularly liked the one posting of an actuarial formula found in one spreadsheet. Not untypical:


How Long Can Uranium Last? An Long Time Indeed

May 26, 2014

Excellent summary by Charles Barton of this question at “The Nuclear Green Revolution

… Thus global Uranium land resources will be sufficient to supply the human population of the world for a few million years.

In addition, the sea contains a huge amount of disolved uranium. This is a sustainable resource because every year 32,000 tons of uranium flows into the sea. The Japanese have developed a uranium recovery from seawater technology, that is estimated to produce uranium at the cost of $100 a pound. Thus by adding to energy efficiency at a faster rate than the growth of energy demands, we can supply all human energy needs with the sustainable 32,000 for a very long period of time. We human beings are not as sustainable as uranium.

So far I have not mentioned thorium, which is in some respects an even better nuclear fuel than uranium. Geologists tell us that there is somewhere between three to four times as much thorium as uranium in the earth’s crust. We know a lot less about how much thorium can be recovered compared to uranium. Think in terms of several millions of years.

Humanity thus can look forward to a future of nuclear power that would reach out for millions of years of nuclear power. That power would assure everyone a high energy lifestyle.

More, rather than less, energy, can be in our future.

Here! Here! Change R&D Priorities Now

May 24, 2014

Jo Nova says it well at:

This is another example of why I’m so passionate about getting research money out of dead-end efforts to change the weather and into medical research. The extraordinary news broke last week that the Mayo Clinic had used a genetically modified virus to cure treat one woman of metastasized and widely spread cancer – specifically myeloma. There are a lot of caveats, this research is quite risky, and it doesn’t apply to most people or most cancers, it is a proof of principle.

We have to stop fighting this “proxy war about economic interests of this generation vs. the next”. — (Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand as reported at:

Thorium Energy

May 11, 2014

I just became aware of the Thorium Energy Alliance, and their participation in a video by Popular Science Magazine. 

Thorium, as a future energy source for power generation, is written about in many places but it has not yet hit the mainstream in thinking. It should.  They say on their web site:

Why is thorium important if we already have uranium-fueled nuclear power plants? A thorium-fueled nuclear reactor generates hundreds of times the power of a uranium or coal power plant but produces essentially no waste. A thorium power plant would produce much less than 1% of the waste that a uranium plant of equal magnitude produces and, of course, would produce no carbon dioxide. More importantly, while the waste of a uranium power plant is toxic for over 10,000 years, the little waste that is produced in a thorium plant is benign in under 200 years. Even more impressive, the thorium power plant can be used to burn our current stockpile of nuclear waste.