Now that I've figured out how to check my KosMail, which isn't called KosMail but instead is called "Messages", I've received a request to stop with the fucking profanity. This request was heartfelt and was from a fellow Kossack in good standing who provided some very convincing reasons why my own credibility (ha!) and the credibility of Daily Kos would be improved if I stopped using words like fuck, fucking, motherfucker, motherfucking and probably cock and stuff as well. As much as I took this request to heart, it occurred to me that this is the equivalent to asking NYC's Naked Cowboy to wear clothes. I mean, I've heard the guy and he's not much of a guitar player. Better than Nugent, yeah, but so's an ourang with a Strat taped to his ass. I figure the Naked Cowboy puts on Dockers and he's out of business. To be democratic, I'll include a poll at the end asking your opinions on this. I'll adjust my use of profanity as per the results. Probably.
Also, I'm going to pick four random-as-fuck commenters and buy them year subscriptions for Daily Kos. I don't mind the ads, myself, as some of them are for music gear and I like clicking on them and buying more amps and shit I don't need -- so I'm just going to donate on Sunday.
I'm going to talk about ideas. My 1st recommended diary here at Daily Kos talked about the use of oil booms. I said for them to be effective, they needed to divert oil to where it could be collected and removed, rather than being arranged so that they tried to stop the movement of oil across the water. Low and behold, by the time they shut off the flow of oil, various agencies and groups of people have built these huge Jesus booms out of floating pipe that they laid out at across passes and inlets to divert oil. I wouldn't guess my crappy diary had anything to do with most of those, but if it even tangentially influenced any one person who did something with it, that says a lot about ideas and this Daily Kos outfit. Myself, I had never thought of scaling booms that large, but there you go. It was pretty much the only effective booming that took place.
In my real job, for which I make more money than God but not as much as Mitt Romney, I'm working on permanent and secondary containment and leak detection for where land-based oil pipelines cross rivers and other wetlands. Those ideas, because they're tied up with partners and patents and crap like that, I can't talk about here. So, I'm going to...
Holyfuckingshit. I'm sitting here in my truck typing this and the wind is gusting to 75 mph outside. Not shitting about that. It's rocking the truck impressively. Thank you, Firefox spell-check.
I'm going to show you the basics of a probably-stupid idea for fusion. In future diaries, I'll push the effectiveness of conservation over technologies like solar and wind. Rather than ramble on about that here, I'll suggest a good book on the subject. Green Allusions by Ozzie Zehner. Ozzie's main point is that every new non-carbon energy technology creates energy that gets used IN ADDITION TO our current hydrocarbon usage. None of it has, so far, replaced one molecule of hydrocarbon usage. And technologies like wind and solar are mature enough that if they were going to cut into our hydrocarbon use, they'd have done at least a bit of that by now. They haven't. Here's the only way we are going to use less carbon-based fuel:
Use less fucking carbon-based fuel. Conserve. CHANGE OUR LIFESTYLES IMMEDIATELY AND MASSIVELY.
You know who did that? Jimmy Carter did that. Lowering the National Speed Limit to 55 mph has two effects. It reduces fuel consumption between 17% and 50% when compared to driving at 70 or even 75 mph. But it also makes a lot of medium or long-range elective automobile travel less attractive.
But listen, even if we conserve and conserve and conserve some more, and we accelerate wind, solar, tidal and every other form of non-carbon-based technology, there are 7 fucking billion-with-a-b people on this planet now and every single one wants our wasteful, pampered, recreating-like-all-fuck-two-days-a-week lifestyle. Whether we think they deserve that lifestyle just as much as we do or not (hint: they do) they're going to work toward it and in the next 20 years, increasingly, they're going to burn a buttload of hydrocarbons as a result. Fusion is the only Planet-Saver. Yes, I've heard the old sayings about fusion always being 20 years into the future. Pretty soon here, it better be, or our own children (never mind our grandchildren) are going to inhabit a dead planet. The End Times. No shit this time. You think we have wars now, just wait until climate change causes continental crop failures and human migration, literally by the billions. Only fusion has a chance of curbing that. With all its potential, you would think that fusion research would have massive funding by World governments. Nope.
We need (fuck need) we must have a carbon tax that meets the equivalent of 3 cents per gallon of gasoline on all carbon-based fuels Worldwide. Every penny of that has to go into fusion research. You're talking some real money there, the sort of money that would allow fusion research to branch into thousands of directions. Most of those directions will not bear fruit. Some of them will more resemble pure research, but we have to have that.
Here's my stupid idea, featuring my trademark shit-fuck-c*nt artwork.
My idea is based on the cool concept of Sonoluminescence. It is bubble cavitation with low energy accelerations matching (in velocity only, of course) those thought to be present in a black hole. I got to thinking, what if we increased the mechanical energies a billion-fold and instead of an air bubble, a bubble of deuterium. And instead of letting that light escape, how about we reflect it all back at the bubble by placing the entire process in a bath of molten motherfucking aluminum on the verge of a form change.
Instead of the weak-assed ultrasound transducers associated with grade-school sonoluminescence we use what are essentially high-energy ultrasound hammers. We put the whole shebang under, oh, say 15000 psig of pressure.
Will it work? Is there anything but the fraction of a trace of a chance it will even come close to creating usable fusion? Well fuck no. But it might very well better define the limits of mechanical cavitation and lots of other data that could possibly be important. It's just an example. The future is either wide open with ideas or it is depressingly, horrifically closed to human life itself.