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Ken Fabian

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Ken Fabian last won the day on June 1 2020

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About Ken Fabian

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    Climate Science: Climate Politics: Energy technologies: Human Evolution

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  1. I think continuity is an important element - Einstein hasn't stayed on a pedestal because of unthinking acceptance of his scientific contributions and adoration but as a result of continuing pursuit of science based understanding that keeps revealing how those contributions have significance. Lose the continuity of the institutions and practices of science - of advancing science - and turning purely to teaching what is known, then significant knowledge decline has probably already occurred. And without ongoing active research as well as teaching we probably will not be able to sustain the tech
  2. The drug dealer analogy may not be perfect but that broader legal principle - of seller responsibility for unwanted harms - is real enough and I think ought to apply to the energy industry re emissions and climate change. Most of all a responsibility to change practices, more than assign liability and damages is what matters - and amnesty on broader liability with the requirement to make those changes seems like a reasonable compromise. If fixing the climate problem is made a matter of popularity rather than accountability (and it is) then we will continue to struggle to get sufficient action.
  3. It is a well established legal principle that there is liability for unintended harms from a commercial activity. The drug dealer defense - that the customers want to buy it and should accept full responsibility for those harms as part of the transaction - does not have any legal basis in most jurisdictions. When it comes to global warming it is nonetheless popular enough to give obstructionist political parties and governments the "but the voters don't want it" justification for inaction. I think that we all share some responsibility but some shareholders do have a lot more responsibilit
  4. @Photon Guy Sounds like a variant of Libertarian or Sovereign Citizen notions. "Taxation is theft!" - says people with taxpayer funded education, driving on taxpayer funding roads, with taxpayer funded law and order to protect them and regular opportunities to vote to elect representatives, under a system where the majority get the positions of power to change things... like how much taxpayer support for education, roads and infrastructure. Messy as that gets the alternatives - eg the parts of the world where governments have little power to enforce taxation - are a LOT messier. The very
  5. If you are using PV - ie beginning with solar electricity rather than directly solar heated water (or air or other fluid) - then I would still be looking at including some kind of heat pumps to get extra heat gain if possible. And I would still look at making the home itself or under it the primary heat store and rely on thermal inertia to carry through nights. Absent any use of heat pumps and using only direct resistance heating I suppose a large insulated water tank would retain the heat and underfloor pipework could do the heating. It could be set up to run by convection. But 3KW for a few
  6. But they DO charge the batteries, with enough left over that my home still sends 4x more electricity to the grid than it uses. They run electric kettle and stove, that have substantial loads. With limitations, they run A/C - full power on sunny hot days and some hours at lower power running from batteries. Some reverse cycle heating on the same basis. I would like better batteries - of course - but I note that even a decade ago the grid connected solar+battery system I have was not even a readily available option let alone reasonably priced enough that no substantial increase in costs for elec
  7. The panels on my roof are strung together in series at 400V DC - batteries running at ~48V, returning 240V AC to home - and running an old style resistance stove at night and early morning without issue. Not all hotplates + grill + oven at once - we tend not to waste nighttime power - it would need a higher power inverter, but those are available - a decade ago they barely existed as mass market items. I think that the system can be set up to be capable of electrically heating things. But I didn't suggest direct heating (just noted use of excess solar for resistance heating of hot water)
  8. Not necessarily - the energy gains from using heat pumps are significant. Like I said, the electricity requirements for running GSHP is very low compared to the heat it delivers - 1/3 to 1/5th? But GSHP could run during daytime alone and still keep a home warm - and even if a separate hot fluid store might help it is probably still better to heat the mass of the building itself and use it as the heat store. Inclusion of batteries and the cost effectiveness would include other considerations - installed just for running heating would be unusual. Our grid connected solar + batteries are not a fi
  9. Ground source heat pumps apparently do work effectively including in cold climate. Air source heat pumps work best in milder climates. Both deliver a lot more heat than active energy (electricity) input. The former uses electricity only to move the working fluid and fans to push air through heat exchangers - ie a small amount of electricity goes a long way. ie it should be possible to use solar power to operate a GSHP for effective heating even though it would be insufficient for direct heating without that heat stored in the ground. Insufficient in colder climates to run air source heat pumps
  10. Ground source heat pumps - probably the most efficient heating with respect to energy input - use liquid, usually glycol/water but not include (as far as I know) any extra insulated liquid storage and do require some electricity. Of all ways to use solar energy to heat a home, using it to run a GSHP looks the best to me, potentially improved with relatively small battery capacity. You still need appropriate location. I had a question about using the ground as heat storage some time back ie reversed flow for summer cooling adding heat to the ground the pipework is laid in, and how effect
  11. It is a good guide and often will be correct - but the evidence is the ultimate guide and complex explanations can be the correct ones. "It's the sun" is a lot simpler for explaining global warming than atmospheric back radiation and reduced IR from upper troposphere to space, but will be incorrect.
  12. My opinion - not sure it counts as any kind of legal principle - (most of) those who stayed peacefully outside the Capitol might be considered legitimate protesters - neither rioters nor insurrectionists - but those that entered crossed more lines than one. Even the ones who followed after the police were overwhelmed, who clashed with none, did no damage, stole nothing, shouted no death threats were directly involved in something more serious than protest. No-one does thorough investigation quite like the FBI - arrest all that entered and let the courts sort them out. I said "most of" tho
  13. I think that is exactly why most were there. Not knowing quite how that might be achieved, sure. Duped into believing they were "saving" America, sure. But I think the overwhelming majority were there hoping to prevent the President-elect becoming President - some directly but most indirectly, ie by chanting "stop the steal" and "hang Mike Pence" to get him to refuse to recognise Biden in his ceremonial role, supported by Republicans within the Capitol, but yes, they were there to demand the election result be dismissed to allow Trump to steal victory and participated in storming the building
  14. My view - those engaged in offensive violence and property destruction should be subject to investigation and prosecution, regardless of their political leanings. I expect BLM instigators of violence already have been or will be. But I do think there are differences here; Capitol insurrectionists were all there to overthrow the elected government and whilst not all were violent or destructive those that weren't were still there in support of that goal. The few instances of protestors acting to prevent cornered police being assaulted or murdered deserve some (faint) praise but not immunity from
  15. A bit of mental arithmetic without checking... is that between 2.5 and 10 metric tons of lunar material to get 1 litre of water? I expect the soils in Earth's deserts have a lot more water than that. Any suggestion this will be sufficient to enable colonisation looks exceptionally optimistic to me.
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