Open Range

Open Range with Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall is one of my favourite movies. A good western should enlighten us on the moral dilemma on how to behave in a lawless land. What is permitted when there’s no precedence, that inaction is not an option, how to stay modest, self-disciplined and true even in the face of victory and its spoils when the bad guys are gunned down. 

Open Range seems a good metaphor now when the good guys bloggers seem to finally outgun the bad guys mainstream media in a number of controversies.  

  •  The climate bluff seems on the brink to be called. Even powerful sites like the Huffington Post that brought Barack to victory now take in articles on global cooling. The Goracle backs down on his most monstrous lies but what about the rest o’ them ? 
  • Norway experiences unchartered territory when the Progress Party breaks the taboo on immigration. Norway’s Winston Churchill/ Barack Obama – Siv Jensen – just said that a silent moslemification should be checked. Then all hell broke loose even if 70% of voters  are with her.  Mainstream media closets are full of skeletons of insider trades so to say. And it’s not a pretty sight. Fex the Moslem Council in Norway is a monster created by among others Aftenposten, once a conservative organ now hijacked by a shady PC-lobby. Norwegian Moslems would be well advised to elect themselves smarter and more educated spokesmen.  Aftenposten cuts down on their paper editions, Dagbladet will probably disappear this year.  Time for champaign and cigars !  

When the priests in the mainstream media loose control – what happens next ? 

  • The Political Power will have to face the digital universe with their own armour. Bloggers’ ranking is based on such new standards as eloquence, honesty, truth, factseeking, openness and objectivity.  That will be very tough for traditional denialists and natural born liars to adapt to. 
  • Transparency and tracability will set off a revolution in public relations and political debates. Stakeholders who dont proof upfront that they got their facts straight will be turned into laughing stock, ignored and loose any bragging rights. 
  • Long unreadable Sunday edition chronicles will have no audience. Cover up schemes within the infotainment elite or the mediapolitico establishments will no longer be possible.
  • Academic stardom and exclusive scientific foras will die as proven irrelevant. I acknowledge the need for business discretion. The Big Q is how far such discretion should go. At least I can’t see any need to keep finance arrangements secret since no individual can rightfully or meaningfully own billions. But more on that later. 

open-rangeThey just wanted to save their cows but ended up delivering justice all over the place. 


What to produce in Western Sweden ?

Western Sweden is held up by the car manufacturers SAAB and Volvo and their subcontractors. Despite optimistic rethoric out of SAAB’s management after being betrayed by their owner GM, SAAB’s future is extremely gloomy with billons of dollars in debt, factories at half capacity, too few and too ordinary models. In a global crunch, a new owner necessary for the Swedish government to intervene in the chapter 11 procedure could only be a billionaire aficionado.

What to produce instead of traditional vehicles on hydrocarbones ?

  • Fuel cells, electric engines and batteries could be acceptable for tropical climate in urban zones but not much else. Cairo, Mumbai and Peking would be better off without exhaust and smog with small lightweight vehicles with 100 km range and omnipresent service if they break down on the highways. For us in the cold lonesome backwoods fuel cells, electric engines and batteries are just not going to cut it. 
  • So we need combustion engines on hydrogen. Next generation storage technology will go to 700bar pressurised hydrogen gas that will give you mileage and comfort as today. The question is : hydrogen gas stations. Liquid hydrogen only makes sense on a large scale. Linde Gas in Germany today has a facility producing 4 tons/day ie 500 fillups / day to be competitive. Designs are available for 100 tons/day and they will be excellent for densely populated areas and high traffic. 
  • So what to do with sparsely frequented strecthes of road ? Store, transport and distribute hydrogen as ammonia. We would then need small and mediumscale gas stations based on ammonia tanks, crackers and 700bar compressors. Voila a very interesting new opportunity for worldclass automotive and chemical engineers laid off in Sweden. 

And then we have the nuts and bolts needed for an infrastructure on thorium molten salt reactors :

  • Piping and pumps in special alloys
  • Heat exchangers moulded in carbon composites
  • Robotics for handling of nuclear fuel and waste
  • Full realtime monitoring instruments
  • Massproduction and global shipping in standard containers from a well organised port
  • Installation and operation support 

1000 molten salt reactors would be a business of 2000 billion euros. The planet needs 10 000 on the 2030 time horizon.  The technical competences needed for a thorium boom are on the scale as for cars and trucks. And it will be as glorious and profitable as cars ever was.

Will lack of valid cash cancel the truly promising wealth of thorium infrastructure ?

Max Keiser’s BBC World show “The Oracle” is getting scarier every week. This time Peter Schiff called the whole US economy a Ponzi scheme. He’s been right for years along with Nouriel Roubini. People are leaving Dubai. Zero interest rates do nothing to change the appearance of a financial black hole. And when eventually the trillions show up in the real world, we’re headed for the mother of all inflations and a dollar breakdown. Central bankers face criminal charges. Max Keiser’s distinguished guests all share a biting irony and hangman’s humour. 

By now economic orthodoxy mouthpieced by untouchable financial elites and bankers are in shambles and justly subject to ridicule. Ministers and budget guardians only have a ceremonial role : to keep up morale among us left behind in the real economy. 

For engineers and physicists, the whole charade is utterly incomprehensible. We automatically design our nuclear reactors as intrinsically safe as possible. Chemists don’t device processing plants without complete material flow sheets. The borderline is mathematicians’ territory; they are notorious for providing proofs and models where gravity magically disappears.  Pilots are held to the highest possible standards of competence and personal integrity. Bankers dealing with more than their own salary should pass the billionaire test, the toughest needle eye ever devised.  But today it’s possible to walk on to Wall Street from Oklahoma emptyhanded and fiddle your way to discretionary amounts comparable to the GDP. Anyway, that’s what Bernie Madoff did. Maybe the man contributed to the real economy by venerable credit and due diligence on his way to the top but his balance sheet surely ends in bloody red. Bernhard Madoff should be executed live on global TV. The event could actually make an lasting impact on the white collar blood suckers in contrast to the indifference to capital punishment found in serial killers. The protesters holding a banner saying “Jump, suckers!” among the tall shiny buildings were spot on.  

But what should be done ? I fail to see why not the card house of debts can’t be eliminated while the real economy goes on more or less undisturbed. I fail to see why a potent central bank more or less accurately can’t tally the amount of cash and credit needed to sustain sound growth. I fail to see why the trillion dollar guys can’t be informed on what real world priorities to undertake. 

We’re beyond the fairytales of free market philosophy and individual  freedom here.  Full transparency is the first step for corrective collective action that does not turn into despotism.  For some shady networks transparency is scary enough. Switzerland could go the way of Iceland for instance. So far Barack is right but I’m scared as hell that he’s not tough enough on the bankers for them to quit their idiotic derivative instruments casino. With all the computing power available how difficult can it be to calibrate between the Great Depression and the Zimbabwean hyperinflation ? Must we really teach economists the basic lessons of Franklin, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Hitler (unfortunately the fastest recovery the world has seen) , Deng and Putin ? Democracy has little do to with economic foundations but all to do with free market finetuning – ie producing the correct shoe sizes and shirt colors.  

Should the pressing issue of  building a thorium infrastructure fail just because idiots savants clutch their worthless paper fortunes in the snow storm instead of handing out some real cash for humanity’s survival match ?

So Sweden wants nuclear energy, you said..

The happy message this week is of course posted by the Swedish government. After agony in two of the parties making up the liberal-conservative majority, the effective ban on new reactors is declared obsolete. A referendum 29 years back lies behind this long-standing blocking of an efficient energy policy. The new proposal needs to be walked through Parliament and faces red-green opposition. The proposal contains pork for wind projects but opens up for energyintensive industry to start planning for new reactors on market terms.

Two small reactors at Barsebäck of about 500MWe each have been decommissioned. The key insight is that nor wind nor solar nor so-called renewables have been able to make up the loss in power.  Why should we entrust our future with those solutions now when the they have proved inadequate  ? Sweden needs to start planning rightaway. The 10 reactors face end of life in some 20-30 years.  

When looking for new technologies, the planners should take these considerations :

  1. Uranium mining must double until 2015 to serve the existing fleet. Huge risks faces the uranium supply when planning 80 years ahead. However thorium is abundant.
  2. What should be done with the Spent Nuclear Fuel SNF currently in temporary storage ? The State of California has a law prohibiting any technology that does not solve the SNF issue. SNF is a misunderstood resource and key to any new generation of nuclear power. Molten Salt Reactors can eat away the SNF mountain wholsesale and batchwise with just simple fluorination. In fact the SNF must be regarded as humanity’s survival match to unlock the thorium resource.
  3. What about the copper containers to store High Level Waste ? Well, they don’t last 1 million year because of corrosion.  In fact the waste stream out of Molten Salt Reactors would need isolation for about 1000 years, realistically achievable with vitrification fex
  4. Costs ? A standard water reactor on uranium is inflationary given the demand from other countries and the few firms taking it on. A Molten Salt Reactor will be 20x cheaper. 
  5. What about safety ? Sweden has experienced a couple of incidents the last couple of years reminding us of the inherent instability and risk factors of water reactors. Why not go for a Molten Salt Reactor that simply is inherently stable and unable to release large amounts of radiotoxicity ?
  6. Hesitant to develop new nuclear technology ? The Molten Salt Reactor has 5 years logged operation. Generation IV reactors are as far off as ever. Barack is not keen on nuclear anyway. Just go for it yourself with our Nordic partners ! 

Inspiration : BMW hydrogen limmos

When up against the vault, it’s wise to take some moments off for refuelling. Forget fuel cell or battery cars and go surfing the real thing : hydrogen combustion engines. 

New energy and fuel infrastructure should not come with a lower standard of living. Both BMW and Honda are showing off with gorgeous designs offering juice and joy for those of us who will not accept Duracell format motoring. 

Hydrogen combustion all comes down to pressure, tank volumes and safety materials. Current mileage is 200km per fillup but when pressures come to 350 and 700 bars we’ll get those 800 km per fillup. 

The Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership should bring hydrogen fillup stations. The crucial ting is how to provide local hydrogen. The answer is : by way of ammonia.  And then fuel prices will half as compared to today’s 1€ and change per liter. 

The tipping point will come with enough H2 fillups and affordable luxurious limmos. 



BMW 7 on hydrogen