Archive for the ‘News’ Category


The makers claim that ‘global and orbital travel will never be the same’.

A new air-breathing rocket engine is ready for a major round of testing in the next 18 months after having passed a preliminary design review by the European Space Agency (ESA), reports Space.com.

The Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE), which is being developed by the U.K. company Reaction Engines, can switch between two modes.

In aircraft-engine mode, it uses oxygen from the atmosphere, and in rocket-engine mode, it burns an oxidizer carried onboard together with the fuel liquid hydrogen.

The technology, deemed particularly promising for suborbital spaceflight and supersonic intercontinental travel, could one day revolutionize space transportation, advocates say.

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Why Phi? – the Kepler-47 circumbinary system

Posted: April 16, 2019 by oldbrew in Astrophysics, News, Phi
Tags: ,

Kepler Space Telescope [credit: NASA]


A headline at Phys.org today reads:
‘Astronomers discover third planet in the Kepler-47 circumbinary system’

The report starts:
‘Astronomers have discovered a third planet in the Kepler-47 system, securing the system’s title as the most interesting of the binary-star worlds. Using data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, a team of researchers, led by astronomers at San Diego State University, detected the new Neptune-to-Saturn-size planet orbiting between two previously known planets.

With its three planets orbiting two suns, Kepler-47 is the only known multi-planet circumbinary system. Circumbinary planets are those that orbit two stars.’

In this system the two stars orbit each other about every 7.45 days.

What can the latest information tell us about these planets, including newly discovered planet ‘d’?

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Peter Ridd Wins Court Case

Posted: April 16, 2019 by oldbrew in censorship, climate, Legal, News

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As the judge rightly said: “The university has ‘played the man and not the ball’”. One report says ‘the University is considering its legal options’.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

image

Dear All,
Excellent news.
My lawyers have told me that the judge handed down his decision and we seem to have won on all counts.
It all happened very quickly and we had no warning , and because I live almost a thousand miles from the court, I was not able to be there. I have still not seen the written judgement and will update you all when I have that information.
Needless to say, I have to thank all 2500 of you, and all the bloggers, and the IPA and my legal team who donated much of their time free for this success. But mostly I want to thank my dearest Cheryl, who quite by chance has been my bestest friend for exactly 40 years today. It just shows what a team effort can achieve.
The next chapter of this saga must now be written by…

View original post 604 more words

Marble Arch, London

Attention-seeking troublemakers, with no jobs of their own to go to, amuse themselves by harassing other people trying to get to work.

Extinction Rebellion campaigners enter their second day of blocking traffic in central London, reports BBC News.

More than 100 climate change activists have been arrested after blocking roads in central London.

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In terms of original power sources (i.e. not electricity), the runaway leaders were petroleum and natural gas which between them took over two-thirds of the total share. Coal and nuclear were a distant third and fourth. Best of the rest was biomass at just over 5% of the total, easily more than wind and solar combined.

Americans used more energy in 2018 than in any other year, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

Overall total energy consumption rose to 101.2 quadrillion BTU (or “quads”), reports TechXplore. The prior record, set in 2007, was 101.0 quads.

Energy use went up by 3.6 percent from 2017, which also is the largest annual increase since 2010.

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Central London [image credit: carmagazine.co.uk]


It’s not clear how vehicles that have passed the mandatory annual ‘MoT’ test, which includes an emissions check, can then be selectively penalised for causing air pollution. London seems to be saying an MoT pass is not good enough, in some cases at least.

London motorists driving older, more polluting vehicles must pay a new charge from Monday as part of one of the world’s toughest vehicle emissions programmes, reports Phys.org.

The ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) charges certain polluting vehicles a £12.50 ($16, 14.5 euros) fee to enter the centre of the British capital under mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to reduce air pollution.

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Image credit: autocarbrands.com


More damage on the way for the reputations and finances of underhand German car makers, it seems. It’s reportedly not related to previous charges over ‘cheat devices’, although the intentions look much the same.

BMW, and Volkswagen face possible hefty fines after EU antitrust regulators on Friday charged them and whistleblower Daimler with colluding to block the rollout of clean emissions technology, reports Yahoo! News.

In the latest pollution scandal to hit the auto industry, the European Commission said it had sent statements of objections to the German carmakers setting out the charges, nearly two years after carrying out dawn raids at their premises.

It said the collusion occurred between 2006 to 2014 and took place during technical meetings held by the “circle of five”, namely BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen Group’s VW, Audi and Porsche.

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Image credit: holyrood.com

Far-out ideology, loosely based on failing climate models, gets a reality check. So-called ‘virtue’ signalling at the expense of voters’ jobs and general economic well-being is a no-no.

Nearly all Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) have voted down a call for the urgency of climate change to addressed by stopping the extraction of fossil fuels.

There were six votes for and 111 votes against, reports The GWPF.

All other parties rejected a Scottish Green motion to recognise a climate emergency by ceasing investment in oil and gas and banning fracking.

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This looks like a ‘build it and they will come’ strategy. But the problems of EVs such as high cost, range anxiety and heavy depreciation mainly due to uncertain battery life, are not going away – as shown by the very low numbers of adopters compared to fuel-burners. Using EVs to help charge the grid, as proposed here, could adversely affect their battery life.

A consortium is preparing to start building solar-powered car parks across Scotland as part of a trial project for so-called Smart Hubs that will feature both EV charging points and battery storage, reports OilPrice.com.

The six trial sites will also include vehicle-to-grid facilities (V2G) so EVs can feed energy back into the grid when necessary.

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[image credit: beforeitsnews.com]


Giving up primary energy sources in favour of vast expense on inferior alternatives is ‘progressive’? Not in the real world. We’re not trying to be experts on American politics here, but any outbreak of sanity on (supposedly) climate-related matters must rate as progress, even if not deemed ‘progressive’.

The Senate on Tuesday blocked the Green New Deal, a progressive climate change resolution that Republicans view as prime fodder heading into the 2020 presidential election, reports The Hill.

The Senate voted 0-57 on taking up the resolution, with 43 Democrats voting present.

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US coal train [credit: Wikipedia]


In the real world, concerted attempts to instil fear of a supposed man-made climate ’emergency’ seem to be having little effect on the popularity of large-scale fuel-burning.

Energy demand worldwide grew by 2.3 per cent last year – its fastest pace this decade, reports PEI.

And nearly 70 per cent of that demand growth came from China, the US and India.

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Jakobshavn glacier, West Greenland [image credit: Wikipedia]


Without jumping to hasty conclusions, this is an interesting development not predicted by the IPCC’s supposed experts. Natural ocean/climate oscillations are implicated. Against assumptions, rising carbon dioxide levels cannot explain these latest observations.

A new NASA study finds a major Greenland glacier that was one of the fastest shrinking ice and snow masses on Earth is growing again, reports The GWPF.

The scientists were so shocked to find the change, Khazendar said: “At first we didn’t believe it.

“We had pretty much assumed that Jakobshavn would just keep going on as it had over the last 20 years.”

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National flag of South Korea

Is this the end for ‘enhanced’ geothermal technology? Note this quake was 1,000 times stronger than the next one of similar causes.

The nation’s energy ministry expressed ‘deep regret’, and said it would dismantle the experimental plant, as Nature News reports.

A South Korean government panel has concluded that a magnitude-5.4 earthquake that struck the city of Pohang on 15 November 2017 was probably caused by an experimental geothermal power plant.

The panel was convened under presidential orders and released its findings on 20 March.

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Approval for £175m Cumbria coal mine

Posted: March 21, 2019 by oldbrew in Energy, News
Tags:

An artist’s impression of Woodhouse Colliery (Credit: West Cumbria Mining)


The ‘new-found energy realism of Cumbrian councillors’ has been praised by the GWPF and others, but has predictably dismayed hardline climate miserablists..

Cumbria County Council has backed plans for a £175m metallurgical coal mine on a brownfield site near Whitehaven with work set to get under way by the end of the year, reports Place North West.

The plans by West Cumbria Mining cover mineral extraction over 50 years over a 689-acre site running to and beyond the St Bees coast, along with associated development such as the refurbishment of two existing drifts leading to two new underground drifts; coal storage and processing buildings; office and change building, an access road, ventilation, power and water infrastructure and landscaping.

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Virtual power plant concept


In a nutshell: when part-time renewables aren’t producing, something else – which has to be paid for and is likely to be expensive – must take over, because virtual electricity doesn’t work.

Norwegian energy group Statkraft has unveiled a virtual power plant in the UK which connects wind, solar and gas engines with battery storage and can respond to market demands in seconds, reports PEI.

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Wavy jet stream
[image credit: BBC]


Fly like the wind – but not your everyday wind.

Airplanes often receive a speed increase from air currents high in the skies, but very few get an insane boost like this: helped by a tailwind of more than 322 km (200 miles) per hour, a Boeing 787-9 jet reached a ground speed of 1,289 km (801 miles) per hour on Monday night, reports Science Alert.

The top speed was recorded by the Virgin Atlantic commercial flight from LA to London while over central Pennsylvania, at somewhere around 10,670 metres (35,000 feet) above ground.

“Never ever seen this kind of tailwind in my life as a commercial pilot!!” tweeted Peter James.

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Earth and climate – an ongoing controversy


Another battle between artificial paranoia and natural common sense beckons.

The White House is working to assemble a panel to assess whether climate change poses a national security threat, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post, a conclusion that federal intelligence agencies have affirmed several times since President Trump took office.

The proposed Presidential Committee on Climate Security, which would be established by executive order, is being spearheaded by William Happer, a National Security Council senior director.

Happer, an emeritus professor of physics at Princeton University, has said that carbon emissions linked to climate change should be viewed as an asset rather than a pollutant.

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Antarctica [credit: Wikipedia]


It’s hard to be too surprised by this news even though it’s well into the Antarctic summer.

A British-led expedition to find the Endurance, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, has been defeated by horrendous weather and pack ice – the very conditions that trapped the explorer’s vessel in Antarctica more than a century ago, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The expedition was called off on Thursday after “extreme weather conditions” led to the loss of an autonomous robotic submarine that, it was hoped, would have located the wreck.

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So much for trains replacing planes in line with current US ‘green’ ideology? The UK equivalent is the HS2 project which is also under pressure from various quarters. Both eye-wateringly expensive.

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that he was abandoning plans to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, citing the high cost and the time it would take, reports Phys.org.

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that he was abandoning plans to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, citing the high cost and the time it would take.

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Seattle receives the most snow in 70 years

Posted: February 10, 2019 by oldbrew in News, Temperature, weather

Two feet of snow in Seattle?


Yes it’s winter, but this is way beyond normal weather for this region as CBS News reports.

Some areas around Seattle received more than 10 inches of snow Saturday, the most in 70 years, the National Weather Service said, and more is on the way as two more storm systems close in on the area.

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