Earth Week

April 24th, 2011 at 9:15 am by David Farrar

Not PC has some predictions from the original Earth Day in 1970.

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
      • George Wald, Harvard Biologist

“By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
      • Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
      • Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
      •  ‘Life’ Magazine, January 1970

“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
      • Kenneth Watt, Ecologist.

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’
      • Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

Best of all, has the story of how one of the Earth Day founders and MC turned his girlfriend into compost!! A true story!

Incidentiaally I’m all for environmental responsibility. I’m just not into hysterical doomsday predictions.

Tags: ,

75 Responses to “Earth Week”

  1. Jimbob (639 comments) says:

    Is this a mirror image of climate change or what? Man will find it’s equilibrium population as do all species on this planet.
    Just that all the sensible people have to live along side the nutters.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. jaba (2,068 comments) says:

    I thought we were goneburger in December 2012

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. nasska (9,502 comments) says:

    Leave us hope that Luc doesn’t read of this. He may self compost at the thought that climate change will prove to be another failed prediction.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. MD (60 comments) says:

    But of course there was a much more relevant climate change comment that was left out of this article:

    “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
    • Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

    How did that one work out for us then?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Sonny Blount (1,829 comments) says:

    It must be remember that John Holdren was Paul Ehrlichs colleague and closely involved with all the population bomb predictions. He is now Obamas chief science advisor.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. hj (5,692 comments) says:

    2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062622/

    That was a bit out, no?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. davidp (3,319 comments) says:

    >Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable

    Almost unanimously? The science is settled then!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    The old “Hadron Collider” syndrome strikes again.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. hj (5,692 comments) says:

    “Let’s examine oil prices as an example. Let’s say that I wagered in 1864, when the price of oil was $110 per barrel (2009$), that the price of oil will decrease over time. I would have been correct regardless of whether the wager termed in 1865 after one or in 1964 after one hundred years. However, if I bet in 1892 when the price of oil was $13 per barrel, that oil prices will increase in the future, I would have been correct in every year henceforth except 1931, 1933, 1945, and from 1963-1973. Neither of these bets would have indicated anything about the scarcity of oil.

    Knowing this, how could anyone claim that either Simon or Ehrlich was correct? Simon was lucky, Ehrlich unlucky. The point is that scarcity is only one of many factors that can influence prices.”

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7343

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Pete George (21,806 comments) says:

    It is certain that the Earth is doomed.

    The odds are very very slight that it will be in our lifetimes – but we are doing our best to confound the odds.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Peter (1,468 comments) says:

    Are those who are drawn to environmentalism, and Malthusian conclusions, any different from “the end is nigh” religious nutters? They subconsciously, or perhaps consciously, desire a misanthropic “great cleansing”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    Yes Pete the world is doomed

    I predict that it will be in about 5.5 billion years when the sun starts to slow down, until then I intend to enjoy myself.

    The above predictions say one thing and one thing only, nobody knows nothing, you can speculate, you can spread fear but facts in all things like AGW etc are few and far between,

    But by all means keep believing the alarmists and live in fear. Life’s short enjoy

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. jaba (2,068 comments) says:

    I would like the Govt to spend all the funds they get from the ETS by plugging up Mt Ruapehu as our contribution to reducing global warming .. oops, I mean climate change.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. hj (5,692 comments) says:

    The end is unsustainable when it depends on continual growth (and not so good for the environment):

    April 12, 2011

    Thousands of jobs will be lost under new capped infrastructure charges announced today by the Bligh Government, according to the Property Council.

    Speaking at the Building Revival Forum in Brisbane, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh outlined wide ranging changes to local government charges on new development in Queensland.

    “This is a devastating decision for all Queenslanders,” Mac Dermott says.

    She says the property industry is not only the biggest contributor to Gross State Product (12.6 percent) and directly employs around 280,000 Queenslanders, but draws a considerable amount of tax.

    “The property industry is the single largest contributor to State taxes – providing $3.8 billion, or one third of the State’s total tax revenue.

    “In addition to this, local governments across the State collect over $4 billion in rates and charges.”

    Arguing for more of a focus on economic survival rather than revival, Mac Dermott says she is concerned that between 2006-07 and 2009-10 the value of residential and non-residential building activity in Queensland declined by 2.6 percent.

    “Over the same period NSW and Victoria recorded 21.4 and 26.7 percent increases respectively,” she says.

    On the employment front, Mac Dermott says the State Government’s own figures show that over 11,000 construction jobs were lost in 2010 alone.

    “After this morning’s announcement, we can expect thousands and thousands of jobs to be lost in 2011.”
    http://www.qbr.com.au/news/articleid/73217.aspx

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. campit (438 comments) says:

    Good examples about why you should not make such concrete predictions about the future. Economists know this which is why they comment with a great deal if accuracy about things which have happened in the past.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. jaba (2,068 comments) says:

    the Aust Agenda program slamming their ETS/carbon thing as well .. the whole thing is imploding

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    Back in the 70′s we were also told that oil would run out in 20 years. I recall my Grandfather laughing that they were told in the 50′s that oil would run out in 20 years… Hey guess what – now in 2011 we have peak oil and we could run out in 20 years…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    This is 2011 and god damit I was promised flying cars, cities on the moon and the extintion of the human race on earth.

    So somebody better deliver!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Sonny Blount (1,829 comments) says:

    Interestingly the proponents of statism often see malice where proponents of liberty do not. Call it the Malthusian curse; they ascribe to almost all men a sort of super-bestial nature that ignores man’s social nature. This borders on a self loathing, projected onto all other men and it is what really feeds the statist beast; the libido dominandi. The fear of other men is the origin of the state.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    Murray

    I think the previous PM had an experimental flying car – but the drivers were never told ‘hurry hurry or I’ll miss the rugby’.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    I’d be ok with putting her into outer orbit burt.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. hj (5,692 comments) says:

    When are “substitutes found” for oil, other than drill deeper, tar sands etc? When do we see something sexy?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    The environmental movement seems to feel a need to talk up the worst case scenario in order to get anyone to listen, I don’t know how well that is going to work out for them overall.

    Seems a bit silly to me, but then again no more silly than professing blind faith in some sort of invisible, balancing market mechanism that we don’t see or understand, but which will surely sort it all out for us.

    I remember in 2005 when I was living in Auckland, buying petrol for around $1.20 / litre. It’s now around $2.20 / litre. Based on that alone we must be getting pretty near the end times for the lifestyle where most people can afford to drive wherever they go…?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    Thanks Sonny, I think.. ….. I think I agree with you……….. or maybe I don’t,

    but if you need a job designing forms for government departments I am sure they will be knocking down your door.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    hj I propose GFF: greenie fat fuel

    We melt down all the whiney assed greenies and use them to fire powr plants. Everyone is happy, they save the planet and we keep the lights on.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    hj: More nuclear generation, and more battery-electric cars?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    I’m here, nasska, watching and chortling…and painting a kitchen ceiling, luckily for you.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    Luc

    You are here, great. Tell us how the ice age predicted in the 70′s was just science getting it wrong but global warming climate change is now based on settled science.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Ed Snack (1,535 comments) says:

    David, you should include the latest prediction to blow up in its maker’s faces, just to show that the stupidity continues. In 2005 the UN predicted 50 million climate refugees by 2010, has anyone seen them ?

    The prediction stayed up on a website until just a month or so ago when after it was pointed out, it was removed. Pity about google cache etc`.

    The thing to realize is that the people making such predictions are not acting as scientists but political advocates for a certain political program. They seem to see the need to turn the world to a low growth and BTW much lower population basis, for “sustainability”. With rare exceptions they see the best way to do this is through a form of “benevolent despotism” run by a small elite (which naturally includes themselves) who would not be restricted in the same way as the hoi polloi, but in recognition of their cleverness and brilliance, they should be entitled to live, as it were, high on the hog, because they are so, well, essential. The rest of us though, once our numbers have been suitably reduced, should be essentially enslaved (for our own GOOD though) to provide the wherewithal for the elite to continue to direct us in a sustainable way.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Actually burt we’re in the sixth cycle of climate doom since 1900, Every couple of decades they just change the stroy from ice age to burning to death and back again as the weather just continues to shit all over their doomsday predictions.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    hj

    It’s less about when we “find” the alternatives than when they become economically viable.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. hj (5,692 comments) says:

    IEA acknowledges peak oil

    The IEA’s position is summarized in the graph above – conventional crude oil production has already peaked in 2006!
    http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2010-11-11/iea-acknowledges-peak-oil

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. hj (5,692 comments) says:

    It’s less about when we “find” the alternatives than when they become economically viable
    ……
    we haven’t found anything economically viable yet except the bike (and it would be unacceptable to give up the Remuwera Tractor)?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    hj

    Peak oil as a concept is a no brainer – global politics and oil producer greed makes the graph interesting but not conclusive.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    hj

    What is economically viable is entirely dependent on the price of oil. If petrol gets to $7/litre then battery powered cars suddenly look cheap. At $2/litre petrol still wins.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    hj

    Put it this way, if I found 40-trillion barrels of oil in my back yard do you think I would sell it quietly at $100 USD a barrel or do you think I would tell the world I had enough for the next 50 years and sell it at $20 USD a barrel ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Steve (4,318 comments) says:

    A new engine that replaces the piston engine will throw a spanner in the works for the oil company ripoffs.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928035.100-shock-wave-puts-hybrid-engines-in-a-spin.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Steve (4,318 comments) says:

    Shockwave engine cont:

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    Steve

    Like the rotary engine I suspect the fact that a smaller unit produces more power will result in massively over powered vehicles which guzzle fuel creating a public perception that the engine design is inefficient.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Steve (4,318 comments) says:

    Burt, it is a turbine which powers a generator which powers an electric drive. Have a google. I find it very interesting

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    Steve

    I did read the links and I get it. We are in a different place now than we were when the rotary engine hit the market. At that time the big deal was that a small engine could produce more horse power than a chunking V8 to make your car go faster. Lets hope we look at this as a means to reduce consumption rather than a way to crowbar more horse power under the bonnet.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. Steve (4,318 comments) says:

    Development is an ongoing process, otherwise we are going nowhere

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    Steve

    Lets hope the inventors don’t sell their patent to Shell or BP !

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. Johnboy (13,386 comments) says:

    Any of you older bastards remember the RX2?

    Went like the clappers for 1970 did 19MPG, used a litre of oil every 1000K’s and shit the engine every 30,000 miles if you were lucky.

    http://www.google.co.nz/search?q=mazda+rx2&hl=en&biw=1078&bih=885&prmd=ivns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=7WmzTbHdHabTiALg_a2wBg&ved=0CCUQsAQ

    Still gas was 33cents a gallon in those days and mechanics charged $8.00/hour! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    johnboy

    You missed the key point. The RX7 engine was tiny and produced more horse power than a 5 litre V8, which consequently did about 12MPG. So sure it drank the gas – but what would happen if we made 50 hp versions linked to electric generators rather than 200hp versions to prove a small engine could outperform a 5 litre V8 ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. Johnboy (13,386 comments) says:

    Fair enough burt:

    I think I will wait for 20 years till the technology is proven before I buy one though (just as us wise people did with rotary engines :) )

    Hang on a minute. I just realised, I will probably be dead by then. :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    Johnboy

    Indeed. I never owned a rotary, tempted as I was.

    The way I see it, having owned a lot of different engines over the years. The broader the user selectable rev range on an engine – the quicker it wears out. Conversely, constant velocity engines fare much better in terms of longevity.

    The shock wave turbine however appears to lower the number of colliding parts – that’s potentially a massive step forward. A gas turbine, is that new ?

    However it looks like it needs to be connected to a generator, possibly because it is unsuitable for variable speed operation like we expect from conventional vehicle engines, kind of like a gas turbine. So why don’t we have gas turbines connected to generators in our cars ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. Johnboy (13,386 comments) says:

    “So why don’t we have gas turbines connected to generators in our cars ?”

    I remember them trying that with railway locomotives and the Rover turbine car, never seemed to work.
    Turbines are best when they operate at fairly fixed power outputs hence COGAG

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_gas_and_gas

    This new engine seems to be a variation on a gas turbine so may show different characteristics when operating in a variable power situation.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. Fletch (5,720 comments) says:

    Donald Fagen had a great song on his first solo album, called I.G.Y (International Geophysical Year).
    Author Brian Troutman writes –

    The International Geophysical Year was an actual event in world history. Taking place from July 1957 to December 1958, the I.G.Y. centered on a global series of events highlighting physical sciences and their applications, including seismology, meteorology, and rocketry.

    Like a middle-aged man revisiting the “Futurama” he saw at a world’s fair in his youth, Fagen’s “I.G.Y.” captures the essence of this postwar world in an almost regretful retrospective. The outwardly hopeful yet internally disenchanted aura that marks the song represents a society’s aspirations of greatness while also reflecting a deeper understanding of the imperfection inherent in reality.

    This paradoxical relationship between promising dreams and discouraging truths is brought out in the lyrics of the song. The refrain’s “what a beautiful world this will be; what a glorious time to be free” fills the listener with an uneasy desire to believe what is being said. The lyric: “well by ’76, we’ll be A-O-K,” when looking at the ’50s with the eyes of ’82, reveals a somber sense of the long road ahead.

    It’s a great song, in any case, seen through the eyes of a young Fagen imagining the rocket-powered future. Listen HERE

    Lyrics –

    Standing tough under stars and stripes
    We can tell
    This dreams in sight
    Youve got to admit it
    At this point in time that its clear
    The future looks bright
    On that train all graphite and glitter
    Undersea by rail
    Ninety minutes from new york to paris
    Well by seventy-six well be a.o.k.

    What a beautiful world this will be
    What a glorious time to be free

    Get your ticket to that wheel in space
    While theres time
    The fix is in
    Youll be a witness to that game of chance in the sky
    You know weve got to win
    Here at home well play in the city
    Powered by the sun
    Perfect weather for a streamlined world
    Therell be spandex jackets one for everyone

    What a beautiful world this will be
    What a glorious time to be free

    On that train all graphite and glitter
    Undersea by rail
    Ninety minutes from new york to paris
    (more leisure for artists everywhere)
    A just machine to make big decisions
    Programmed by fellows with compassion and vision
    Well be clean when their work is done
    Well be eternally free yes and eternally young

    What a beautiful world this will be
    What a glorious time to be free

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. Fentex (656 comments) says:

    One of the reasons many of those predictions didn’t come to pass is that people observing the threats acted to avoid them, such as pollution being restricted through regulation.

    That politics often works by tugs on extremes helping pull the centre side to side is an unpleasant fact of the inertia of opinion and attention, and it’s a bit rich decades after the fact to hold the wailing of dire warnings against people because the threat was recognized and mitigated.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. wat dabney (3,451 comments) says:

    Of the estimated 1 billion people who will observe Earth Day worldwide this year, few will know about the progress that has been made. Fewer still will know how it was made. The media, uninterested in looking at the real story, will simply credit the environmental movement for the improvements.

    Buried beneath all the badgering and fear-mongering about lavish Western lifestyles is a reality that the stuck-on-green left won’t talk about and the average American isn’t aware of: The world, especially in developed nations, is a cleaner — and greener — place than it was when the environmental movement began.

    Topping the agenda of today’s environmentalist groups is the pulling down of market economies, the raising up of central planning for egalitarian goals, forced lifestyle changes and the vilification — in hopes of the elimination — of signs of wealth.

    None of these advance the planet’s environmental health. But capitalism has. Through wealth generated by the free market, we have enough resources to move beyond the subsistence economies that damage the environment, enough disposable income to fund clean-up programs, enough wealth to scrub and polish industry.

    Only in advanced economies can the technology needed to recycle hazardous waste or to replace dirty coal-fired power plants with cleaner gas or nuclear plants be developed. That technology cannot be produced in centrally planned economies where the profit motive is squelched and lives are marshalled by the state.

    There’s nothing wrong with setting aside a day to honor the Earth. In fairness, though, it should be complemented by Capitalism Day. It’s important that the world be reminded of what has driven the environmental improvements since Earth Day began in 1970.

    http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/04/what-about-capitalism-day.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. Crusader (225 comments) says:

    Does anyone have a collection of media quotes, circa Y2K, about the extreme perils and dire emergencies facing the world, etc, etc, and what a terrible place the world will be in the year 2010? Should make amusing reading also.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. Sonny Blount (1,829 comments) says:

    Fentex (45) Says:
    April 24th, 2011 at 2:14 pm
    One of the reasons many of those predictions didn’t come to pass is that people observing the threats acted to avoid them, such as pollution being restricted through regulation.

    That politics often works by tugs on extremes helping pull the centre side to side is an unpleasant fact of the inertia of opinion and attention, and it’s a bit rich decades after the fact to hold the wailing of dire warnings against people because the threat was recognized and mitigated.

    Other way around Fentex. Most of those problems were well on their way to being fixed before the environmentalists got on the bandwagon.

    Environmentalists are a sympton of the positive benefits of capitalism, not the cause. They turn up late and take credit for the work of the free market.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. DJP6-25 (1,229 comments) says:

    Ed Snack 11:18am. You hit the nail on the head.

    cheers

    David Prosser

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. questions (132 comments) says:

    Quote: David Farrar (July 2008) “So the cash rate dropped 25 basis points to 8.00%. I would like to know exactly when the Reserve Bank thinks inflation will drop back to under 3%? 2009? 2010? 2011?”

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008/07/reserve_bank_lowers_cash_rate.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. DJP6-25 (1,229 comments) says:

    Johnboy 12:14pm. I remember the rotary engines of WWI. The cylinders were arranged in a circle, and the engine turned around a hollow shaft. Castor oil, and gasoline went through the shaft. It had to be castor oil. That floats on gasoline. Regular oil would make it overheat. No cooling system, as the thing had thin walls, and spun, say 20 times a second at 1200 RPM. Very good power to weight ratio. However, after a couple of flights, the oil had to be replaced, and they fairly chewed through the gas. There were also limitations on HP. Anything bigger than say 250 HP was impractical for some reason. Rotaries were replaced by radials in the 1920s.

    cheers

    David Prosser

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    Fentex

    Same as what Sonny said.

    People gobbed off 40 years ago with no factual basis to their thesis and you are trying to say that the problems then didn’t occur because of this , what was basically bullshitting?

    Bit disingenuous even for Easter that type of thinking.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. hj (5,692 comments) says:

    Oil supplies are rapidly dwindling and demand is increasing leading analysts to warn of an impending oil crunch. The global oil supply has lost the equivalent of the volume of the North Sea oil reserve in 15 months. By 2014, supply is expected to fall short of demand. Other factors could bring that forward. Fatih Birol says the age of cheap oil is over and we all need to prepare ourselves for higher oil prices. Further he says no government is prepared for what lies ahead. Jeremy Leggett describes the oil crunch, when global supply fails to meet demand.
    The big news is the gloomy outlook in the interview from Fatih Birol, Chief Economist of the IEA. We will post the transcript when it appears tomorrow (Sunday, US Time).
    http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-04-24/energy-april-23

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. hj (5,692 comments) says:

    The thing about PC is that he is a libertarian. Libertarians believe people can take and do whatever they want (within reason). Therefore the idea of limits to growth or that we can damage the biosphere by emitting green house gases makes them choke on their coffee.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. hj (5,692 comments) says:

    the dcline is now pretty terrifying.. sory can’t keep up
    http://www.abc.net.au/cgi-bin/common/player_launch.pl

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. Lawrence Hakiwai (119 comments) says:

    When these idiotic predictions were made, these people were treated as the cranks they were(and still are). Unfortunately, many years later, politicians saw this doomsday talk as a means to power.

    And when we’ve explored everywhere where there might be oil, I think it’ll be time to worry about oil supplies.

    It’s about then when steam trains will make a comeback.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  62. Johnboy (13,386 comments) says:

    “I remember the rotary engines of WWI. ”

    Fuck you must by really ancient David! :)

    “. Rotaries were replaced by radials in the 1920s.”

    The reason was that the centrifugal forces inherent in a rotating crankcase were far too great as the size of the engine increased. The Sopwith Camel was a typical example where it had a rapid turn to one side due to gyroscopic forces but was sluggish in the other direction.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sopwith_Camel

    Fooled the opposition a bit for a while but put the fear of Christ up the learner pilots! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  63. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    Like frogs in boiling water, they never felt the heat
    ‘cos butter’s made in kiwi-land, home to millions of dipped sheep
    in pens all made of airwaves, they natter constantly
    “how does he smile under so much stress? That nice man, Mr Key?”
    I suppose his grin froze, flexing greenstone clothes, which glimmer in inclement weather,
    poisoned by pride, so he needs no bride, it shows through his self-pleasure
    so if banker is king, and Key’s the chief, of NZ Inc by-sea,
    who bows down, when IMF comes round collecting rent moneys?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  64. Ed Snack (1,535 comments) says:

    At the risk of being thoroughly OT, david P, you are being mislead by the similarity in nomenclature. A WW1 era “rotary” engine is a reciprocating engine where the crankshaft remains fixed and the cylinders rotate. This came about largely because the technology of the era was experiencing significant problems air-cooling stationary cylinder (radial) designs for a variety of reasons. Johnboy is correct that a major limitation on increasing the output of rotary designs was the gyroscopic effects of the large rotating mass. It was also advantageous at the time that rotary designs were relatively speaking very compact and light.

    By contrast modern rotary designs are non-reciprocating, which has a number of significant advantages. I can’t myself see enough detail to have any real idea of this “new” design mentioned above (although it seems sufficiently different to make it both interesting and probably completely impractical), but various “new” rotary designs have been introduced at regular intervals for a very long time. With the exception of the wankel design none have made it into commercial production. Remember the Australian Sarich orbital engine and other related designs ?

    One major drawback to nearly every new rotary design (and in fact suffered by Wankel designs in spades) is that in practice the design and shape of the combustion chamber is a critical feature. The ideal chamber has the lowest possible surface to volume ratio consistent with obtaining an adequate compression ratio. In reciprocating engines with circular cylinders that is not too difficult and helps explain the popular appeal of hemispherical cylinder head shapes. In a Wankel however the chamber is very long and thin and has a much higher S/V ratio. That makes efficient combustion considerably harder to achieve and is a major reason why a 1300 cc Wankel has relatively speaking such incredibly poor fuel consumption.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  65. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    The population and famine stuff always was deeply bogus. They assumed that populations continue to grow at the current rates, but assume that advances in agricultural science cease in 1970. Always bet on science

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  66. Dave Mann (1,126 comments) says:

    All this stuff about wanking engines and hypothetical oil peaks is very interesting and diverting … but tragically now we face probably the most serious threat that mankind has ever had to deal with.

    I refer to the debilitating decline of humanity’s faith in itself and its will to continue to progress and develop. Everywhere it dens to be taken for granted that ‘we should consume less’ and that ‘greedy capitalists’ are destroying the planet etc., when the truth is that human life has never been so comfortable, interesting or prolonged as it is now. And this sick mindset has invaded the thinking of almost all the world’s governments and agencies.

    How has this happened? Its almost as if humans en masse have developed a kind of depressive mental illness founded on some illusiary guilt about their own survival…. and if this continues then as a species we are well and truly fucked. Peak oil bullshit is not the issue here folks. The critical challenge we face is one of pride, celebration, effort and joy over depression, guilt, self loathing and superstition.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  67. BlueDevil (92 comments) says:

    The world may not be as bad as some would believe.
    There are some interesting developments.

    Deutsche bank has this long article that basically says if the price of oil goes up the efficiency gains will outstrip increase in vehicle numbers and oil demand will decrease.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/24860052/Deutsche-The-Peak-Oil-Market-Oct-4-2009

    This was written in 2009 but foretold the development of hybrids and EV’s as disruptive technologies.
    This article suggests Toyota will make the next model of Prius 15-20% more efficient
    http://green.autoblog.com/2011/04/24/toyota-targets-45-thermal-efficiency-for-engines-in-next-gen-hy/

    If all cars were that efficient we would only need a third of the oil we currently use to power our cars and this is before we use plugins and EV’s.

    But where will the electricity come from?

    Well Bob Brockie in todays Dom talking about Thorium: the nuclear fuel that could save the planet. (can’t find link)
    Its abundant.
    Its safe.
    Its cheap.
    It can burn up plutonium and other toxic waste from old reactors.

    It was developed in the 1960′s so why wasn’t it used? Because it didn’t produce the bomb making byproducts that uranium produced!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  68. BlueDevil (92 comments) says:

    Here’s a link to an article that is similar to the one in the Dom
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8393984/Safe-nuclear-does-exist-and-China-is-leading-the-way-with-thorium.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  69. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    Dave Mann – sub-atomic particles flicker in and out of this universe at an osculating at various frequencies. Those frequencies alter, sometimes according to mere human intent. These oscillations permeate the entire physical universe right up to the level of galaxies. Solar systems and cosmic clusters oscillate around the gravitational centre of each galaxy. This oscillating, . Rhythm vibration is in everything, including the dimensions that are not perceptible to human study, as yet. The existence of the dimensions that are not perceptible, is only known because m-theory (11 dimensions) is the only grand unifying theory that works mathematically.

    We must start thinking in terms of these cycles/rhythms if we are to become vital as a people again. For too long we have been distracted by Aristotelian idealism, which is at the root of the west’s neuroses. We build linear systems which relate to these ideas. All pre-suppose an abstract continuum – i.e. economic growth, time, space, weight etc. But now we know that linear thought is not at the heart of things. Humans, as with all things in the universe are subject to these rhythms, which incorporate non-linear feedback loops and natural cycles birth, death, day, year, and on and on and on. Music is merely symbolic of this grand order, which is why it appeals on such an innate level.

    You see, with Aristotle’s tutelage, man has learned the hubris of idealism – that we can defy the laws of nature, which are built around rhythm and osculation, with an approach that has continuum at it’s heart. We are badly out of sync with the universe, and we are feeling it in our own rhythms. Where in life do we honour these cycles? All the public holidays have become about about money, another continuum. We are rhythmical, vibrational beings operating amidst other rhythmical, vibrational systems, but our approach to ourselves, and our surroundings is linear. Something has to give.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  70. wat dabney (3,451 comments) says:

    have you finished?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  71. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    oh yeah – this is why rightists are such up-tight, repressed jerks that can’t dance. They aren’t in the rhythmical vibration, they’re in the continuum (only exists in lala land). Just a theory.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  72. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    Oh yeah – i bet rightists are shit in bed as a result as well. Where as OMFG green party girls…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  73. Fentex (656 comments) says:

    > Most of those problems were well on their way to being fixed
    > before the environmentalists got on the bandwagon.

    Exactly how concerns are addressed (by regulation, incidental efficiencies or market preferences) is beside the point of someone yelling loudly about the threat and putting it in front of people who might demand regulation or purchase cleaner products.

    > People gobbed off 40 years ago with no factual basis to their thesis and
    > you are trying to say that the problems then didn’t occur because of this

    No, I’m saying it’s a bit rich to call people loudly drawing attention to some real threats (such as pollution) into disrepute when some such threats really existed and steps to mitigate them occurred as people became aware of them, however the mitigation occurred (Norman Borlaug chose to improve wheat for a reason).

    Pretending that the extremes people went to once for political leverage mark them as silly and a laughing stock is just asking for an embarrassing comeuppance the next time one raises ones own voice in protest at something.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  74. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    This post by DPF is typical of the cherry picking ignoramuses indulge in.

    Not a climate scientist in sight.

    And total ignorance of the fact that the overwhelming consensus of the science community in the 70s was that the planet was warming.

    And it still is.

    Let’s face it, worst case scenarios never occur, right?

    Every extinct species capable of critical thinking would agree, right?

    However, I can assure all Earth Day devotees that Planet Earth will be just fine, regardless of what happens to humans (in fact, it may well be better for our absence).

    So no worries.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  75. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    “We are rhythmical, vibrational beings operating amidst other rhythmical, vibrational systems, but our approach to ourselves, and our surroundings is linear. Something has to give.”

    Magic Bullet you really need to cut the dose.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.