Whorled View

November 20, 2007

The Vitamin C “Dead Zone”

Filed under: economics,Health,media bias,medicine,Science,Vitamin C — lullabyman @ 4:47 pm

Most medical practitioners do not understand how the body utilizes high concentrations of ascorbates (Vitamin C and it’s buffered variants). As a result clinical studies for Vitamin C are poorly designed and result in inadequate and misleading conclusions. Ultimately such misleading conclusions discourage medical practitioners from using vitamin-based treatments despite a growing number of studies with seemingly polar opposite conclusions that strongly promote the use of vitamin-based therapies and treatments. This is a globally important issue, since vitamin-based therapies provide the world with cheap and effective treatments that are readily available. Sadly those same therapies are widely disparaged because of an overwhelming amount of research inappropriately done in what I call the “dead zone”. Read more about this “dead zone” here: http://www.the-austins.com/Vitamin%20C%20Dead%20Zone.html

Dead Zone Effectiveness

Dead Zone Economics

November 14, 2007

Solar Thermal Energy: the claims just keep getting better

According to this CNN article released today Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) that harnesses the heat of the sun (not the brightness of the sun, which is what Solar PV does) just keeps looking better. Among the claims:

1) Electricity produced by CSP can be as cheap as 8 cents per kWh. That’s about 20% cheaper than most people are paying in the united states right now for electricity. That’s1/4 the cost of electricity produced by the ever so much more popular Solar PV panels.

2) A 92 x 92 square mile CSP farm placed in the empty barren desert in the SW United States could produce all the energy needed by the whole United States.

3) It could easily solve the desalinated water shortage crisis – which for many countries is a much bigger problem than any kind of oil shortage crisis.

4) Only 0.3% of the Sahara desert is needed to power most of Europe and upper Africa, resulting in a 70% carbon reduction for the region. It will save astonishing amounts of money too as cities must otherwise relocate costing of 100’s billions of dollars, whereas it could all be averted with a CSP plant in the $10 billions of dollar range.

5) Since 90% of the world lives relatively close to desert or to substantial power grids connected to such areas then 90% of the world’s population can be served by this breathtakingly economical and clear resource.

Strangely enough some of the biggest opponents to CSP appear to be a group of environmentalists and key Democrat politicians who seem to be letting expected tax incentives lapse. Based on my last post, you’ll see that this comes as no surprise to me. For 30 years they’ve been trying to keep CSP in the background so industry experts could make money off new alternative energy startups that will never compare with respect to efficiency, cost, and time to market.

These tax incentives for the power companies are vital. Even though CSP may be cheaper than filthy fossil fuels, power companies are making tons of money on fossil fuels. They have the right to jack the prices as high as they need, and at times like now when there is no shortage, but the cost is high due to political concerns, they make all the money. Why? Because they already own such a huge interest in the reserves. The only way to get power companies to build CSP farms is to financially encourage them – and that isn’t happening.

November 12, 2007

Al Gore says something really stupid again

He won the popular vote for President of the United States. He jumped on the green energy bandwagon. For those two things I applaud him.

Everything else he’s done reminds me what an incredible stroke of luck it was that he lost the electoral vote. I posted earlier about how awful of a job I thought he did on the “Inconvenient Truth”, and I suggested similar programs that were far better on a number of levels – although even they were seriously flawed. His moaning throughout the program about how unfairly he was treated and about how little data convinced him of global warming were tedious at best, and the treatment of any of the data he presented was excruciating from a statistical standpoint. The worst part of it was his solution to the problem (use less electricity and spend money on technologies that were entirely unlikely to help), which was the equivalent of stopping a fire hydrant with a stick of bubble gum. Besides, you cannot begin to legislate that. Neither can you force China to do that. The solution should have been this: we need tons of cheap clean energy and we need it fast, and stop investing in technology that has no chance of being competitive with coal.

Nothing else will work. Gore seems oblivious on this point.

Does such a ridiculous remark have anything to do with the fact that he runs a Venture Capitalist firm that invests largely in these inferior “competitive” technologies?

So what now did he recently say that filled me with disgust? What proved his underlying blind ignorance to institute “fairness” at the expense of achieving the ultimate goal? It was simply this: When an Ausra executive said that their Solar Thermal technology would produce electricity so cheap as to “thrash” all the other alternatives, Gore reprimanded him for “assassinating” the competition. You can read about it here at the end of this fortune magazine article from November 12th. Be sure to read also the blindedly ignorant opinion of the author of the article, gushing over Gore like he was a rock-star who could do no wrong.

Excuse me?! Why is Gore being overly protective of less efficient, more expensive, and slower to market technologies?! Can you say “biased”? Can you say “self-serving”? Does such a ridiculous remark have anything to do with the fact that he runs a Venture Capitalist firm that invests largely in these inferior “competitive” technologies?

… when someone says something extremely stupid that also reveals their true motives it’s time to call a spade a spade …

If Gore was truly interested in saving the planet, then he would have said something smart like “Wonderful! Let the competition begin!”. And that, my friends, is why we are in the current mess that we are in. Solar Thermal has been capable of providing us with near grid-cost energy for a dozen years while people like Gore have insisted that all the DOE funds go to more expensive and less efficient, and less eco-friendly projects.

Am I the only one that sees a conflict of interest in making a Eco-Venture-Capitalist-Advisor into the Czar of environmentally friendly technologies? Are people really so stupid as to think such a person could be objective? And journalists … when someone says something extremely stupid as well as revealing of their true motives it’s time to call a spade a spade instead of praising the person for senselessly sticking to their rusty and hypocritical guns.

Solar Thermal to overtake Solar PV within 10 years

The cost of Solar Thermal electricity is half the cost of Solar PV.  This has been true for dozens of years, but solar thermal has never been as lucrative as solar PV because it can only be done in huge installations, so it’s been ignored relatively speaking.  Solar PV has always received the bulk of government subsidies by far – largely because of lobbying power of big businesses and because it’s easier to sell Solar PV to consumers (rooftop panels) than Solar Thermal to power companies (giant solar farms).  That’s finally changing.  Power companies and the Congressmen who get funding for green energy are finally getting wise.  As such some major Solar Thermal plants are in the works, and Acciona expects that by 1017 more electricity will be generated by Solar Thermal plants than all the Solar PV panels in the United States combined (including the one on your solar calculator).

That’s cool. Read more about it here.

November 8, 2007

UDel: A Bastion of Reverse Bigotry No More?

Right. I’ll believe it when I see it.

A week ago “F.I.R.E” (a freedom-of-speech watchdog group) said enough was enough. University of Delaware (walking distance from my house) for years had been violating the 1st amendment rights of it’s dormitory students in the most egregious manner. Multiple times throughout the year the students were “interviewed”, and given “treatment” by resident assistants to adopt certain “politically correct” views. In fact, they went beyond common political correctness. In these interviews they had to disclose when they became aware of their “sexual orientation”, they also had to agree to the definition of racist as intrinsically excluding all races except for whites, furthermore that all whites were racist regardless of their sentiments or actions. Orientations were held for incoming freshmen where those who disagreed were asked to stand on one side of the room while those with the “correct” answers stood on the other. They were asked to write down and discuss the worst kinds of epithets in a group setting. How would you feel to be a 18 yr old jewish girl on her first day at school being told that being “cheap” was part of your identity – all in the name of exposing bigotry? Also included in this program with a list of disallowed words that you cannot speak on campus grounds, including words like “gay” and “fag”. You also had to agree with certain political opinions of the school regarding global warming and other things. This was all enforced with a system of intimidation and indoctrination. Fortunately many RA’s (if not most) refused to ask the questions in the one-on-one interviews that they thought inappropriate, but also refused to be identified because they were afraid the university might fire them for their non-compliance.

Last fall UDel got a new president who inherited this mess. He said they are suspending the program for review. Earlier efforts to investigate the official “Student Life Diversity Training” program was hindered by the previous administration who claimed such a program did not exist.

Its an Orwellian 1984 and Big Brother is a secretive wacko-left-wing-taliban organization embedded in the highest reaches of academia and bureaucracy. It’s reached epidemic proportions. University of Columbia enthusiastically offers a platform of legitimacy to a nuclear warhead seeking lunatic to expound his theories of genocide, while denying the president of the NRA the ability to speak there at an engagement scheduled by the student republicans. Before that it was the egregious gag order established by a Boston judge that nobody in the media may mention anything regarding fist gate.

Remember fist-gate? Of course you don’t. Not only did the judge disallow the media from mentioning it, the media itself was loath to mention it as it exposed the seediest underbelly imaginable of the gay and lesbian acceptance movement. Never before or since has there been such a gross violation of free speech as practiced by the government. And why was the gag order ruled? Because the information would have been embarrassing and damaging to the pro-homosexual community.

I experienced first-hand this phenomena when I attended U of I in 1988-1992. There was an article in the school newspaper which I disagreed with and wrote my letter to the editor forwarding my conservative-based opinions. The published editing of my letter was obviously designed to make me sound like a lunatic. It wasn’t until I threatened to forward to state officials the original along with what they printed that they relented and printed my whole reply. I had a friend who worked on the staff there and she told me she’d never seen the editor so angry. He was apparently furious with the idea that he was accountable for his actions to a higher authority than his own.

So it is with great suspicion that I accept that things will really be any different at UDel. If experience has taught me anything it’s that the watchdog group “FIRE” has given them just another reason to be more clandestine in their nefarious PC indoctrinating ways.

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