Archive for August 23rd, 2020

To Stop The Fires, Seed The Clouds

August 23, 2020

The remnants of a hurricane are approaching Northern California. The “Democratic” clowns who govern California are in despair. All their tiny brains know is that, a week ago, under similar circumstances, thick clouds rolled in, and 12,000 lightning strikes, a state record, by a long shot, launched 600 fires… Because rain didn’t fall. And now a repetition threatens. Another dry lightning set of thunderstorms. What to do? The governmental rodents are running around in circles: the cat is coming, the cat is coming: let’s close all the parks. Well, if they had bigger brains, they would have found a solution.

I sent this to Trump and Newsom (the governor of California): Mr. President/Governor: another dry lightning storm is approaching Northern California. Why don’t suggest to seed the clouds to force rain down to prevent further fires and drown the existing ones under a deluge? Should be done but California’s government seems unawares!

The fires in Northern California are catastrophic: one million acres, half a million hectares, burned in a few days. 3,000 years old trees destroyed, by the thousands…

Smoke of the Bay Area fires as seen from Bear Valley, 300 kilometers away, August 20, 2020. Multi millenia trees up in smoke…

On one hand, there is Catastrophic Climate Change, due to human pollution… But then there is also lack of mitigation. I know extremely well some of the areas just destroyed by fire, which were among the most exquisite places on Earth. 

Those places used to be frequented by goats, camels, cattle, elks, mastodonts. Also Native Americans took such good care of the forests, astonished Spaniards could go through them at a full gallop. There were a few elks at Point Reyes, but not enough (I was charged twice by large elks on the exact Woodward Trail with the horrible fire of the same name). There was a whole controversy about those non-fenced elks… Should they be allowed to roam? Ranchers were against it. Mountain lions fed on them (the 6 foot tall male elks could perfectly defend themselves, that’s why I got charged, they had confused me with lions, something natural at dusk… Now the fire is roaming and the elks are burning, so all is fine, as far as US political vultures are concerned. Thousand year old Douglas Firs, some three hundred feet tall are burning, it’s perfect. As long as Eva Longoria, a stupid actress, can talk 30% longer than Bernie Sanders at the Democratic Convention, “Democrats” will be fine….  

The air quality in Northern California is so bad, I have seen people nearly dying of asthma attack… 300 kilometers from the fires (where the photo above was taken by me). All parks are closed.

This sheer madness, was avoidable. In my cherished Point Reyes, with its cathedral forest, thousand years old trees are burning because the governor didn’t have the money, foresight, energy, or scientific advisers to send crews to burn the brush (which can be ten feet tall) during the rainy season. So all the forests are burning, people are gasping or dying, because, basically, Trump told them to clean them and how to do it, but those learned advice could only be charlatanism, because his opponents, who are in command in California, say Trump is a charlatan. So all Trump says is charlatanism. So if Trump says burn the brush, good anti-racist “Democrats” shall not burn the brush: it’s obviously a plot from Moscow. So the self-proclaimed “Democrats” controlling California didn’t do anything, they are just happy ruling and being sanctimonious. And now one has world famous trees, older than Roman civilization, burning… and unbreathable air, up to thousands of miles away…

Trump Derangement Syndrome is the illness which keeps on giving sadistic pleasure to simpletons… Up in smoke… And this is no light accusation: cloud seeding works. China (and even the US) has used it very successfully, against drought. What I proposed here is to seed the remnants of a hurricane. It did not happen: the deluge dropped over other states, not on the infernos where it was most needed.

Patrice Ayme

Space Colonization For Real. And Why Humanity Needs It, To Keep On Being Human.

August 23, 2020

It’s fashionable among intellectuals of the lesser sort to spite technology. Of course, that’s perfectly idiotic, hypocritical, and base: they would not even exist without the technology and the capability to use it, which our ancestors developed, already millions of years ago… As a species. Yes, the arrogant thinker, thinking where no thought has been thought before, on which all of civilization rests, is a direct biological creation of exponentiating technology. That, and apple pie.

Arrogance is great, as long as it bears fruit, such as thoughts the commons find astounding,and one could not have had them otherwise. . But arrogance for the sake of denial bears no fruit.

Water at the poles of the Moon, where it condensates in perpetual shadows. (Artist representation).

What’s the spatial bodies we can hope to colonize? Well, it used to look real hard. If one had to lift water from Earth to space… We didn’t have the capability of launching all this water cheaply enough.

Friend Stephen Jones observed:

“Mars is our only potential candidate to colonize. Beyond our own solar system? Nope. We will never reach another solar system.”

Well, indeed, we need water, and lots of energy. Fifty years ago, it looked as if there was only one planet with water in the Solar System: Earth. Now we have found so much that we have to demonstrate life did NOT evolve out there in the Solar System. The same is true, even more so, with exoplanets. 

Now we know that Mars, Europa, Enceladus, Ganymede, Pluto… have lots of water. Europa may have more than Earth (we don’t know how deep its ocean is). Some asteroids, comets, the poles of Mercury have water. It’s also very likely that the Moon water is usable. The largest asteroid, a spherical dwarf planet, Ceres, is a water rich body, with eruption of brine in several places. Once we have water, all we need is energy to make livable quarters. NASA is fully aware of all this.

Ceres is an ocean world where water and ammonia reacted with silicate rocks. As the ocean froze, salts and other telltale minerals concentrated into deposits that are now exposed in many locations across the surface. The Dawn spacecraft, which orbited it ever closer, also found organics in several locations on Ceres’ surface.

Altogether, Ceres seems to be approximately 40% or 50% water by volume, compared to 0.1% for Earth, and 73% rock by mass. So no more lifting water up there in space: it’s there already. We just need to get there, with lots of (nuclear) energy…

And how to get there? Well Elon Musk’s SpaceX has landed one particular rocket six times already (crushing down the price to orbit: it would take just one million dollars to repair and refurbish tat rocket, SpaceX says…). His Starship is supposed to be as reusable as an helicopter (revolutionizing point to point transport on Earth, no doubt) [1]. 

But the ultimate grail is portable thermonuclear fusion… Give us this, oh Lord, and the galaxy is ours… Nobody knows is that is feasible: the Sun is not big by accident. Thermonuclear fusion works better, the bigger the reactor. we are trying to do in a room what a gigantic Brown Dwarf can barely achieve. And Red Dwarf stars are eminently unstable… 

IF portable fusion is feasible, we will conquer the entire Solar System, and missions to proximal stars are imaginable, if we master hibernation (all sorts of rodents do it, after all…)

The philosophical question is why bother? 

Why to conquer space? The answer is simple: because it raises the bar of our understanding.  

An example? NASA just announced that its perpetually deferred new space telescope the James Webb, will be launched even later than last forecast (Fall 2021 now). Why? It’s immensely complex. To fit inside the fairing of the Ariane V rocket (or any rocket), it has to be folded. The mirror system and the solar shield enfold themselves in 180 different operations… This has to work 100% on 180 operations, as the telescope will be at the L1 Lagrangian point, where Earth and Sun gravitational attractions balance each other, 600,000 kilometers away, twice the distance of the Moon.  

So this telescope is perhaps the most complex machine ever. It uses several new and finicky technologies… And so it is throughout space exploration. New tech, all over. Mastering space forces us to master those technologies. We are in a debate with space, and it teaches us a lot, this demanding master.

Look at the blackouts and fires in California: both are all about energy management. Yes, there was not enough energy to take care of the forests. Now there is not enough energy to fight fires burning into groves of 3,000 year old trees. Space teaches us to optimize energy management… in particular of creating, and using energy as efficiently as possible.

Space forces tech to go higher, better. And only new tech will save us, the Earth, and our high mental and spiritual standards… 

Space is not a luxury, it’s not just a refuge from disaster, or reality. It is the future, because humanity is a force that goes. Up.

Patrice Ayme

***

***

[1] Supporting Elon Musk directly and indirectly, I was against: it looked like a case of celebritism. Now I am happy to report I was in error (as I already said). Supporting Elon Musk with beaucoup dollars is actually the best thing Barack Obama ever did. What characterizes Musk is the boldness of vision, the “ALL HOPE AHEAD!” attitude, what Charles Quint called :”PLUS OULTRE!”

Musk’s Starship, if he gets it to work, will revolutionize transportation (the Pentagon is going to be very interested). If there is no will to reach much higher, there is no way to change much deeper, this is true all over. If there is no will for a different, better world, there is no way, and there is not even any thought going that way. Instead, the “Inch’Allah” way rules all… Suivez la direction de mon regard…


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in truth, only atoms and the void

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GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

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because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

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ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

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SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

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Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

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ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

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Military and general security

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Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

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Writer, Editor, Berliner

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