Climate Change and International Transport

We need a hydrogen economy. However, on day one of his presidency, Obama ripped out all financing for hydrogen, including for hydrogen fuel cell research… It became clear later that the boy was advised by the frucking frackers: recently, thanks to Obama (not Trump!), the USA produced 30% more petroleum, 13.3 million barrels a day, than the country which produced the most aside from the USA (Saudi Arabia at its peak)

US fuel cells had enabled the US to go to the Moon (and provided fireworks for Apollo 13). I doubt Barry the Boy knew this (he is best at knowing very little besides how to feed people with what they want to hear).

Here professor Ian Miller, a chemist and physicist of renown, points out that shipping is an ecological disaster (one cruise ship in Marseilles, idling in port, pollutes as much as two million cars at speed limit). And the solution? Hydrogen (or Ammonia, roughly the same, but more civilized)…

Making “green” hydrogen is a must. Just use PV solar panels for energy (or even wind, which I like less). Storing it as ammonia is a no brainer for safe storage and transportation. Actually, last I checked there was such a giant project in North-West Australia to send “green” energy to Japan… Probably to calm the likes of yours truly about Japan’s much more real plan to replace its nuclear industry with Australian coal. So Japan and Australia get financed by states and countries which go clean… while they go fish whales and pollute North America, killing American frogs, smothering the planet… While pretending to go green by killing non-killing nuclear energy.

All boats could use sails, as supplementary power, either as rotors, or the turbosail invented by Cousteau and associates, or even computer controlled kites. Those have not been developed because of the subsidies and tax-free status given to shipping (although full scale prototypes have shown they work.. up to 25% reduction of energy). One can expect considerable reduction in energy demand (also achievable by reducing speeds).Ship Sail Rotor Nat gas

[2018 Viking “Grace”, a 2800 passengers, 500 cars ferry between Finland and Sweden. the single rotor sail on top is supposed to diminish carbon emission by 900 tons a year; the ship is otherwise fueled by natural gas, CH4, which as close to hydrogen as it gets in a naturally occuring fuel… Thus less polluting…]

In any case, just like the fracking Obama, great fracker-in-chief, the Paris accord was self-satisfying hogwash (consider Japan, Germany and their coal reintroduction)… Paradoxically energy guzzling Texas led by rabid “Red” governor Perry (now Trump energy sec.), did way better in going green (lots of wind)… The problem with Paris is that countries are supposed to self-improve, at a pace of their own choosing. The virus is doing better to reduce CO2 production, quicker.

Maybe all we can hope for is to balance one catastrophe by another?



You probably feel that in terms of pollution and transport, shipping is one of the good guys. Think again. According to theEconomist(March 11, 2017) the emissions of nitrogen and sulphur oxides from 15 of the world’s largest ships match those from all the cars on the planet. If the shipping industry were a country, it would rank as the sixth largest carbon dioxide emitter. Apparently 90%of trade is seaborne, and in 2018, 90,000 ships burn two billion barrels of the dirtiest fuel oil, and contribute 2 – 3% of the world’s total greenhouse emissions. And shipping is excluded from the Paris agreement on climate change. (Exactly how they wangled that is unclear.) The International Maritime Organization wants to cut emissions by 50% by 2050, but prior to COVID-19, economic growth led to predictions of a six-fold increase by then!

Part of the problem is the fuel: heavy bunker…

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2 Responses to “Climate Change and International Transport”

  1. ianmillerblog Says:

    Minor correction – I am not an academic and have not been part of a University after my post-docs.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Well, OK, but most super intellectuals were actually NOT part of universities, nor really “academic”. That includes Darwin, Faraday, Hubble, Descartes, Lamarck, Fermat… Even Einstein, Rutherford, De Broglie… More recently, the guy who invented PCR was a surfer… Actually in France most of the top research is not conducted in universities but in separate institutions: INSERM, CEA, CNRS, etc… (Hence the dismal ranks of French universities in the Shanghai rankings)…

      Actually, considering, one can say that the record of universities for producing superior thoughts, and stand at the edge of thinking, is rather poor… One may only suspects it’s more so in the age of the hyper expensive “university”. In the 1920s, to pass Princeton it was enough to pay and one earned a “gentleman’s B”…


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