Portugal Fires Prove World must Deal with Global Warming

A tragedy in Portugal demonstrates why the world needs to invest heavily in new energy solutions such as low energy nuclear reaction (LENR). Global warming might have led to the deaths of more than 60 innocent people.

Around 30 people were burned to death in their cars trying to escape what was described as a “raging inferno” on June 18, Portuguese Secretary of State Jorge Gomes told reporters. Another 31 died in their homes or on the fire lines trying to contain massive wildfires, The New York Times reported.

The fires spread quickly because of drought that was caused by global warming. Portugal and Spain are experiencing a warmer and drier June than usual, Thomas Curt a researcher at France’s Irstea climate and agriculture research institute told Phys.org. Temperatures in the region have increased faster than the global average over the past 50 years.

Curt thinks that many parts of the world are at risk from megafires which consume more than 1,000 hectares. Such blazes can be almost impossible for firefighters to contain and overwhelm emergency responses, making evacuations impossible.

Rossi and Musk on Climate Change Etc

All those interested in climate change, undoubtedly know that President Donald J. Trump (R-New York) has decided to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. That prompted some very interesting reactions from Ecat inventor Andrea Rossi, Elon Musk and others.

The Paris Climate Agreement is a pact in which nations agreed to lower emissions of greenhouse gases in an effort to limit temperature increases to 1.5 degrees a year. The agreement is deliberately vague and not binding; but it angered some Americans who believed it unfairly blamed the United States for the world’s problems. The pact is still in place despite Trump’s action and even the United States will follow it for a number of years.

Musk Dumps Trump

Trump’s move is a risky one that has already alienated a potential. Elon Musk almost immediately tweeted that he is leaving two advisory councils to the president, Bloomberg reported. Musk was not alone; Disney CEO Bob Iger whose company is facing a boycott also quit a presidential council, Quartz reported.

Australia and China Collaborate on Fusion

Australia National University (ANU) and the University of South China have embarked upon a major hot fusion research effort.

ANU will ship the H1 Heliac stellerator from its Australian Plasma Fusion Research Facility to China later this year. The device is currently kept in Canberra, Australia’s capitol. Once in China it will be the first stellerator in the People’s Republic. China has four Tokamaks but no stellerators, the facility’s director Dr. Cormac Corr told The Canberra Times. There is also some LENR or cold fusion research going on at the China Institute of Atomic Power in Beijing.

The H1 Heliac Stellerator

A stellerator is a weird shaped fusion reactor that uses magnetic fields to contain superhot plasma. The most advanced stellerator the Wendelstein 7-X in Germany is now up and running and making plasma.

The strange shape in a stellerator makes it easier to contain the plasma. It also makes such devices the but of jokes. The Wendelstein 7-X bears a strong resemblance to Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon.

Hot Fusion Heats Up

Hot fusion might be closer to reality than some of its critics think, but still facing some problems News stories indicate that two important hot fusion milestones might be achieved in the near future.

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in France is scheduled to begin generating hot plasma by December 2025, Wall Street Pit reported. Plasma is the super-hot liquid that makes fusion possible. The ITER is an $18 billion (€17.05 billion) multinational effort to prove that the Tokamak fusion reactor is a practical means of producing power.

The December 2025 date is not set in stone, there’s a strong possibility that the ITER might start producing plasma much sooner. Its administrators might be using the old public relations and customer service strategy of under-promise and over-deliver.

They might think the ITER can produce hot plasma much sooner but they are not sure. Therefore they mention a date that’s several years out, so if the reactor starts producing lasma in 2019 it will be pleasant surprise rather than a disappointment.

Tesla Plans Electric Semi-Truck, Electric Cars Spreading Fast

The world’s appetite for electricity is about to increase dramatically. Tesla is planning to unveil an electric semi-truck as early as September and Volkswagen is planning a vast network of filling stations for electric cars in the United States.

Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September,” Elon Musk tweeted on April 13. “Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level.”

Volkswagen is planning to spend $2 billion build a network of 2,500 charging stations for electric cars, Seeking Alpha contributor Anton Wahlman reported. There will be one supercharger every 66 miles across the United States. The idea is to compete with Tesla’s fast growing network of superchargers.

Tesla currently has around 790 super chargers and 4,148 standalone charging sites for electric cars. Another company, Chargepoint is operating 34,156 charging locations for electric vehicles.

If that was not enough VW just unveiled an electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) called the Crozz at the Shanghai Auto Show. The Crozz is an all-electric crossover that is supposed to go on sale in 2020 and compete with Tesla’s Model Y.

Trump Protects Coal, Tesla Powers Hawaiian Island

President Trump made good on his promise to roll back Barack Obama’s restrictions on greenhouse-gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. The move was announced by new Environmental Protection Agency Director and climate-change denier Scott Pruitt on March 28.

Trump and Pruitt claim that the move will increase coal burning and the number of coal-mining jobs. Something that even Robert Murray the CEO of America’s largest private coal miner admitted would not happen. Even though Murray is a strong supporter of Trump’s actions, he told The Guardian that Trump’s move will not restore any coal mining jobs.

Trump moved to get rid of the Clean Power Plan; which was designed to cut US carbon emissions by 32% by 2030. Murray was one of a number of observers who pointed out that a glut of coal on the market, falling demand and prices and mechanized mining means there will be no new coal-mining jobs. Fortunately there is other work available, the U.S. solar power industry employed more people in 2016 than the coal industry, Mother Jones reported.

Drought and Wildfires in the United States

There is some disturbing new evidence of climate change in the United States. A drought and devastating wildfires in the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains in March something I have never heard of before.

Over one million acres were of land were consumed by fires in Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas early in March, CNN reported. Over 400,000 acres burned in Oklahoma alone.

Seven people died in the fires which injured at least five firefighters. The blazes also destroyed around 30 homes and killed hundreds of cattle.

Another fire in Colorado led to the evacuation of 1,000 homes in the mountains near Boulder on March 19 and 20. That fire was definitely caused by drought, an Associated Press story indicates.

“One of the firefighters said it feels like June up there,” Boulder County Sheriff’s Commander Mike Wagner told the AP. “There is no moisture.” March is normally Colorado’s snowiest month.

Plasma is the Key to Hot Fusion

Many people are confused by the difference between hot and cold fusion and it is easy to see why. Both terms are vague catch all phrases for complex phenomena.

Hot fusion would use superhot plasma to generate incredibly high temperatures to make energy. The plasma in some fusion reactors is incredibly hot up to 100 million degrees Celsius. It’s a difficult process, right now scientists know how to make the plasma but not how to contain or control it. The fuel would be so hot that it would instantly burn through the walls of the reactor.

 

That means magnetic fields have to be used to contain the plasma. Generating those fields will be the tricky and expensive part. The magnets in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in France weight almost as a 747 between 10 and 20 tons, Popular Mechanics reported. The ITER project itself is projected to cost $18 billion (€17.05 billion) to complete.

Global Warming’s Impact on Environment Worse than we thought

The effect of climate change on wildlife and the environment might have been grossly underestimated. Nearly half the threatened mammals and quarter of the birds might be impacted by global warming, a study published in the Climate Change Journal indicates.

“Many experts have got these climate assessments wrong – in some cases, massively so,” coauthor Dr. James Watson of the University of Queensland told The Guardian. Watson and his colleagues analyzed 130 studies and found that many species have already been harmed by global warming.

“Many risk assessments are simply blind to the fact that climate change is happening now,” Watson said. He thinks that a great deal of the damage from climate change has already occurred.

Watson’s study concentrated on animals on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s “Red List” of threatened species. It contrasts sharply with earlier assessments that showed only seven percent of animals were impacted by climate change.

Airbus files for LENR Patents, Tesla builds Battery Farms

The gigantic European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has filed two more U.S. patent applications for low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) processes.

U.S. Patent application 20170025191 filed on March 15, 2016, is for a “Material arrangement for fusion reactor and method for producing the same.” It mentions “A material arrangement for a fusion reactor comprising at least one material which is configured as a foam-like carrier material for condensable binding and fusing of hydrogen.”

That sure sounds like LENR or cold fusion to me. The process was invented by Bernhard Kotzias of Bremen, Germany. The material described might be something like Andrea Rossi’s “secret sauce” the catalyst that supposedly makes his e-cat LENR device work.

U.S. Patent Application: 20170022055 was for a “METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR GENERATING AND FOR FUSING ULTRA-DENSE HYDROGEN.” It too was invented by Bernhard Kotzias. That too sounds like some sort of LENR utilizing hydrogen; most of the LENR devices such as the ecat and the Brillouin Hot Rube utilize nickel and hydrogen.