August 13, 2007

Creating a vortex...

... to fight global warming.

22 comments:

SteveR said...

Along the equator.. hmmm. Just don't go near the Kennedy compound with any of that ugly stuff like power plants. Personally, I think the idea sucks.. I mean blows.

Ron said...

No, nothing could go wrong there! Fleets of rogue tornadoes, heading towards Brazil...

MadisonMan said...

The warmest Sea surface temperatures typically don't lie along the Equator (See map here).

If you build your tornado fabricators over the warmest waters away from the Equator, you're at risk from Tropical cyclones.

Simon said...

I second Ron - it sounds just a little too much like the setup premise for a disaster movie. And I mean something really lame - The Day After Tommorow, not Airport '77 or something worthwhile.

Telecomedian said...

While creating a tornado would be cool, it'd be even better if he could prevent the ones we already get.

It'd make Tornado Alley, and, suddenly Brooklyn, New York City, a lot easier place to live in the summer.

I'm not sure of the science of it, but his idea sounds a little Art Bell to me. *shrug*

davidc. said...

Imagine what would happen to the concept of human induced global warming if the various government collectively decided to stop grants for climate and environmental issues. I would think that the whole issue would "blow away". From my perspective, what ever is going on with the climate is great, we are experiencing some of the best weather in my state since the 60's.

Christy said...

Great, all we need is another WMD.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If this was even possible, Bush would have contracted Haliburton to build it by now as his crowning achievement for world domination.

Eli Blake said...

Yeah.

Manipulating the weather is now deemed as being easier to accomplish than raising CAFE standards, at least to the level that they are in other countries.

Fact: A model-T Ford got around 25 mpg. So let's be honest here-- building more efficient carbuerators just hasn't been much of a priority in Detroit for about the past eighty years. And somehow they think that building a carbuerator today that is as good as the ones they have to put in a car that they sell in Germany is an impossible task.

No wonder American companies are going bankrupt, their way of dealing with problems is to suggest that we control the weather.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Manipulating the weather is now deemed as being easier to accomplish than raising CAFE standards, at least to the level that they are in other countries.

Well that is easy considering that many other countries' cars are oversized cup-holders with wheels.

Problem is Americans like bigger cars in which to put our 2.1 kids vs Europe's 1.2 kids and higher CAFE standards means higher costs which we don't want to pay. I'm 6'1 195lbs and I sat in a Prius and thought I was going to need an oversize shoehorn to get me in there.

Then again Europe is big on nuke energy too but see if you can get anyone on board with that one.

Palladian said...

Someone needs to randomly beat up a few hipster economists until they're all scared enough that they stick to economics.

joe said...

Eli, are you aware that you can't even buy a car with a carb anymore? They are all fuel injected for more precision, better mileage and fewer emissions. Your whole post is BS. Cars improve every year, in every way.

Palladian said...

To add to Joe's comment, there's a point, past which, you just can't get better fuel efficiency out of a reciprocating engine. There's a limit to their thermal efficiency. The only thing that now really raises fuel efficiency is to make stupid, dangerous little toy cars, a trend that needs to be stopped before these bumper cars start seriously invading American roads.

Revenant said...

Madisonman,

If you build your tornado fabricators over the warmest waters away from the Equator, you're at risk from Tropical cyclones.

Hm. Take a look at this map of historical hurricane activity. I compared it to the map you posted, and it looks like there are a couple of safe areas within the warm belt -- Panama, Costa Rica, the north coast of New Guinea, and almost all of Indonesia.

Especially Indonesia. What is it with Muslim countries and world energy supplies? :/

Revenant said...

Fact: A model-T Ford got around 25 mpg.

On the sense that 25 is "around" the 13 to 21 mpg that the car *actually* got, I suppose. They also had a top speed of 45mph, a typical cruising speed of 35mph, and 20 horsepower.

The Geo Metro XFi had over double the power, got over twice the miles per gallon, and could (with effort) cruise at freeway speeds -- and people still complained that it was an underpowered piece of shit. The reason we don't make ultra-efficient cars is that people do not want to buy them.

Gedaliya said...

The established religion of man-made global warming is spawning countless store-front varieties wherein the crackpots and shouters vie for the attention of the faithful.

The moonbat who came up with this idiotic idea sounds much like one of those whom Thomas Fuller describes as washing with the towel and wiping with the water.

Schiller said that "against stupidity the gods themselves fight in vain."

He was right.

bill said...

The Geo Metro XFi had over double the power, got over twice the miles per gallon, and could (with effort) cruise at freeway speeds -- and people still complained that it was an underpowered piece of shit. The reason we don't make ultra-efficient cars is that people do not want to buy them.

Actually, it was pretty zippy for a 3 cylinder, though I had to turn the air conditioner off going up hills and it had a death rattle around 65mph. Luckily, for it, the speed limit was still 55mph.

Still, I was getting 55 mpg with 160,000 miles on it until an old Ford pickup ran its bumper through my back window in stop and go traffic totaling the car. The Ford didn't even have a scratch.

It's very easy to make an inexpensive car with great gas mileage. As long as you don't care about safety.

Revenant said...

bill,

A college buddy of mine had one, and your description of it sounds about right. One time we put a full load of passengers in it and the thing's uphill speed dropped to about 10mph. The body was made of what I swear was Tupperware. You could press a finger into it and it would deform, then spring back into shape.

Still, it was a decent little car, just totally impractical for any purpose other than transporting one or two people in a city environment. Preferably a flat city.

Fen said...

Wonderful idea. We know so little about our climate and its balance, so lets muck around with it and see what happens!

Mitch H. said...

He wants to attach ten stationary tornadoes to a nuclear power plant? Who cares about the nearby houses - I'm more worried about ten tornadoes suddenly and catastrophically having their way with a nuclear power plant!

Revenant said...

I doubt a tornado could do much of anything to a nuclear power plant. :)

Barry Kearns said...

Wonderful idea. We know so little about our climate and its balance, so lets muck around with it and see what happens!

The amount of energy being captured out of the environment via a process such as this is miniscule. The current "work" being done by Earth's atmosphere via convection is about 10000 times larger than the entire energy budget for the whole human race today.

If we replaced 100% of existing power production with these (and we wouldn't for obvious reasons), then the existing dynamical engine would still be operating with 99.99% of the previously-available energy.

This is a tiny variance, and easily swamped by the fact that the Earth has a non-circular orbit. Since the dynamical system doesn't go haywire every single year from that variance, I hardly think that this would be a game-breaker.

The benefits would clearly seem to outweigh the negligible risk. I haven't seen anything else that offers such a highly scalable renewable energy source, and we get double the benefit by dumping waste heat we don't want to begin with! It's lemonade from lemons.

I want to take it a step further... I want to hook up water-cooling systems to all of the personal computers that people are using, and dump that waste heat into a system like this!

For the safety nuts, parking them at the equator makes excellent sense, even if you don't have the hottest possible water sea water, since the lack of coriolis forces ensures that any vortex that got "knocked off the base" would naturally dissipate on its own. It would be worth supplying a few degrees of differential temperature to get that added margin of safety. If you're building off of the equator, you can (of course) set these up so they rotate opposite to the coriolis-induced direction, so even if one were dislodged, the coriolis force would act to naturally destroy it rather than reinforce it.

The whole thing sounds rather brilliant to me. So, of course, it won't ever get into major use, because there's bound to be technophobes that will lobby for an infinite amount of regulatory and "impact" studies.