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gmacafee

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  1. While it's comforting to have faith in something (when stress levels rise) I cannot think of a less reliable repository for my blind faith than some squiggles of a piece of paper backed up by log scale projections. Except perhaps for medieval monks using brilliant mathematics to predict how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. In both cases why bother and who cares about elegant mathematical equations and charts that have nothing to do with reducing the biggest crisis humankind has ever faced - we can't live with fossil fuels and we can't without them! Carbon taxes and carbon emission trading are the environmental equivalent of putting the planet on methadone. They are false non-solutions that prolong addiction - they don't cure it. Carbon emission trading means the rich pay the poor so the rich can pollute to get richer while the poor can't pollute and stay poor. Carbon taxes mean the rich pay the government so both can get richer while everybody else and the climate go to Hell in a handcart. Australia's new non-carbon economy needs ramping up at the same time as the carbon-based economy is being phasing out to save the Planet. What new economy? Use solar, wind and hot-rock electricity to power cities and extract hydrogen from water. If the user moves, compress it. If not, pipe it. For international travel, this time give the Hindenburg a metal skin. It wasn't hydrogen inside or leaking from the Hindenburg that caused it to go up in flames. It was static electricity (from nearby storms) that ignited the highly flammable chemicals used to seal the airship's outer skin. It was the skin burning away (on the outside near the rear of the Hindenburg) that initially ignited the hydrogen inside - not the other way around as was thought for many years - a false impression gave hydrogen a bad name and stopped airship development dead in its tracks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM7YExgvafw
  2. If you think I'm getting too breathless about where the world's addiction to oil is headed, below is the front cover of the 28 June edition of "New Scientist" that I bought in Canberra this morning. It contains two articles of interest to me about oil: "Time To Go Cold Turkey", "Final Warning" and an editorial on "Withdrawal Symptoms". Sadly, if you prefer ignorance to reality there is nothing I can do about that. But in my most recent contribution to the Oil Price Debate, I mentioned how well prepared the Iranians are to respond to a Declaration of War of the pre-emptive Pearl Harbour variety of attack (to disable Iran's nuclear facilities) and made reference to the narrow Strait of Hormuz as a logical place for Iran to launch counter attacks of the martyr type (plus anywhere else that may take its fancy). What I did *not* know (and maybe you don't either) is the Strait of Hormuz (that forms Iran's border) is the biggest 'Pinch Point' threat to world oil shipments as it carries 16 million (inflammable) barrels a day. More details are available by going to the New Scientist's website at the URL below and when 'Danger Zones' opens click on 'Oil Pinch Points' in the left-bottom corner: http://media.newscientist.com/data/images/...1500V1/oil.html
  3. Even Mount Everest has gone solar and is getting some badly needed toilet training! Extract from: http://www.abc.net.au/news ".. instead of the kerosene or cooking gas normally used at base camp, the expedition tested solar cookers that proved more than equal to the job. "The parabolic solar heaters worked fantastically. They would melt and boil 10 litres of snow in 35 minutes, and we used it for cooking, making tea, washing dishes and having showers," the Sherpa said. "My sherpas and climbers were the cleanest on the mountain!" Support staff were also given bonuses for hauling down rubbish accumulated over the years - including parts of a crashed helicopter, old ropes, tents, climbing gear and even the body of a climber who went missing in the 1970s. "Sherpas go up there with big loads, and come down empty, so the idea was to offer any Sherpa or climber 70 cents per kilogram of old trash they brought down," he said. This is from me (not the ABC) and it's not for the faint-hearted: Most Australians have heard of Mount Everest but few have heard of or ever climbed 'Great Trango' (in Pakistan) then jumped off it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M99QbbJMYI
  4. I'm betting the price of oil will increase and here's why: Even if America sinks into recession and its demand for foreign oil eases, the huge Chinese and Indian demand (from 2.5 billion people who all want cars) will push the oil market higher (with the usual ups and downs) but with a massive upward and sustained spike if Israel or the US (or both) attack Iran. Since Bush Junior was away sick from Crawford High on the day they did 'Foreign Countries' and (like Henry Ford) since he thinks history is 'bunk', he could easily make the same mistake as Saddam Hussein did in 1980. Expecting a walkover in 1980, Saddam Hussein declared the Shatt al-Arab waterway to be Iraqi property and launched an invasion of Iran four days later. As his troops crossed the Iranian border, he boldly declared he'd be in Tehran within three days. Almost eight years later, Iran had spent more than a trillion dollars defending itself. When the UN Security Council finally brokered a cease-fire, neither side had made any significant land gains - their borders at the end of the war were essentially the same as they had been before. It must surely go down in history as one of the most pointless wars of all time *until* Bush Junior invaded Iraq expecting a walkover. How many Iranians died defending Iran? Iran probably lost around a million people - about 2% of the total population of 50 million. Some 100,000 Iranians were killed by chemical weapons alone and Iran still bitterly resents the involvement of western companies and countries in helping Hussein to develop his chemical weapons capabilities. Iran has a finely developed and very large chip on its national shoulder. The Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery lies about half an hour south-west of the centre of Tehran. The Martyr's Cemetery is the part of Behesht-e-Zahra that most tourists want to see - because it's so incredibly vast. There are thousands upon thousands of gravestones. Now for the important part (that Bush Junior may not understand): Despite some serious misgivings about the Iranian government, there are millions upon millions of Iranians (some as young as 14) who have already committed themselves to become martyrs (in the event of a US or Israeli attack) if necessary by strapping on a Semtex belt and hurling themselves under an advancing American tank (like boys as young as 14 did to Saddam's tanks with full parental and military approval) to blow them sky-high - if that's what it takes to rid Iran of power-drunk foreign invaders. Connect these dots: Iran produces 30% of Middle East oil shipments. Most Gulf state shipments pass through the narrow Straits of Hormuz - one side of which is Iranian territory. In January 2008, US Navy warships and fast-moving Iranian speedboats (suspected of containing bomb-laden Iranian martyrs) came within 200 metres of each other. Martyr Vahid Qomi (pictured below) was 15 years old when he died defending Iran in the 1980s.
  5. In reply to: filament on Thursday 26/06/08 11:20pm I agree with 'Filament' that global warming is real and that weather patterns are getting more extreme - but if we dwell too much on things we can't change or control individually, that can lead to a feeling of helplessness and depression. BUT one of the best depression cures I know is the clip (below) from a German film about a U-Boat 'Das Boot' (and its crew) that having spent some time at sea myself in a small fishing boat many years ago, I consider is an authentic masterpiece. In the clip, it's just after they have been sunk by British planes and destroyers as they tried to slip past Gibraltar under cover of darkness but are saved (far deeper than the sub's design depth) by a rock ledge from being crushed but still need to fix a great deal of damage. The crew works (but without a great deal of hope that they will ever reach the surface again) tirelessly and finally the damage is fixed *but* they have only enough compressed air left for one blast to expel the water (to gain buoyancy) or they are doomed and a second blast to start the big diesel motors or they are sitting ducks (for British attack) when day breaks. My DVD version has sub-titles but this YouTube clip does not, but the 'atmosphere' and every other aspect of the clip is so effective (as a depression cure) that subtitles are totally superfluous as you 'rise up from the depths' with the crew and power across the night sea:
  6. In my last post the 'union man' clip wouldn't work. So I agreed to pay increased penalty rates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdOCWUgwiWs
  7. If the world is going to Hell in a handcart (ETA next Wednesday at noon) we may as well enjoy ourselves and bop and jive along to some damn good music with the volume turned up full-bore to while away the time. What this gloom-lifting clip has that I particularly enjoy is 'Brass': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDr4f1jGH04&feature=related This clip is softer but it has a very prominent Double-Base: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga5xsCqbP5s If working class grit is your cup of tea, this clip features the ugliest lead singer I've ever seen (who later succumbed to booze) but what a powerful song and what a wonderful band: If working class solidarity is your cup of tea: ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdOCWUgwiWs Was I ever part of a union? Yes. Why? I prefer collective bargaining to relying on an employer's idea of excellent pay and workplace conditions:
  8. While Bush Junior (with his pre-occupation with 'victory' in the oil-rich Middle East) is the most unstable factor in the escalating turmoil on world oil markets, to be fair I have to admit that he has brought great joy to many Americans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh8OU1rL9ZA
  9. If you're ever wondered who in the US (apart from oil company executives) would bother to vote *twice* for (as Mark Latham described Bush Junior) "the most dangerous and incompetent US President in living memory" the answer will become crystal clear by clicking on these websites:
  10. In reply to: bermuda on Thursday 26/06/08 09:44am Bush Junior is not stupid though he does exploit that perception (by the intelligensia) to garner redneck and Bible-belt votes from dimwits who loathe logic and clear thinking. Bush talks to God for guidance - and I've nothing against that. Talking to God is known as 'Prayer' and it's good for mental health. But if God talks back with detailed instructions about which Middle East cities need bombing back to the Stone Age to introduce their inhabitants to the wonders and joys of democracy, capitalism and the American way of life that is known as 'Paranoid Schizophrenia' in lesser mortals (than Bush Junior) and as 'American Foreign Policy' in the US Republican Party. While I'm in favour of education for children (to help them to understand current affairs) sometimes education can be a handicap:
  11. In reply to: gmacafee on Thursday 26/06/08 09:30am My apologies - below is the depiction of High Noon from today's 'Canberra Times' - the graph in my reply to Apache123 was of China and India's daily oil consumption.
  12. In reply to: apache123 on Thursday 26/06/08 06:30am When wishful thinking by Apache123 (that when the US government bans oil speculation on US commodity markets that world oil prices will halve) collides head-on with a desire by two and half billion Chinese and Indian people to drive cars, I'd bet London to a brick that the graph below (prepared by British Petroleum) of China and India's oil consumption from 1965 to 2005 in thousands of barrels per day ('kbpd') will by June in 2008 have soared off the graph making George W. Bush as impotent as a castrated lamb to prevent the demand for oil sending the price oil skywards - to be propelled even higher if George W. Bush (or Israel) opt for the 'High Noon' solution to exclude Iran from their Boy's Own Nuclear Club as depicted in today's 'Canberra Times':
  13. If you think my Washington Doomsday Survival Bunker item was pure speculation, on the front page of today's 'Canberra Times' is the chilling news that under Australia's national capital city, our federal government has already secretly built a worst-case nuclear survival bunker code-named 'Plan Mercator'. More details about Plan Mercator (from the Times) are below. But minus men and women selected for their fertility, 'Plan Mercator' is similar to an earlier survival 'Plan': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VD7_7SXsHU8
  14. In reply to: jacsar on Wednesday 25/06/08 11:29am Thanks for the greenchipstocks URL, jascar Re: Ray's age when he died. I'm not sure exactly how old we was, but what gives me pause for thought about how important succeding at Rat-Race Game is: Out of the blue, he developed incurable bone cancer, lasted a few months, and died much younger than me! I'm 71 next birthday and the last three funerals I've attended have been for friends who have died much younger than me - two from incurable cancer. Is there a funny side to this gloomy tale? I have a friend who was an RAAF Squadron Leader posted to North Africa during WW2 and he was in the thick of fighting there. He is now 85 and having survied when so many Allied pilots (especially in the Battle of Britai) perished very young has given him a somehwat cavalier attitude to death. The other day he said to me: "I don't know what we old farts are going to do. Medicine has eradicated smallpox. It can prevent polio, diptheria, measles and many other diseases. It can arrest diabetes and do heart bypasses. We can have kidney, heart and other transplants to keep us alive more or less indefinitely. "I don't know what we old farts are going to when medical experts finally find the cure for cancer. "To make room for the next generation, we'll have to shoot each other!"
  15. Overheard in a large totally sealed and totally self-sufficient Doomsday Survival Bunker located 500 metres under Washington DC in 2010: Survivor 1: "I thought this was supposed to be an exercise!" Survivor 2: "It was - in case the real thing ever happened." Survivor 1: "I had an appointment with my aroma therapist for 5.30 today and not turning up will cost me $170." Survivor 2: "I'm late for anger management counselling, but the real thing has happened and that's why we're now in lock-down mode." Survivor 1: "What real thing? Survivor 2: "Don't you read *any* of the CIA assessments?" Survivor 1: "I used to but they're all dead-boring worst case scenarios that will never happen so I shred them." Survivor 2: "The more fool you as while you were smoking in the toilet (which you're not supposed to do) the DSB Commander announced that Lock-Down Mode will continue until July 2015." Survivor !: "What! You mean me and heaps of other people are going to be stuck down here breathing re-cycled air for another five boring years!" Survivor 2: "You know the doomsday plan Dummy! How 1000 Americans picked for their fertility and for their wide range of public and private sector capabilities will provide the foundation stock to restart Western civilization if the real thing ever happened - which it did while 999 folk were down here rehearsing and you were smoking. Survivor 1: "What real thing?" Survivor 2: "The energy crisis Dummy! You must have been selected for fertility and big boobs. Your intellect would see you topside with all the other doomed blondes. After Iran's nuclear plants were bombed, the price of oil hit $300 a barrel and riots broke out in Moscow as Russia's home-heating oil was diverted into the spot market. "Saudi Arabia cut supplies to teach the US not to meddle with sovereign nations in its backyard. The US and Russia sent nuclear warships and planes to protect their vital interests and Israel joined the fray on our side. The DSB Commander said nobody is quite sure who fired the first nuclear missile (while you were in the toilet) but within minutes the White House war-room screen lit up like a Christmas Tree with with inbound nuclear missiles and our outbound ones. "Somebody should have read the CIA assessments. They don't always get it wrong. They predicted this worst-case oil scenario and they predicted that the Global Nuclear Winter would last until mid 2015." Survivor 1: "What does that mean for Global Warming?" Survivor 2: "It will get pushed to the back burner until Western civilization recovers I suppose." Survivor 1: "What DVD are they showing tonight?" Survivor 2: "Doctor Strangelove."
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