X2-class solar flare: the sun is very active today, we feel the warmth pretty quickly.
My former brother-in-law, Keith Henson, was one of the founders of the L5 Society which I was a member of way back in the 1970’s, has been pushing for a proposed orbital solar energy transmission system from space to earth-based receptors which we hope would overcome the problem of land-based solar energy, that is, nighttime shutting it down. Our desire for this sort of development in space is based on the concept that humans must begin moving off planet or have civilization rot away back to Roman standards (SLAVES) in the far future. Research in this area limps along due to the Bilderberg guys focused nearly entirely on running various stupid global warming con games. So work on development is at a snail’s pace…but is beginning to pick up.
By late 1974, O’Neill had linked his ideas with Peter Glaser’s Solar Power Satellite (SPS) concept. SPS’s are large solar collectors in space that would beam energy for use on Earth or in space. O’Neill suggested that they be manufactured out of nonterrestrial material, providing an export product potentially valuable enough to make an O’Neill settlement economically self-sustaining.
In 1973, George Hazelrigg, also of Princeton, suggested to O’Neill that the L4 and L5 Lagrangian libration points might be ideal locations for the large habitats that O’Neill envisioned. (The idea of locating a large structure at a libration point can be traced back further to the 1961 novel A Fall of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke). L4 and L5 are points of gravitational equilibrium located on the Moon’s orbit at equal distances from both the Earth and the Moon. An object placed in orbit around L5 (or L4) will remain there indefinitely without having to expend fuel to keep it in position. The orbit around L5 has an average radius of about 90,000 miles, which leaves room for a very large number of space settlements even at this one location.
My father lobbied President Carter to fund solar energy projects. The original idea of home-based solar energy was pretty simple for my dad and incidentally, myself: solar arrays on private homes in hot climate/sunny locales could reduce greatly the need for daily surges in energy use due to air conditioners, etc. turning on which then go quiet at night. This would also reduce air pollution during the afternoons which plague Los Angeles, for example. The need to build more power plants to deal with hot weather surges would no longer be necessary.
This early concept of solar energy was tossed in the bin as ‘global warming’ believers pushed solar energy as a solution to running society without fixing the problem of how on earth this can function at night or how it can be worthwhile in cold, northern climates which have greatly reduced solar energy in winter due to clouds and angle of the sun. Even if the panels are pitched to absorb solar energy with the sun lower in the sky, the radiation of the sun has to pass through a lot more atmosphere reducing it greatly making this incapable of producing significant energy even during the peak hours of the day.
I proposed ‘Power For the People’ along with my dad before he died, whereby the government would have this rotating bank funding for financing 0% interest loans for homeowners to install solar systems on their homes and as they pay off their own systems the money would flow back into the solar bank and fund more 0% loans which would then also be used to fund replacement/repairs of these systems. I was supposed to go on national TV in 1999 to talk about this when ABC news suddenly called me and said, ‘NO ONE IS INTERESTED OR WANTS TO LEARN ABOUT THIS SO WE DON’T WANT YOU.’ Never heard from a news organization since then.
I was furious. OK, I thought, give them time, in a year or two they will sing a different tune. Instead, the media pumped up this stupid storm against CO2 that had solutions that are idiotic. The more time passes the more the media giants avoid talking about the ideas my family and friends proposed way way back in 1975. Instead, Obama is shutting down coal power plants with…NOTHING in reserve. Just shutting them down and forcing energy costs to soar with no solution or giving power to people to own their own energy systems. It is all about enslavement.
One of the best successes of the L5 Society was its opposition to the United Nations Moon Treaty in 1979-1980. It was thought that the “common heritage” provision of the Treaty would stifle development of nonterrestrial resources, and that the Treaty would authorize warrantless searches of space facilities (which did not go over very well with people who actually wanted to live in space). The L5 Society hired Washington lobbyist and lawyer Leigh Ratiner, who gave intensive training to a number of L5 activists on how to walk the halls of Congress and talk to staffers. Notable among these were Eric Drexler, Chris Peterson (both of whom are current NSS Directors), and Marcia Allen. The successful effort centered on convincing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to oppose signing of the Treaty. Since nobody was lobbying in favor of the Treaty, it proved possible for a small but well-reasoned opposition to sway the day, and the U.S. never signed the Treaty.
The L5 Society did not fare as well in its next political battle, the fight over Solar Power Satellite funding during 1980-1981. The Department of Energy had spent about $25 million on SPS research from 1977 to 1980, but the Carter administration eliminated the $5.5 million for SPS that was originally in the budget for fiscal year 1981. L5 Director Mark Hopkins, who had been active for many years and later formed Spacecause and Spacepac, initiated an intensive lobby campaign to get Congress to restore the $5.5 million for SPS.
Carter had to balance the budget. Remember those days? Today, ever since Reagan, all our Presidents cheerfully dump debt on the American people…for wars! Against Muslims! And now, against Russia! Lunacy reigns. The NASA space program has rotted away with most research and money going to the Pentagon’s Earth Domination Plans and the CIA Eye In The Sky/Kill Muslims/Russians/Chinese programs.
Way back in the early days of the L-5 Society I was the Casandra who threw cold water on some of the dreams of my own family and others. I warned people at meetings held at Princeton University and the University of Arizona that cosmic rays will cause high levels of brain damage and cancers and birth defects due to lack of sufficient shielding, for example. I proposed much of the L-5 orbit activity be done by robots due to this problem but enthusiasts wanted to personally go into space so this debate angered some people.
Since then, robot technology has vastly improved making it wonderfully possible thanks also to giant strides in computer technology to build in space eventually. I remember Asimov was quite enthusiastic about the use of robots in space. ( Side story: once I introduced my daughter to Asimov and when he answered the door, she cried out, ‘Mommy, Bilbo Baggins!’ He laughed and said, ‘Yes, come it.’ She was so happy!)
The Space Shuttle was developed to be the transport between the earth and the L-5 space stations but military demands for use in the lower orbits to plant and service military/CIA satellites meant development was for a plane that couldn’t reach the higher orbits. The moon was totally abandoned to my great annoyance because the building materials for any metals used in space or for any chemicals, too, would mostly come from the moon and even more, the asteroid belt.
A number of famous SF writers loved this concept starting with an old family friend, Heinlein of course, dreamed of all of this when I was a baby. He wanted very badly to get the ball rolling and instead, the ball was dropped and he was very disappointed when he died. As was my father.
IEEE Xplore Abstract – Solving economics, energy, carbon and climate in a single project by Keith Henson, my brother-in-law, has his latest proposal published this week.
A vigorous economy needs cheap energy. A sustainable economy, if it is to grow and prosper, needs more: energy that is cheap, clean and abundant. Renewable electricity at 1-2 cents per kWh would enable synthetic oil at $30-50 per bbl. Three cents per kWh would displace coal. Current and projected renewable energy sources are several times too expensive. Space-based solar energy from power satellites is clean enough, but has to date been far too expensive. This paper is an analysis of an affordable new approach to building and orbiting power satellites. Located in GEO, power satellites are in sunlight 99% of the time, eliminating the high cost of energy storage. Getting the energy to Earth via microwaves incurs a relatively small cost. Power satellites scale to more than ten times all current energy consumption. The problem has been the cost of lifting parts for power satellites to geosynchronous orbit. This article describes a way to reduce the cost of transporting power satellite parts to GEO by a factor of 100.
This paper was submitted to the Technologies for Sustainability (SusTech), 2014 IEEE Conference on July last summer. Space-based solar power has many challenges and difficulties and require a totally different focus on how we use space and exploit resources in space. Both Japan and China are showing more interest in all this. Japan, in particular, needs some form of energy that isn’t nuclear or oil. So JAXA has funded research in this field. Money from the US government is rather thin.
This week, Northrop Grumman Corporation: News and Events – News Release is giving $17.5 million for studying space solar energy transmission possibilities. This money is a tiny amount when we consider that a polar bear tracking program set up to prove that polar bears are roasting to death as the Arctic gets covered with more and more ice (snark) still, at least some money is being used for this purpose.
So far, money flows like crazy to a thousand ‘scientists’ who peg all their energy and studies on proving that we are roasting to death and obscure animals or insects might be annoyed by this slight rise in temperature since the end of the Little Ice Age. Billions and billions of dollars are thrown into the garbage can while scientists try desperately to prove the earth is heating up like crazy and we will all die unless we move into Tiny Houses and cease doing what rich people do: fly everywhere, sail massive private yachts, live in giant palaces like the Vatican, etc.
This ‘Kofi Annan: Eat Bugs To Stop Global Warming‘ has reached the heights of lunacy. These monsters, while dining on rare animals, are telling us to eat grubs because we have to live more like 3rd world peasants to save the planet from CO2 warming up Antarctica so it will be a hot -50ºF instead of -52ºF. The push now is on. The sun has continued to spit out sun spot X energy events which is why our weather this week suddenly warmed up greatly which is so nice after it was ridiculously cold for so long.
More hysteria from the warmists, of course. In 2011, NASA GISS decided that the sun doesn’t determine climate, it is CO2. There is an ‘imbalance’ according Hanson and we have to eat insects and shut down modern civilization due to this ‘imbalance’.
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