Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet


The reason some popular posts are tagged ‘no title’ is not because they have no title—they all do—but because the old Blogger embedded the title at the top of text, and the new software does not see that. You can see the titles in capitals at the start of each snippet. (It would be nice if Blogger introduced an upgrade program that could fix this little problem.)

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Monday 31 October 2005


It is easy, under the subject of global-overheating, to wax wroth about politicians being murderous lying fools (murderous, because murder is not only a deliberate action that causes the death of another human but also deliberately not ceasing an action that causes death.; lying, because they pretend innocence and pretend to be doing something about global-overheating; and fools, because to be a murderous liar is also to be a fool--and a most damnable one).

But journalists, all too often, are in the same class. Firstly because they should be working overtime to get the global-overheating message out so that the democratic tipping-point is reached ASAP and we can at last vote all the murderous politicians on to the scrapheaps of history. Secondly because they treat a global-overheating story as just another story, to be treated like all other stories. Just something to fill the gap between advertisements, to stir up a bit of controversy, a chance to rake up some muck (real or invented)--nothing more than the normal presentation of a viewpoint spectrum then yawn on to the next story.

But global-overheating (GOH) is NOT just another story. It is the future of the human race. It is the most important story on earth, the biggest and the most important story on this planet that there will ever be. It has to be treated differently. Uniquely. It is not a time for dredging up opposing viewpoints. It is not a time for a so-called 'balanced' article. It is a time to concentrate on the planet and its inhabitants, a time to be as biased for them as possible, and therefore a time to get the message out hot and strong all the time, a time to do everything they can to mitigate the catastrophe we have brought on ourselves by our chronic addiction to the Black Stuff.

Any story on global-overheating that does not strongly fight it is helping to make it worse. The writer of a such a story is yet another murderous lying fool. Such are the shallow-hearted, ignorant, irresponsible journalists who write GOH stories that are negative, or even just neutral. So too are the editors who encourage such stories and suppress positive action.

Only if they take positive action against this massive, catastrophic problem can they show that they care about the planet, that they care about their children, that they care about their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren... Anything else is murder.

Saturday 29 October 2005


Parents who say they love their children cannot expect to be believed if they are doing nothing against global-overheating, especially if they own cars, and most especially if they own gas-guzzlers. Bluntly, they are liars. Murderous liars. Because they are helping to kill millions of children. Perhaps their own. At very least they helping to make them suffer.

Why are most people, and most politicians, doing nothing? Because they don't care. They don't care enough for the planet, they don't care enough for their own children or anyone else's. They prefer the familiar habits of destruction to unfamiliar care.

Thursday 27 October 2005


People who care about the planet and want to save it from being ruined are very stupid. Don't they know that after we have ruined this one there are plenty of others for us to live on? They should know that from seeing them on Star Trek. And there is a whole fleet of starships sitting at LAX waiting to take us all there.

Oh goody! ;-) ;-(

Tuesday 25 October 2005


Those who say 'No' to doing anything about global-overheating are really saying, 'We don't need the planet. We can live without it.'

Which ranks up there with the famous last words of that general who, when an aide who suggested that he should stay behind the parapet of his fort instead of walking about openly exposing himself to the fire of the enemy, replied, 'Don't be silly. They couldn't hit me at this r....'

The new addition to the links list--'House of Circumlocution' (below, right)--may enlighten or amuse those who like to read about insights into the ways of government and related matters.

Friday 21 October 2005


A petrol car moves by setting off a series of explosions. Petrol explosions. It explodes petrol thousands and thousands of times. So your pride-and-joy is nothing but end-to-end petrol bombs. Just a serial Molotov-cocktail on wheels.

To paraphrase Archimedes: 'Give me a place to drive and I will blow up the world.' (He actually said, after discovering the principle of the lever, 'Give me a place to stand and I will move the world,' but you get the gist.)

Wednesday 19 October 2005

Oh, goody, goody! New Zealand has a new government! Nah, all we have is yet another variant on the dishonest, do-nothing, puffed-up bunch of con-artists that we perpetually delude ourselves into calling a government. Or, if we are even more deluded, into calling a democratic government. Each one worse than the last. None of them do a blind thing for the planet or its inhabitants.

Meanwhile, there have been so many tropical storms this year that the bods who give them names are up to the last on the list--Wilma, which is now taken the prize for the most powerful ever recorded. The number of storms and and hurricanes this year has already equalled the worst year on record, and there are still many weeks to go in the season.

Monday 17 October 2005


We have chained ourselves to the belief that the only people who can make cars, the only people from whom you can buy a car, are Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, GM, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Renault, Ferrari, etc., etc. Nothing else is a real car.

Not true. A real car is one that doesn‘t trash the planet. Theirs do.

FCVs can be built by thousands of companies and individuals, they can even be supplied as kitsets. The makers of ICVs (internal-combustion vehicles) do not want you to know that. They are terrified of a world in which they are unnecessary.

Saturday 15 October 2005


Imagine--cities with no internal-combustion engines. No vehicles banging away all the day and night. Not a single one. Instead, the quiet roll of electrics. Peace, blissful peace.

It is a tragic irony that the ICEs are melting the worlds ice.

This month the planet was the warmest September on record. Red dots almost everywhere. Aren't we doing well!? All the planet-wreckers can have a big party to celebrate. Yay!

There was a Big Iron lie left out of the last posting--the one they give us about having to spend billions before mass-produced FCVs are possible. But an FCV is just an electric vehicle with a fuel-cell stack at the start of the powertrain, and precise costings show that you need just $NZ500,000 to develop the prototype of a vehicle that would have everything but the actual fuel-cell. It could then be niche-produced and sold for $NZ100,000 [$US70,000]. Obviously once the car and fuel-cells were mass-produced you could expect a new car to get down to about $NZ25,000.

Tuesday 11 October 2005


Victor Hugo said 'The malicious have a dark happiness.' Those who live in denial, who wilfully spurn the truth, however hard it may smack them in the head, have a dark happiness of a different kind. Not for them the happiness of malice, or of schadenfreude, or of savage delight, or of sadistic thrills. No, they revel in their unenlightenment, the bliss of their self-created ignorance, the manufactured joy of the artefacts they construct as their bulwark against reality, and in their lust for planet-killing profit. They are like the murdering billionaire tobacco-pushers, who for decades refused to believe, pretended to disbelieve, the mounting, and finally the overwhelming scientific evidence that smoking causes disease and kills. Not that any science was needed. No one in his right mind could ever have said that instead of breathing air it was good for human health to breathe pungent smoke, smoke that made people cough and short of breath, smoke that caused nasty sputum, smoke that stained fingers and ceilings.

So now we have those who deny the melting of the world's ice, even though their own eyes tell them, when they defrost their fridges or plunk ice-cubes into their drinks, that ice melts when the temperature rises, and therefore if ice is melting the temperature must be rising. The ice
IS melting.

So the only question, the only point of disagreement, is how fast? How soon will vast tracts of real-estate vanish under the waves? The optimists say we will get a rise of 2 degrees Celsius in average global temperatures this century, the pessimists say it may be 10-14 degrees. The truth is we do not know. What we do know is that at the moment the oceans are rising at about 2mm per year--on a rise of just 0.6 degrees. We also know that the reliability of the computer models has been proved by comparing them with the historical data and that the present data is tracking along the top of the model (page 66, National Geographic, September 2004). Not the middle, where the predictions are placed--so they do not predict the worst case, they do not predict the best, they stick to the middle ground. But if the data continues to track the top, the pessimists will be right. We shall get the worst. Prudence would do something about that. We are doing nothing.

O de nigh happiness!

If the worst happens the ice will melt at a furious pace. By doing nothing we continue, heedless, to conduct the biggest unplanned, uncontrolled experiment ever--an experiment on the only planet we can live on in the entire universe. We do not know how it will turn out. We know only that it is not turning out well. If we were doing it in a laboratory we would stop it. We are so stupid that even though we are living inside the experiment we refuse to stop.

Articles and books are being written praising that refusual and pushing the party line of the Boys from the Black Stuff. Some are wiser. But look at the sprinkling of loony comments at the end of the article. Some people never learn.

Friday 7 October 2005


The car industry--the Big Iron carmakers--would have us believe that they cannot yet mass-produce fuel-cell vehicles, because there are technical problems to sort out, and that years of effort and billions of dollars of R&D are needed before they can.

Bunkum. The only problem they cannot sort out is how on earth they are going to survive and keep making megabucks in the age of the electric vehicle--the age of Little Iron. Only Big Iron can make ICE vehicles for a reasonable price; therefore so long as the ICE is king they have the very profitable monopoly. But electric vehicles are comparatively simple to make and support--just as PCs are comparatively simple to make and support compared to the old mainframes. Little Iron would therefore annihilate Big Iron.

So Big Iron keeps spewing out a mix of green-washing (environmental pretence) and tired old lies. They pump out a few prototype vehicles, to keep the Californian Air Resources Board happy, and they talk about mass-production sometime (we promise, really and truly, cross our greedy little hearts and hope never the day), but they carry on making ICEs by the millions and trashing the planet. They pretend there are technical obstacles in the way of making FCVs (fuel-cell vehicles), they pretend those cannot be solved quickly (not enough brain, guys?), they keep inventing new obstacles, new excuses. First they said they needed hydrogen-storage bottles that could run at 350bar (5000psi). But those have been round for years--on the backs of firefighters. Then they said they needed 700bar (10,000psi). Those have now been there for a while. So now they say they have to develop metal hydrides, or nanotechnology.

Bunkum. Arrant damned lies. The storage problem has been licked. Long ago. Unless, that is, you swallow their line that a vehicle needs a range of 800 kilometres (500 miles) between refuelling stops. Since when did anyone need that between petrol or diesel stops? Since when were fuel-stations that far apart? Even if a fuel-cell vehicle could only go 150km, trading that for an untrashed planet would be to trade the occasional minor inconvenience for a global catastrophe. That range 'issue' is just one more in the army of straw men that the Big Iron boys keep setting up to con us all into thinking that there is a good reason why we are not driving planet-friendly FCVs, or at very least hydrogen-burners.

They also pretend that hydrogen-production is a problem. More bunkum. Yes, it is if you insist that you have to build a nuclear power-station first in order to get clean (!!!!!) electricity to drive your electrolysers. Or if you insist on using the electricity from coal-burning power-stations. Or if you are twice as insane and insist on extracting hydrogen from coal or oil (a process that spews out huge amounts of planet-trashing carbon-dioxide).

They are thus pretending that sunlight does not exist; they are thus pretending that solar power off solar cells, or wind power, does not exist. They are wilfully ignoring the perfect solution. Sunlight splits the water. Fuel-cells join it back. A pure cycle. At Humboldt State University, California, they have doing it since 1991 (not long enough, Big Iron?).

Then there is the current doozey of a lie, the one about having to have an interim step, i.e., the 'need' for those pathetic hybrids, which do nothing to reduce the total amount of carbon-dioxide we are spewing out. Individual vehicles spew less, true, but it is the total spew that is trashing the planet. But hybrids perpetuate the ICE status-quo, the Big Iron profiteering. They are not even green-washing, they are only sooty green flag-waving.

If you Big Iron boys and girls were not a greedy bunch of environmental Nazis you would have given us low-cost electric cars long ago. So stop being planet-trashers, stop spewing out weapons of mass-destruction, stop being mass-murderers, stop making the planet uninhabitable, start being responsible human beings. Or is that too much to ask.

Where there‘s a will there‘s a way...

Tuesday 4 October 2005


[See the 2008 footnote at the end of this post]

This is the time of year when New Zealand once again begins 'daylight saving.'Interest rates are going up, so now we can get a much better return on what we save. With care we might make so much extra daylight that we will get to live an extra year or two. If, that is, Inland Revenue doesn‘t get us for darkness evasion and zap us with a penalty payment. Then we will drop dead before our time. Doh!

Seriously, it is amazing what the choice of a term can do. 'Daylight saving' was accepted with hardly a murmur. It sounds so positive, so noble, so doing-my-bit right. But what it really is is mass compulsory early rising. You are all ordered by Parliament to get up an hour earlier for the next six months whether you like it or not. That would not have sold. Big Brother is waking you. No, but sugar the pill with marketing mythology, with a meaningless assembly of words, and everyone meekly swallows it.

Would that we had the same attitude to saving the planet. Save it, or else. Yessir. Now sir. Three bags full sir. We are willing and eager to jump to it to 'save' some daylight, while we let the planet go to hell in a handbasket and us with it.

But we saved some daylight we cry as we get buried under yet another Force 5 hurricane, yet another drought, yet another metre of rising ocean.

Then there's the far-from-small matter of messing up our circadian rhythms twice a year--i.e., getting ourselves out of sync with the planet in our own bodies and brains (see Science Daily in 2007.) Out of sync with reality too.

When daylight saving first began here a woman phoned a Christchurch talkback show to complain that the extra sunlight was fading her curtains. Which sums up the amount of sense there is in how we think of the planet.

We think we control it. We think we can define when midday comes. It comes, we declare, when the big hand and the little hand are on the twelve, and we decide when that is. Scientific rubbish: it comes when the sun is at its zenith. What we do with our puny clocks, with any of our puny technology makes not a jot of difference to a single universal truth. The physical universe does what it does. Which includes an equal and opposite reaction to our every action. We trash the planet. It trashes us.

'Save' the daylight. Damn the planet. Yessir.

In October 2008 ScienceDaily published Swedish research that shows the incidence of heart-attacks rises in the first week after 'daylight saving' comes into force. So now we know the price of this habit.

'Save' the daylight. Kill a few people while you are at it. Yessir.