Monthly Archives: May 2021

A Race for Life


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War is an obsolete concept. Today small arms are spread all over the world, but anyone that wants to revolt against the rule of the major economies can be crushed in an instant. Russia, China, the US, the EU all crushed militant movements around the globe in recent years. The main reason being fossil fuel supply, the global economy (fossil utilization) and sometimes humanitarian considerations. Many countries are being ravaged by external forces (for example Venezuela) and can’t really develop sensibly. Real war however, has not happened for a considerable time.

If it would, and real weapons would be used, this would be a serious problem for the world. The example of India nuking Pakistan and causing a decade of failed harvests is a readily presented example. It will also sound like an opportunity to some, especially nations with nuclear power plants that can have survivors on food grown under artificial light. This is a bit of a Doctor Strangelove scenario. It’s not the world we want to endure.

I have written a long time ago about the need for a ‘global standdown’ to focus on climate action, this is now even more urgent. It has been the defence ministries of many countries that where early to spot the risk of climate change. The illusion of organization and coordination in these institutions however is significant. We think there’s some kind of thought process going on but in fact its a fight of ideas and factions and the result is often a consequence of a need for short term survival.

Stupid arabs around Israel hold their deserts so sacred and don’t want to share, stupid Isreal thinks it needs all the dry arid homeland for itself and murders sons and daughters (and tries to steal Gaza gas). So many stupid fights that yield nothing are going on. Yet at the same time consumers are made to cooperate and focus on their income by creating insane housing markets in banker dominated nations. This means the most enlightened, educated, energetic people are directing their energy on earning fossil credit to pay of a home who’s value is determined by the amount of restraint the cost should apply on these same young people. Its like a noose, the harder you pull the tighter it gets!

All this is born out of shortages, and these are going to grow if we let the economy do its screwed up work of separating people from the producers by the longest possible distance (to sell more fossil fuels). It will be a disaster, many desperatly poor people in nations that no longer get supplied as the currency inflates as the oil supply turns to nations that still want to burn it. The end game of a fossil economy is a polluted wasteland and possibly a world war (escalated from a conventional one because people can’t handle the complexity and are not organize enough). Up to that point a lot of unnecessary suffering.

The solution? A global agreement to new rules. The rule is : capturing carbon and securing the survival and expansion of life becomes the main challenge, and all nations use their power to ensure that challenge is met. The reward is control over the territory. Exactly like ancient land rules (found in the oldest known law texts) : If you don’t work your land you lose it. If it was not yours but you work it you start owning it. If you don’t fight for it against enemies you lose it. Same idea but this time as a planet together for planetary life.

Any nation can contribute, whether it is by making renewable energy sources or planting trees, but the energy and effort should go into meeting the challenge. The strong and powerfull nations can simply stomp on anyone that is ruining the effort. The planet is for those that work for it. Life and surival are for those that care about it.

The effort needs to be run by an organization that can monitor the activity in any region, if a region is empty but there is potential to do good, people may be send there (with resources, technology, a mission). If they are doing bad they may get assistance, if they do well they can become examples and help others out. The key is that energy has to come from renewables, because this makes it so a people don’t get all arrogant and agressive about owning it (like oil companies and oil executives or banks controlling the distribution). A solar panel is clearly not a hand of God or a divine power you can spread over the globe like a benign deity. Its a thing you can make to get electricity from the Sun, and in principle anyone anywhere can do it.

It could be as a side meeting schedule at the next COP26, where defense ministers from many countries convene and agree to no longer fight each other but fight the influences that increase climate change and will kill their citizens the medium to short term. Take the planet back from its parasites. Make progress transparent and share information. It will be a war, but not between budgets and technology but between people that care and those that don’t. We need this now. It should be on the top of any defense ministers agenda. Stop fighting over fossil energy, start fighting for life itself!

Hoe Maak je Gemeenten Rendabel


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Gemeentes zijn niet rendabel. Dat kan ook niet in de huidige economie. Daarin wordt namelijk gedicteert dat je diensten en producten van elkaar moet kopen en een gemeente is geen producerend bedrijf. Het heeft dus continu geld nodig en dat geld is afkomstig van de overheid of belastingen. Dit twee bronnen zijn weer afhankelijk van toerisme en de inkomensverdeling in je stad.

Hoewel banken het gemiddelde inkomen in steden opdrijven door de huizenprijzen tot ongekende hoogte te laten stijgen lijkt het dat dit ook zorgt dat hogere inkomens gemeenten verlaten. Uiteindelijk is de belastbaarheid van geldstromen en activiteiten in een gemeente, dus verguningen, boetes, OZB etc. geen betrouwbare inkomstenbron, en dan heb ik het nog niet over wat voor dat geld geregeld moet worden. De Ruttelatrine zorgt er voor dat steeds meer taken naar gemeenten worden overgeheveld, als de mensen en het geld dat nodig is er zijn.

Maar een gemeente is suf als het alleen aan geld denkt. Als het zich laat strikken in de economische matrix dan is het net zo’n schaap als de burger die niet beter weet dan dat hij alleen met een aankoopmakelaar en een verkoopmakelaar met inschrijving een huis kan kopen. Totaal uitgemolken en beroofd zit je dan voor 30 jaar aan een werkverplichting vast. bij 2% geplande inflatie (ECB kondigde dat aan) is je huis waarde appreciatie ook fictief. Een gemeente moet zelf nadenken hoe het zo’n fijn mogelijke stad is, ook al zijn steden op zich iets archaisch.

Geld extractie (bv. externe investeringen in parkeerdiensten oid) moet geweerd worden, dat geeft gemeenten iig meer controle over wat ze doen of laten.

Een stad had ooit een functie als handelsplaats, opslag, distributie en productie van diensten voor de betrokken bevolking. Amsterdam is een groot pakhuis aan het water. Rotterdam is een overslaghaven. Mensen woonden bij elkaar omdat ze elkaars diensten nodig hadden. Nu is dat behoorlijk anders. We produceren wel maar met veel minder eigen inbreng. Winkels verkopen iets dat is aangevoerd, de handel gebeurt buiten zicht, bakkers en slagers en horeca doen nog wel echt iets maar voor de rest zijn het distributiepunten en staan de fabrieken elders. Ik werk niet in een bedrijf dat iets maakt dat in de schappen van de AH staat maar ik haal daar wel mijn aankopen uit. Dat is de ‘economie’ in actie, maar dat maakt de stad niet zelfstandig of organisch.

Een gemeente zoals Rotterdam zou er niet slecht aan doen dit te corrigeren, temeer omdat dit de in en uitgaande geldstromen beheersbaarder zou maken. Ten slotte groeit of krimpt een stad niet opeens enorm, dus als je zorgt dat de bevolking zich kan handhaven ben je alweer een stuk verder. Dat lijkt bijna de taak van de gemeente niet, maar dat is een kwestie van inzicht.

Als de gemeente vindt dat het de armeren van goedkopere stroom moet voorzien kan het natuurlijk regels maken om daken met zonnepanelen te plaveien waarvan de stroom wordt verkocht, terwijl de mensen met inkomen onder x een deel van dit geld als korting ontvangen. Maar het zou veel verder kunnen gaan, en dat zou logisch zijn als je besluit dat een stad geen werkkamp is (zoals banken) maar een werkende gemeenschap. Waar geitenwollen sokken peinzen over contact met de boer zou de gemeente dit ter hand moeten nemen en gewoon met de supermarkten afspraken maken over de bevoorrading. Die moet niet prijs gedreven maar afstand gedreven zijn.

De banken zullen alle hulp en initiatieven van een gemeente afschilderen als bijstand, voor arme mensen, maar natuurlijk is een investering van Rotterdam in het stadscentrum geen bijstand of aalmoes. Er wordt dan vrij snel over geld gesproken, omdat men daar in het overleg natuurlijk over stechelt, maar ook om mensen te indoctrineren met de mindset “Als het duur is is het goed”. In plaats daarvan moet een gemeente kijken naar hoe het kan regelen dat wat zijn burgers nodig hebben goedkoop is.

Een stom voorbeeld is het gras dat gemaaid wordt op allerlei plaatsen. Dat is biomassa, zou gebruikt kunnen worden als voer door veehouders bv. Dat gaat om tonnen per jaar. Maar straten en buren worden kaal en leeg gehouden. Wederom vanwege vastgoed. Daar wordt wel wat op verzonnen (groene daken zijn nu natuurlijk een ding) maar laat dat niet zo enorm veel kosten. In Den Haag zijn klimop rekken geplaatst zodat muren helpen de lucht te zuiveren en zuurstof te produceren. Dan is het onderhoud weer duur enz. Daar kan automatisering misschien iets aan doen. Maar waarom geen korting op de OZB als een bewoner zijn gevel groen maakt?

Waarom geen korting voor mensen die een productief beroep uitvoeren in de stad. Waarom geen korting voor mensen die geen auto hebben (niet de parkeer kosten verhogen dat is weer extractie en vrijheidsbeperking !). Beloon gedrag dat een stad weer functioneel maakt en ontmoedig leegstaande panden, huisjesmelkers die het maximum vergen en een overschot aan belwinkels met fictieve omzet.

Veel bedrijven denken na over hun financiele afhankelijkheid, en zorgen dat ze zelf warmte of stroom genereren, of zorgen dat hun logistiek geen diesel meer nodig heeft. Een gemeente zal ook zo denken maar zit toch vast in een gekozen afstand tussen zichzelf en de productie kant van onze samenleving.

Een extreem voorbeeld zou bv. zijn het overkappen van straten met zonwerende daken van zonnepanelen. Met de stroom kunnen groenten e.d. gekweekt worden, desnoods ondergrond. Water gezuiverd, en de lucht gekoeld (hoewel bomen ook een goed idee zijn). Een stad als een beschermende zelf voorzienende cocon, met daardoor een raison d’etre, en dan ook nog aantrekkelijk gebouwd en bekleed. Waarom niet?

Decoding Freeze Desalination


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Freeze desalination is a low energy consuming way to remove salts from water. As the water freezes the cristaline structure it adopts pushes out ions resulting in fresh water ice. Ice floats on water so the fresh water ice can be separated from the remaining salt brine, and the brine can be cooled to lower temperatures ensuring the ice does not melt into it.

Water that freezes pushes out salts and other pollutants

The most common way to desalinate today is RO, or Reverse Osmosis, which alludes to natural osmosis (water moving towards higher salt concentrations). It has nothing to do with osmosis, it is simply filtering out salt ions. Because these ions are small and are bound by water this takes a lot of energy, which the fossil credit economy deems a good thing because it generates cashflow and allows you to sell expensive water. What is good for the economy is not good for human survival though.

It takes a stupid amount of heat to turn water into steam. It is easier to remove heat and turn it into ice!

Another common way to desalinate is to evaporate water. This can be done with heat but also by pulling a vacuum. The heat method is preferred because again it uses a lot of energy and it makes water high cashflow. Water can be heated up to 100 Celsius but to get to steam you need to put in extra energy. This is because water is polar and kind of snugs into itself. As you can see in the graph above as you put more energy in water (horizontal axis) the water temperature rises (vertial axis). You see that you need a lot of energy (twice as much to get from 0 to 100 Celsius!) to get from 100 Celsius water to 101 Celsius steam! This means steam desalination of ice cold ocean water can take up to three times more energy than freeze desalination!

A complexified example

There are two main challenges : first to cool the water most efficiently, second to remove the fresh water ice from the brine with the least amount of loss. You can do decades of research on this topic, and it is being done, but the solution to both problems are quite easy to bring to a reasonable level.

Trying for maximum efficiency is a way to delay use or maximize fossil input. Many inventions are stuck in research limbo because banks don’t want the product to be used, freeze desal suffered the same fate.

There are many ways to cool, one is to create a vacuum, the other is to use compressors to compress a gas that can then extract heat (like ammonia). This requires energy, which can come from any source, wind, solar, or from the grid.

Diving into patents for desalination I came across this one, using metal redox reactions to power removal of salts. The interesting aspect is that the voltage is low and power consumption is low as well. The idea is simply to react the ions away, which because they form chains of ‘charged’ molecules will precipitate out of the liquid. This aspect of behaviour of ions in fluids is a largely unknown field of research. Water for instance being polar should chain up if a current is applied over a distance.

It is surprising how hard it is to find examples of freeze desalination processes. It seems to have gotten harder. I read the below in this publication. Very little detail is shared, and all searches also yield a lot of RO information.

“The HybridICE™ technology was shown to be a better option than other desalination technologies currently in use, in terms of energy utilization and cleaner by-products.”

Some studies lead to combining freeze desalinaton with RO, which seems like a big waste, kind of a cruch of sorts..

Freeze desalination can easily remove the worst of water pollution, which can be helpfull to make industrial processes less damaging.

“Freeze desalination by crystallization seems to be successful
mainly due to its ability of producing high quality product with
much lower energy requirement as compared to other available
technologies.”
(source)

Here a method that is 60% more efficient than conventional freeze desalination is shown to yield human drinkable water.

“The proposed method had a theoretical energy consumption of only 58% of that needed for -contact freezing methods-. With gravity filtration separation of the produced ice–water mixture for 20 min or centrifugal dehydration for 1 min, a 0.5% salt content standard for freshwater and a 60% freshwater yield were attained. In addition, the method produced ice crystals with minimal impurities, after brine attached to the surface was removed through centrifugal dehydration, a 0.05% salt content standard for drinking water was achieved.” (source)

It would be a challenge to build a freeze desalination device myself, as it only seems to require a freezer and salt water. I do have a salinity measuring device.

Mata Hari (welcome to Greencheck.nl)

Is Crypto Inflationary or Deflationary?


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Crypto is booming right now. Largely because of the purchase of more than a billion USD in Bitcoin by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. He is making the Winklevoss brothers rich who famously bought 200 mln wordth of BTC when it was below $4000 per BTC or less. But crypto is confusing to many because contrary to ordinary USD BTC seems to be in deflation, one of the main reasons to own it.

Inflation and deflation are words often used and its necessary to define them a bit more precisely to be able to answer the question above. In theory inflation is the situation in which more money is trying to buy the same amount of product, leading to higher prices, and deflation is when there is less money for the same amount of product, leading to lower prices. So lets look at a situation when a couple of people have to share a finite amount of money and buy a finite amount of product.

10 People each having 10 Euro to buy 10 breads => Price of bread is 10 Euro!

10 People each having 100 Euro to buy 10 breads => Price of bread is 100 Euro!

From the above you can see that the value of the Euro is not fixed, it really depends on the amount of bread that is available, as well as how much Euro are made available. We often ignore this in real life, maybe coins being so tangible make it harder to believe they can vary in value. The Euro is just a means of exchange, and it even has next to zero intrinsic value. The above also shows you that banks that can create money can mess things up.

Where does bread come from?

planting(using diesel)->tending(using diesel)->harvesting(using diesel)->logistics(using diesel)->milling (using electricity)->baking (using fossil fuel)->bread

Now the above picture is not complete because we have to make money to spend it, and of course we also spend money to produce, so the bread in the example does not fall out of the heavens. This complicates things because it immediately shows the strange nature of our current economy, in the sense that we can always buy something nobody can make : fossil fuels. Let’s close the loop and say the people in the example are all bakers baking 1 bread. This way the cycle is closed..

The baker bakes one bread, sells it for 10 Euro, then goes out to buy bread for himself for 10 Euro. Next day the cycle repeats.

Our imaginary baker will earn the money to buy bread each day by baking bread. Now this can’t work. Because to bake bread the baker needs to pay for the flour and energy and labour He will earn less than 10 Euro baking one bread! If he pays the energy company how does that money ever return to the economy? The energy company is not spending any money in society except perhaps wages of its workers. We know the energy company has to pay for the gas and oil or coal it uses (in the fossil economy). So who ends up with a large part of the money? The oil and gas companies! Do they spend it? No! What’s going on??

The economic system until discovery of fossil fuels

We need a complete picture of a working ‘economy’ first in order to talk about what currencies do in such a system. The above image shows the situation as it was until we discovered fossil energy (and nuclear energy). The sun and the weather combined with a rather constant number of people. The economy consisted of those that ensured people could survive, those that supported that effort and those that did other things but where not essential (ignoring governing structures such as kings and religions).

Money the qunatity of which remains relatively constant, like the labour pool

In that era gold could be money, because the amount of gold was about as constant as the amount of labour. Prices would not fluctuate too much except when nature or war struck the population. Governments and banks tried to print money and this always resulted in a crisis as the glue of cooperation was being destroyed. I consider one of the primary functions of money that it makes people cooperate. Still in that era many people where happy and poor, they took care of themselves owned their homes and did not need an economy at all.

In the Weimar Republic control over the money supply was abused resulting in worthless currency and loss of control over society, “hyperinflaction”

So in those times inflation and deflation where absolutely real, but could only happen if the currency used was so called ‘fiat’, easy to make with no significant intrinsic value. The way things could go wrong with gold and silver was that a lot of it was suddenly discovered or a government taxed to much so the economic web desintegrated.

Oil entered the mix and economists like you to believe ‘its just a commodity’. It is not. It has become the engine of everything.

Fast forward to today, around 1900 oil was discovered in Iran and Saudi Arabia, also in the US, the internal combustion engine was invented and industrialization happened with many significant inventions. The role of banks changed, not even because paper money was accepted but because oil or its derivatives was beginning to be used in every activity. This was an active process. The oil and gas people wanted to sell oil and gas. The banks liked the cashflow. Slowely they realized the enormous difference in the way the ‘economy’ could work with fossil fuels. Modern ‘free market capitalism’ was invented and sold to the masses as the best way to achieve wealth for all.

If everyone spends money on a product, but the producer does not spend that money back, you get deflation.

But the first oil economy picture was incomplete, and so I made the implied money flow explicit in the above image. As you can see money flows to the oil supplier. And it stays there. The oil supplier has way more income than it needs. If it “spends” it on say a car, the car maker will use oil to make another car. So the money ends up back with the oil producer!

In an oil based economy money is constantly removed from circulation, there is constant “deflationary pressure”. Banks –have– to manage this somehow.

This oil based money system has no room for gold or silver, clearly all gold and silver will end up with the oil producers! So Nixon went off the gold standard, which was an enormous victory for the banks, but also for the people because now every drop of oil could be used to improve lives, most of which sucked (not even looking at Europe or elsewhere) at the time.

Nixon gave banks the power to strategically use their ability to distribute fuel (by lending currency) in the economy to consolidate and increase their grip on all cashflow. They had in their arsenal ‘economic thinking’, the Federal Reserve Bank, no gold standard, fractional banking. The deal was “a bank gets a small cut of any business” but banks soon decided they wanted to have it all, and the unrelenting oil supply (and Wallstreet’s ability to defend control over it for instance by stealing the money back from Saudi Arabia) meant banks could conquer our planet. Imagine, people with no other usefull occupation than keeping track of a currency without any intrinsic value maximize the oil supply to the world in order to control more of it.

With oil supply as a factor inflation and deflation now had more levers and the risk for it was higher. Also because there was no anchor for the value of a Dollar you could have inflation without real problems or with (for instance if the oil supply stopped). The Dollar became a floating currency. Rules had changed:

One barrel of oil 100 USD => Makes 50 sneakers =>2 USD per boot

One barrel of oil 200 USD => Makes 50 sneakers => 4 USD per sneaker

Now if wages follow the above change, so you suddenly make 400 a week instead of 200 before, the above price change has no effect. So it is inflation of the currency, but there is no real downside. Banks however don’t like it. They want constant prices because changing prices make people reconsider deals. Houses bought with a mortgage suddenly become easy to pay off. Inflation would hand a lot of power to the people, especially the essential ones.

(For banks) Prices need to remain constant to avoid renegotiations and loss of control through their applied debt load

But a stark difference with the old economic system is that NOBODY can make oil or gas. Also EVERYBODY consumes oil and gas. Getting oil out of the ground is not “making oil”. Oil is being destroyed at a constant rate and it can NOT be recovered except in hypothetical synthesis processes that no normal participant in the economy has on hand. NOBODY can make what EVERYBODY needs. And banks made it so you can only get your hands on it if you borrow their money.

Soo to sum things up : Inflation and deflation can not happen in the current money system because banks guard price changes by –and this is the key– making sure the amount of currency in circulation tracks the amount of oil available for production (or the amount of products).

Banks manage this by both influencing the expectations of people and by printing money or becoming more strict lenders. It is very easy for the banks to say “We think the economy will shrink” and then just stop lending, causing the economy to shrink!

Now there are two factors that are a problem to the above management (and resulting ownership) of our economy : Renewables and Crypto. They are not related but they both mess with the system. First Crypto :

Adding crypto to the economic system has different effects on different parts of the economy

If you add cryto currencies to this system you are increasing the money supply but not increasing the oil supply. You are also reducing the control of banks over prices because the crypto never leaves circulation while fiat money is constantly created and destroyed (payment for debt). The litmus test of this truth is that oil companies do not accept crypto. If anything oil companies are cashing in fiat from people that buy energy to mine crypto coins. If they would accept crypto coins they would be mining themselves!

So crypto can circulate besides fiat (fossil energy buying) currency but it is hard for products to be sold in crypto because they are not produced using crypto (their fossil input directly or indirectly). There is a group of products and services that is not created using fossil energy, like organic food, solar energy, wind energy, and some jobs (but most require the provider to live in a home and eat so indirectly still require fossil buying currencies). So crypto can only circulate in parts of the economy that do not require fossil energy.

One scenario though is that oil companies unite and create their own cryto coin, which you could think would become dominant immediately, but no, because fossil energy is not everywhere (even though we are made to think that). Prices and supply vary wildly. It is important that local banks manage local prices. This is an argument against a shared currency (the Euro/Dollar) even though you can take measures to make them work better.

Three tier economy

The above picture shows the ‘Three tier economy’ as I may call it. In it fiat currencies like the USD and EUR function for fossil driven activities and the people that perform them. For the fiat currencies inflation and deflation will remain at the whim of banks.

Then there can be controlled crypto that can be used to by specific assets or goods or services, probably not oil unless it is an oil industry coin (say AramcoCoin). Because confusion makes people think banks will try to avoid this at all cost. The more bank fiat is used the more control they retain. Oil companies are placated to agree.

Then the third tier consists of groups, communities, perhaps cities, provinces and even countries that decide they will use their own crypto coin instead of fiat. This is imaginable in small african countries on the largest scale. The condition is that the currency circulates amongst the members and never ends up at a bank or a fossil energy supplier. It can end up (and be created) by a renewable energy supplier, as that supplier delivers the energy to make products and allow services to be rendered.

A ‘climate coin’ could be sold by energy producers (or handed out by the government as basic income) so that people can buy energy to make products and render services. This coin would not see inflation or deflation if the quantity is manage vis a vis the energy production capacity.

So if your city owns a huge solar power plant it can pay people with electricity tokens and these can circulate to make people do all kinds of usefull things for each other. But they can also be used to pay for products like purified water (if that process is 100% electric). Farmers can use such coin to buy fertilizer made with electricity, or use the currency to power their farm equipment. In essence it functions just like the fossil economy with fiat, the only difference is that the amount of energy is finite (in the beginnning). The good thing about that is that there will be no inflation or deflation as long as energy production keeps pace with its consumption. This requires planning, but you can basically “size the battery to the device” so to say.

The answer to the question “Is Crypto Inflationary of Deflationary” can thus only be answered if we know what rules the crypto will follow. As long as crypto can function at the margin of a fiat system it will lead to inflation, because you can buy a thing with more types of money. The value of the USD will drop because there’s also Bitcoin and Ethereum and Tron to buy stuff. But it is not likely sellers will except these crypto currencies if they can not buy the energy they need to produce the products! As a result the value of these coins can inflate while the USD value deflates after a period in which producers who accept cryto learn this truth.

If a group of people decides to only accept a specific crypto coin as payment for their services, that coin can experience serious deflation. Just like you see with Bitcoin, if people think they need it its value explodes. If you want a PHP developer you need to pay in PHPcoin. Suddenly anyone owning PHPcoin is a rich man! Again this only works if the PHP developers can pay for their own way in PHPcoin. This is imaginable because they could sell their coin for practically any other currency. In essence what happens is that all the worlds PHP developers take the world that needs them hostage through demanding use of their coin. This could happen to many professions, it is happening (somewhat) with Dentacoin, a currency to pay for dental care.

For most coins that have no system that requires them their value remains free floating, based on mythology. There are more factors at play but belief in a coin, its marketing hype and its use are all important factors. The desire to own them however seems to remain speculative (I accept Tron because I think it will become more valuable). Only when you connect a coin to a real world activity or asset (like energy) can you expect it to develop a stabile value.

Considering Robots Life


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I have written about artificial intelligence and robots many times here, also about the levels of intelligence a device and humans can have. Life is something different, life is the ability to exist in an enviroment. I have written about the big difference between metal silicon based artifical ‘life’ in that it can remain passive without problems for long times. A mind in a machine can be parked some place and as it is not under threat of thirst, hunger of fatigue (to name a few problems real living creatures have) it could basically shut down for a century with little problems.

Still humans, animals, plants are now understood to be hydrogen metabolizing molecular devices that self repair and replace, grow and develop in a programmed and responsive manner. We are machines, we just had to learn to consider biological processes as mechanical and chemical ones. The distinction between man and machine is this relative immortality of machines, and of course that no machine has ever shown itself a self sustaining and usefull presence, being one of us (more or less). It is very hard to feel for machines on Earth, humans are prefectly adapted to both surviving and enjoying what it has to offer.

But once the situation gets more hostile, say in a war zone, a robot can become a friend. A bomb inspection and defusing robot can gain real affection of the operator, because the machine is saving lives, it is working under different conditions and may break down or not. The uncertainty of its performance can make it come alive, as if the device makes an effort and cares for they people that operate it. Now the easiest thing to say is “IT DOESN’T!”. But how long will this remain true?

The thought of turning a human into a robot seems a bit daft these days..

Imagine a Boston Dynamics Robot dog on a battlefield (for some dumb reason soldiers have been send out to fight other soldiers), the dog has a monitor of the hydration of the soldiers, ammo count, and it runs around serving what is needed while scanning for bullets and gun barrels in order to avoid them. Even though this robot has only a few things on the priority list and nothing else, no hobbies, no home town, it is taking care of the soldiers in a real way. For sure the soldiers will want to keep it around, and take care of it.

How hard is it to imagine these dogs being constructed of replaceable parts, which can all be replaced by the dogs themselves. Also the dogs can self diagnose if a part needs to be replaced and they can get the part from a store themselves (and/or even order it). now the dogs operate autonomously. They can always be there as long as the parts are replenished. But thinking this is a hack is short sighted. We eat cows, cows eat grass, grass grows due to fungi in the soil. If our life is ‘mechanical’ so is that of the cow and the gras. Life is supported by other life mostly be consuming it but also by using it passively or actively. So we don’t have to work with only the dogs but an ecosystem of robots and automated systems is allowed. So the parts can be made in a factory, the factory can be maintained by other dogs, the raw materials arrive in robot trucks, they get them from the robot mine.

Mars is not a warzone, but still very hostile. People will arrive there in a robot, the Starship. It will have countless systems for navigation, control, life support, sensing and research on board. Its mission is to keep its crew alive and healthy. It will have to plan and intent actions (although maybe Musk will be keeping it simple). On Mars humans will have to rely completely on their support systems. These systems will create a self sustaining habitat and keep it safe and fueled etc. Will these systems be ‘alive’ because they keep themselves going? Mars does not have life and you can’t remote control a device from Earth. So these robots that take samples etc. Aren’t those (unsupported) lifeforms?

Environmental Eco-Colonialism


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Colonialism is bad. Any woke person will hate the word and if you have the ambition to develop a developing country with your own money you run the risk of getting nailed to the wall. The associations with resource grabbing and slavery are still strong and real. Yes western companies harvest minerals from Africa through a chain of ever more dire and uncaring organizations. Coltan, diamonds, gold. Its the insecurity in Africa that makes people desperate and greedy, an insecurity that is also created by the West that happily donates weapons.

So we should leave Africa alone even if we are stronger and better organized? This never happens. No place on Earth is safe from well organized well funded companies that see an opportunity. Not even organs are safe, not even the Great Barrier Reef or the Amazon for blunt bank financed opportunism. Banks also fund illegal logging and hunting etc. You can protest the mild, civilized side of colonialism, taking the form of foreigners having servants and way more cash when they work in poor underdeveloped countries. The harsh, mercyless side of colonialism though you can’t stop. Your government sold out to it.

Rory Young was fighting poaching in Burkna Faso

But there is an even more pernicious kind of ‘colonialism’ or rather an invasion and almost contamination. This is by terrorist groups. They are usually just criminal organizations that use islam or some other ideology to justify their violence and immoral behaviour. Groups like Al Qaida are looking for crimes to commit to get money for weapons. Sometimes this is to be able to fight other groups, sometimes it is for.

Al Qaida claims deadly attacks

Al Qaida uses underdeveloped countries to hide. Africa has a lot of them, and they have muslim communities that can spawn new desciples of the extremist kind. Isolation and lack of opportunity and Islamic rules themselves are the main drivers. The anger and frustration are channeld and abused by the leaders. It seems that to protect themselves they will kill both their enemies and whomever is in the way of running their organization.

It may be time to recognize we can’t let these kind of criminal organizations fester in places where you could very effectively fight them. Certainly it is a waste to allow them to decimate the wildlife population so they can buy some bullets and guns to then kill or rob or kidnap innocent citizen. Maybe we should be open about the profit and loss from engaging with developing countries.

Poachers killed

Someone mantioned the Nothern hemisphere attracts money from the Southern Hemisphere, implying that the North is exploiting the South. But that should be considered a mistake. The North is supplying most of the money to the South (USD EUR), and then delivers products to the South in return for the money. True, there are illegal activities that take resources from the South, but those are not the ones that generate legal revenue in the North. It is quite clear that third world aid has been a subsidy to Northern producers for decades (and is now being reduced it seems).

Poacher killed by elephant eten by rhinos

Maybe there should be an ideological basis for cooperation of developing countries with outside investors that try to reduce terrorist activity and poaching. Basic rules so to say, not tax havens etc. Maybe the people are so disorganized that they simply can’t imagine or believe in such a thing. Then the only option seems to be to go in and eco-colonize.

Checking on the location of an attack. It is a war

The use of drones and satelite internet may make it easier to police wildlife sanctuaries. While its undesirable to have drones police us (no need just watch our bank accounts and locations from mobile phones), it does reduce risks to people in remote areas. Drones have been used but in a time they where still quite expensive.

Water and Rain in the Desert


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Deserts are dry, but the air in them is not 100% dry. To take an example, in Morocco, the place called Merzouga is very dry, even though there is a lake and small oasiseses.

Merzouga, Morocco

In the below graph you can see how that works : Right now the temp there is 26 degrees Celsius, the humidity is 16%. You start below at 26 degrees then you look for the curve for 16% humidity, then you go to the right to see how many grams of water the air contains. At this point it the air contains 0.004 gram water per gram of air. That means it contains about 4 grams of water per m3 (which weighs about 1.1 kg). Not a lot! Another way of looking at it is that the ‘dew point’ is at -2 Celsius, so 28 degrees lower than the actual temperature.

This chart can be used to estimate the water content of air.

So in theory if you cool 1 m3 of air to -2 Celsius you will see 4 grams of water condense. So if you build a cooling mechanism that can harvest cold once condensation has taken place that will surely work great to get the water out of the air. You can increase the efficiency with an electric field as water is polar and will move in the field. It is a good question whether at high temperatures water really needs a lot of coaxing to separate out, or at least move to a region with higher humidity as the heat transfer is relatively small.

The place has a lake and clouds can be seen in the sky on local video.. One idea is to cover the lake so it doesn’t evaporate. It must be fed by groundwater.

How would you cool the air? With wind power. There is a complete design for such a device from a dutch producer we wrote about already, but his plans where thwarted by ‘investors’ meaning banks that increase the price of the invention so it becomes impossible to deploy. This happens all the time Shell is a major company constantly sabotaging energy innovation for example.

Dutch rainmaker

We need devices like the Dutch Rainmaker if we want to aforest the desert. They are cheap and efficient, the parts cost about 10.000 Euro, not too much one would say. Companies that worked on this in 2012 have since folded or been bought up. But it can still be done. The challeng is to achieve the same effect but with the least amount of resources and overhead. Anyone that designs a breakthrough in this field will be responsible for more life to exist in the desert.

Cloud seeding can be done with any type of dust, preferably charged though. Salt is fine. They used to be dropped from fuel guzzling heavy planes, but these days there are electric drones, even ones that can loiter for hours on solar energy. China actually managed to do it.

UAE “The country does, though, “have plenty of clouds”, so the plan is to persuade the water droplets in them to merge and stick together, “like dry hair to a comb” when it meets static electricity, he said.”

“The radar-controlled drone dispersed silver iodide into clouds to convert ambient moisture into rainfall. Relative to traditional equipment such as cannons and manned aircraft, drones can reach higher altitudes, have a longer range (they can run for more than 10 hours), are suitable for operations in complex weather conditions, and are more efficient, cost effective and safer” But silver can’t be wasted endlessly

Using Fiverr To Promote Solar and Wind


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Thanks to our friends from Morocco

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Arab version:

دعونا نتعرف فيما يمكننا استخدام الطاقة الشمسية ، تبريد منزلك ، تسخين طعامك ، وقيادة سيارتك ، وتحلية المياه ، وحرث حقلك ، ولا تحتاج إلى سؤال أي شخص! أنتم: مرحبًا يا أهل العالم ، نحن في الصحراء وهي مصنوعة من الرمل وهناك الكثير من الشمس صديقك: الألواح الشمسية مصنوعة من الرمل وتستعمل الشمس أنت: ثم يمكننا صنع الألواح الشمسية صديقك: نعم إذن يمكننا تبريد منازلنا ، قيادة سياراتنا ، شغل أرضنا وصنع الأشياء انت: لكن كيف؟ (التقط وانظر إلى بعض الرمل) صديقك: نحتاج إلى بناء مصنع لتصنيع الألواح الشمسية سويا : دعونا نبني مصنع الألواح الشمسية! الكثير من الرمال ، الكثير من الألواح! الكثير من الثروة يمكننا صنعها! نحول الصحراء إلى واحة خضراء غنية!

Floating Solar Power Plants


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Main challenges for floating solar power plants can be

  1. Water damage
  2. Corrosion
  3. Algae, dirt accumulation
  4. Making sure the panel remains above water
  5. Making sure the panel doesn’t get blown away
  6. Getting power to shore

Also check out Floating Solar.com

Solar Duck design

“We are targeting megacities and large companies in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, South East Asia, and in general markets with high solar radiation in the global Sun Belt,” CEO Koen Burgers told pv magazine.

From the piece : The company will deploy its first real offshore PV plant on the Waal, a major waterway connecting the port of Rotterdam to Germany. SolarDuck will supply four linked platforms fitted with 39 solar panels each. The project will have a total installed capacity of 65 kW and will be connected to a 10 kW electrolyzer operated by Voyex. The project will be built at a cost of €1 million. You can deploy 1 MW of floating solar for €1 million, so the novel construction, electrolyzer and H2 storage and project cost are taking a large piece of this pie, namelijk €900.000.

ProFloating.nl

Bayware.de

PVsolarFirst.com

Mibetsolar

Qihuawatereng

Click to order!

Floating solar panels at sea

ABB

ABB test installation

Statcraft

Statkraft
Indian floating solar looks cool
Novacavi

Sunlitsea