Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Other option (Score 1) 392


The correctly spelled word is 'catalysts'.

Admittingly it has no fine-dust filter. But i also believe it's far less polluting...

Believe it or not, your car is killing people. So are a lot of old cars of all types. When a company like VW cheats on tests it sets all of us back on cleaning the air.

Comment A good use for hydrogen (Score 1) 221

This one of the few good uses for hydrogen fuel that I've seen other than rockets. However, I suspect it will be too loud for passenger traffic. The Concorde was notoriously noisy, even aside from the sonic booms it created.

There are few flights long enough for this to be worthwhile, especially if the courts limit the areas they can travel at transonic speeds. At the least, I would want government involvement minimized.

Comment Re: Terraforming Mars (Score 1) 261

Uhm, the global temperature on Mars has been rising for a while now.


Contrary to that 2007 article, the variations in the Sun's output is not noticeably warming the Earth nor, presumably, Mars. In a few hundred millions of years it will, but that's longer than I want to wait.

Comment Terraforming Mars (Score 1) 261

The idea here is probably to release the carbon dioxide and water vapor frozen at the poles. The problem is I don't think that there is enough carbon dioxide there, and without massive amounts of carbon dioxide the water will freeze right out. I think the only possibility is to release a tailored mix of long lived gasses that will warm Mars as much as possible.

Mars can't possibly be kept warm without help. Many of the greenhouse gasses will break down eventually, and the solar wind will strip off even carbon dioxide. I suspect the rates of loss are such that they can be made up by an active society without too much difficultly.

Comment Re:Facepalm (Score 1) 181

The dead plants will rot and slowly turn to soil. Some of the carbon will be trapped in the soil and slowly over time go deeper and deeper. The coal and oil burned today are mostly rainforests plants and they grew like 300 million years ago

The microbes of 300 million years ago were still not very good at breaking down wood. They've become better since then. The rate of coal formation has dropped dramatically. That would be fine if we weren't digging up and burning so much coal.

Comment Re:Alert! (Score 1) 370

I think we should reduce carbon output and I think nuclear power could be useful, provided that plant developers post a bond to cover the decommissioning costs.

A fee for decommissioning is imposed on each kWh of electricity sent out by domestic nuclear plants. We're not exactly sure how much it should be, since most plants are still operating, but the mechanism is there.

Comment Re:More batteries = more polution (Score 1) 130

Cobal is a heavy metal. From my link in my first reply:


Cobalt, used in making jet engines, may cause nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite (anorexia), ear ringing (tinnitus), nerve damage, respiratory diseases, an unusually large thyroid gland (goiter), and/or heart and/or kidney damage.

I was quite surprised a few years ago when I read that iron was a heavy metal, especially considering how important it is for red blood cells, but I looked it up and it was.

Aluminum is not a heavy metal, and I never claimed it was.

Comment Re:More batteries = more polution (Score 1) 130

The only aluminum containing batteries used in cars that I know of use Panasonic's NCA chemistry. The N stands for nickel. Cobalt is another heavy metal I forgot to mention.

Yes, recycling is much more about the nickel or cobalt than the lithium.

Tesla's solar power promise is more of a gimmick than anything else, but at least it does no harm.

"Oh my! An `inflammatory attitude' in alt.flame? Never heard of such a thing..." -- Allen Gwinn, allen@sulaco.Sigma.COM