Genghis the Engineer wrote:
Climate change is very real, all credible scientific evidence says that it's happening, it's significant, and it's predominantly man made.
30 minutes listening to a Nobel laureate who has a differing opinions. I haven't formed my own opinion yet but I equally haven't had a light bulb moment yet clarifying any the incontrovertible evidence proving the hypothesis (which is presumably man-made climate change will kill us all/make world worse/ruin humankind future/....?).
We live on a rock encapsulating high temperature molten liquid (with a presumably finite lifespan) spinning in gargantuan universe that we don't fully understand. I would expect some change in our climate to be continuing over the Earth's lifespan. Whether it is bad, whether it is all man-made (which is obviously going to have a some influence) and whether the evidence is scientifically significant is the kicker.
For me the question is that fossil fuels must run out (timelines though....?). We need a reasonable strategy to produce power for a long term future to do all the things that make mankinds existence possible. I think electric power is a good thing (we should generate, distribute and use power in the most efficient manner - micro vs macro generation) for aviation and welcome any technology that makes it viable for eternity. If in the mean time we want to keep internal combustion engines then liquid hydrogen works just fine (bong bong ....safety? ).
I'm guessing that's Ivar Giaever, 89 years old, Nobel Prize in Physics from 1973, working part time for the American conservative think tank The Heartland Institute, who also have people regularly arguing that smoking bans provide no health benefits.
Electric power is definitely a more efficient way of using energy than most. Electric power generation *can* reduce climate impact if the electricity going into it is produced adequately well. Nuclear is the obvious mechanism, but we have an under-supply, unfortunately, of nuclear power generation capacity - not helped by a proportion of the green community (Greenpeace in particular, whose grasp of science is often rather tenuous) incapable of understanding the difference between a nuclear power station and a nuclear weapon, nor that the worst nuclear disaster in history - Chernobyl, still killed less people than an average week in the coal industry.
Hydrogen looks lovely as a solution - if you only look at part of the equation. Putting H2 into a suitable motor (or more likely a fuel cell) generates energy and water - brilliant! Except that to store H2 takes around 4 times the volume of conventional fuels, AND in gaseous form it's extremely explosive, AND it needs to be stored either very cold or at very high pressure or both, AND it needs prohibitive amounts of energy (most likely at the moment created burning fossil fuels) to create it.
There's no easy solution out there. Some clever people are proposing ethanol or methanol - but frankly hydrogen doesn't look particularly good when you consider the whole cycle. Most hydrogen gas at the moment, incidentally, is produced from gassified coal!
My money is on there never being an easy solution which'll solve everything - we will probably end up with an ever more complex mix of energy generation and storage solutions. Who knows hydrogen may end up in there - but I doubt it'll ever be a major player. I quite like ethanol myself - produceable much more easily from biomass, only about a third less efficient as an energy storage medium than petrol - but still has issues, particularly how much it likes absorbing water.
I am Spartacus, and so is my co-pilot.