Monday, June 06, 2005

Short takes

Part I: A Micro Peak Oil Model
Given that (1) I don't much like that Lynch uses depletion analysts as romper room punching bags, and (2) that we can do better on an understandability level than the logistics curve, I propose my own model which uses a minimal set of assumptions.

Looks like this article should be a candidate for inclusion in the next ASPO newsletter.

shipping security
It has often been noted that international trade will become more costly as the price of shipping fuel increases. I believe another factor will also increase shipping costs: security.

Things get complicated as oil becomes pricier than bottled water. Complexity is a weakness without cheap energy. NeonTetra just started blogging and has a unique take on energy issues, worth checking out.

NRC Unanimously Rejects Atomic Waste Deregulation
Environmentalists cautiously praised the decision. “The NRC clearly backed down from this crazy idea because it recognized the firestorm of public concern that would be triggered,” said Daniel Hirsch, President of the Los Angeles-based Committee to Bridge the Gap (CBG) that has fought such radioactive deregulation proposals for years. “The public doesn’t want radioactive waste in their local garbage dump, children’s braces, or tools.”

A little context, before we cut the cake and toot the horns: NRC needs to keep the profile of nuclear issues low; the Bush administration is trying to get fifty new reactors licensed and the operating lease extended on almost every nuclear plant in America. So – this is a short term tactical move by the NRC. In 2020, so sorry, you will get radioactive frying pans. American ingenuity.

Rumsfeld warns Asia officials of China's military advances
"China appears to be expanding its missile forces, allowing them to reach targets in many areas of the world, not just the Pacific region, while also expanding its missile capabilities here in the region," Rumsfeld said. "Since no nation threatens China, one must wonder: Why this growing investment?"

One boggles at what Rumsfeld hopes to achieve by taking China to task on military spending. It isn’t like his rhetorical question is hard to answer.

New UN atlas reveals environmental devastation
The huge growth of greenhouses in southern Spain, the rapid rise of shrimp farming in Asia and Latin America and the emergence of a giant, shadow puppet-shaped peninsula at the mouth of the Yellow River are among a string of curious and surprising changes seen from space.

Environmental devastation? Not in my back yard. I don’t see what all the fuss is about:

- Are bananas still yellow when ripe? Yes.
- Is the sky still blue? Check.
- Do frogs still have penises? Uh oh.


At 1:14 AM, June 06, 2005, Blogger Big Gav said...

I boggled at Rummy's comment when I saw it in the lift this morning too (beware of elevators with news feeds) - I'm no longer sure if he's mad or simply senile.

In the end I just wrote it down to indoctrination - he's not talking to the Chinese, he's talking to us - US good - China bad, US good - China bad...

At 4:42 AM, June 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NeonTetra just started blogging and has a unique take on energy issues, worth checking out.

Can't agree with the 'no computers in 100 years' bit. The present power sucking monster boxes - sure, gone. But we can run a machine with many times the power of the Apple ][+ on 57 mA. It can even be hand-crank-a spring-that-unwinds-powered. This was done with the Apple Newton Old article

Computers are just to damned useful for communication for humanity to let 'em go.

Today's machines? Sure, gone. But little power econ-boxes or the 'shared village computer(s) used for resource planning/price checking? Not gone unless you go with Jay's ( or others vision.

At 11:49 AM, June 06, 2005, Blogger Bill said...

I see your recommendation to look more closely at the micro depletion model got a mention at EnergyBulletin. Way to go. I am not a math guy but the approach seems very rational and more specific than the present approach. I am struck by how much more like the existing US depletion curve this representation looks than the standard normal distribution.


At 6:47 PM, June 06, 2005, Blogger WHT said...

Thanks for the recommendation at EnergyBulletin.

At 10:08 PM, June 06, 2005, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

WHT - any time. I am hoping to discuss your model with my dad and see if he has any feedback - he's the statistics whiz in the family.

Anon -
You know, computers are an interesting thing in our coming brave new world. Fab plants are expensive, chip fabrication is (energy) expensive Modern processors suck juice, the better to play Doom3 with.

I think transmeta-esque design goals are very timely at this moment in history.

I mean, to type this post, I coulda used an Apple II.

At 10:15 PM, June 06, 2005, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

Big Gav -

here is what bakes my noodle. The last thing I would expect BushCo to do is try and raise awareness in the american public that we have an actual military opponent out there.

Navy's are eminintly sinkable with modern cruise missiles.

So Rumsfelds warning comes off as a threat to china.

A threat which can only cause China to redouble their efforts in militarization.

Is this the goal Rumsfeld had in mind?

I doubt it. Rumsfeld has shown himself to have a tin ear, and obviously, from his press conferences, enjoys the supple ministrations of yes-people.

Basically, all Rumsfeld achieved was to put his foot in his mouth. History is full of fools like him, and soon, he'll be historical.

At 5:41 AM, June 10, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think transmeta-esque design goals are very timely at this moment in history.

Transmeta - Not anymore

And yes, much of the computing tasks could be done with far 'simpler' machines. Remember however - Computing devices and silicon are far more than just the machines we are using today to make this blog happen. Our society has a vested interest in keeping silicon fabs open. And we have a vested interest to keep 'the internet' going.

Look at what is being done with poor farmers and cell phones/internet - email and market info.


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