Dear Friends
This newsletter has expanded the subject matter to include comments on environment issues as well as comments on the climate. I hope none of you object. If so, let me know, and I will cut you off.
I have been encouraged to do so as, for the first time in all the years I have been campaigning there seems to be the possibility of public criticism of the environment pseudo-religion as well as the global warming myth. My book review in the Christchurch  "Press" was the first time I have penetrated the actual newspaper columns. Of course, the "Herald" and The "Dominion Post" still publish the latest environment scare stories without adverse comment, and the news always takes the word of Greenpeace as gospel. Yet, the barriers are coming down. Last night on "Prime" TV I was amazed to view a throughgoing attack on Greenpeace and the global warmers by the US stirrers Penn and Teller. It was good to meet Bjorn Lomborg and find he speaks fluent Amercan English, Patrick Moore, former head of Greenpeace, and someone from the Cato Institute. They circulated a petition amongst the activists to ban the use of dihydrogen monoxide. Everybody signed.
Then, or course, Kyoto looks like falling flat, and even Tony Blair wants nuclear energy.
So here is today's subject
I was a little hard on Tim Flannery in his "The Weather Makers", so I have much pleasure in quoting some of the things he says about hydrogen.
"The ideal way to transport it is in tanker-trucks carrying liquefied hydrogen, but, because liquefation occurs at -253ºC , refrigerating the gas sufficiently to achieve this is an economic nightmare. Using hydrogen energy to liquefy a kilogram of hydrogen consumes 40% of the value of the fuel. Using the US power grid to do so takes 12-15 kilowatt-hours of electricity, and this would release almost ten kilograms of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Around 3.5 litres of petrol holds the equivalent energy of one kilogram of hydrogen. Burning it releases around the same amount of CO2 as using the grid to liquefy the hydrogen, so the climate change consequences  of using liquefied hydrogen are as bad as driving a standard car.
One solution may be to pressurise the hydrogen only partially, which reduces the fuel value consumed to 15% and the canisters used for transport can be less specialised. But even using improved, high-pressure canisters, a 46 tonne (40,000 kilogramme) truck could deliver only 400 kilograms of compressed hydrogen, meaning that it would take fifteen such trucks to deliver the same fuel  energy value as is now delivered by a 26-tonne petrol tanker.. And if these 40 tonne trucks carried the hydrogen 500 kilometres, the energy cost of the transport  would consume 40% of the fuel carried..
Further problems arise when you store the fuel,in your car. A special fuel tank carrying hydrogen at 5000psi (near the current upper limit for pressurised vessels) would need to be constructed and be ten times the size of a petrol tank.Even with the best tanks, around 4% of the fuel is likely to be lost from boil-off every day.( as has been found with NASA)"
And so it goes on. Pipelines and storage would have an astronomical price. Hydrogen makes steel brittle, it is odourless, incapable of making otherwise, and it burns with an invisible flame. Current requirements for storing hydrogen would require an expensive upgrade of every garage. It leaks easily and catches fire with the merest spaark

Why would we go for it?

 I can't let you go withour a climate item. We are constantly being told that the Arctic is warming because of greenhouse gases. Willie Soon in a recent paper in Geophysical Research Letters  2005, Vol32,  L16712, doi10,1029/2005GL023429, has shown that it is due to the sun, not to greenhouse gases. I attach his Figure 1 which shows that there is a close correlation between Arctic temperatures and solar irradiance, but no such correlation with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It might surprise you to learn that Arctic temperature fluctuartions are CYCLIC, and the last time it was this hot was in 1940. There is no steady trend..

Vincent Gray
75 Silverstream Road
Crofton Downs
Wellington 6004
New Zealand
Phone/Fax 064 4 9735939
"It's not the things you don't know that fool you.
It's the things you do know that aint so"
Josh Billings