Who ran from Iran?

The cartoon in today’s Haaretz made me smile:

The Hebrew says “Who is the commander?”


It didn’t take much to work out that Iranian activity in the Straits of Hormuz would be directed towards British interests. It’s unclear if the Royal Navy has the capacity to protect all such interest, but my guess is that it’s not possible. Smaller, faster attack boats and helicopters can run rings round frigates and the like. So, Britain is stuck. Banning its own ships won’t go down well. (Though insurers may effectively bring about that result.) A military response is unlikely. Either Britain caves – a diplomatic disaster – or it weighs in with its own sanctions and gets ready for the long haul.

Or a war breaks out between Iran and the US. And maybe with the Europeans. I hope not.

On a related point, I do remember Obama or Kerry hectoring Israel about what would happen if Iran broke its pledges under the nuclear deal. Why, the sanctions would snap back. Israel had nothing to worry about.

Well, Iran broke its pledges and the sanctions by the Europeans are unsnapped. So, if Israel were relying on the Europeans to keep them safe, they would be wasting their time. In this regard, Bibi is right.

Renewable energy sucks

Windfarms are ugly. But they are supposed to bring jobs and renewable energy. So far as the Scottish experience suggests, my understanding is that the only jobs created were for the foreign based manufacturers. And as for the renewable energy, even with optimistic forecasts and favorable accounting treatment, the amount concerned is so negligible as to be invisible. For most scientists and thinkers who have kept away from the herd like thinking on the subject, this is not news. But it is not openly discussed. Until now, perhaps.

The Register reports on an article at IEEE Spectrum by Ross Koningstein and David Fork. These guys are top of the line Google engineers “who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology [and] have stated quite bluntly that renewables will never permit the human race to cut CO2 emissions to the levels demanded by climate activists. Whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilisation: such a thing is impossible.

One solution mentioned in the Register’s commentary is nuclear power. Ah, but you say, nuclear power is dangerous and expensive. But is it really?

The Register’s piece makes some interesting points to refute the commonly held position about danger and expense. For example, the expense is because of (allegedly) excessive safety protocols and waste disposal regimes.

As another example, the numbers of dead directly attributable to nuclear disasters is (allegedly) much smaller than is commonly perceived. The Register has this:

The Piper Alpha gas rig explosion of 1988 on its own caused three times as many deaths as the nuclear power industry has in its entire history. Bizarrely though, no nations ceased using gas.

The Register commentary is here.

The full IEEE Spectrum article is here.

While I suspect the case for nuclear power is somewhat simplified and infused with universal rose-tinted optimism, these items are fascinating and thought provoking reading.

The Register makes the point that Europe has tended to ignore the scientific reality of the uselessness of renewable energy. But Europe also has a history of listening to Google. So maybe there will now be a change in approach.