Articles to 2018-08-19

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Is king Khyan the key to solving the Thera dating conundrum? Several contributions to Forstner-Müller & Moeller seem to point that way. Ehrlich et al. is another example for the argument, that when one measurement may well be faulty, all scientific measurements can be summarily dismissed, however much they may confirm each other.


If we need another proof that carbon dioxide has become a religion and the main purpose of those working on it has become the collection of sacrifices from the faithful, then Cha et al. fit the bill. Hydrogen and the transport of hydrogen are expensive, both in energetic as well as monetary terms. The cost may be worth it for storing and moving electricity e.g. in fuel cells. But if one step in the process, the splitting of ammonia, needs noting but cheap heat, then it makes no sense in using up half of all the hydrogen generated just for that and halving the electricity output per amount of ammonia used. They manage to obscure that fact by comparing the slightly higher efficiency of hydrogen combustion to that of cheap alternate fuels.

As if to prove that the whole endeavour is nothing but a publicity stunt they also establish the truly astonishing fact, that a drone tethered to a power source on the ground can stray aloft longer than one relying on its on-board battery alone. In practice the details of that source are either immaterial or bulk and weight are the only things that count. Using a huge petrol guzzling SUFF to carry a “carbon free” ammonia converter out there is beyond ridiculous.

As the technology now stands it looks as if storage in ammonia is nothing praying at the altar of total freedom from carbon, when methanol is simple, proven, and comparatively efficient. Nonetheless I won't ridicule it completely. Maybe it can yet be sufficiently improved to become a viable alternative, at least it's worth a try.


Large amounts of none dispatchable and strongly fluctuating renewable electricity put a strain on all distribution networks. Neshumayev et al. have now supplied part of the extra cost involved in cycling fossil power plants. In practice the extra losses can be expected to be much higher than in their idealized test with eight hours of steady-state operation in each ten hour cycle.


Forth is somewhat verbose and long-winded as writings in the humanities tend to be, but for all that he provides a valuable contribution to the problem all scientists and science teachers have to contend with: Why do people persist in believing things, that can so easily be disproved empirically?

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