Friday, August 31, 2012

Heard about the Venezuelean oil refinery disaster?

Thought you might not have.  Last Saturday an oil refinery in Venenzuela exploded, resulting in the deaths of 41 people and injuring at least 80.  Here's a link

Worldwide media coverage was ... well, let's just say that the media was less than saturated.  Headlines were not made around the world.  People have not boycotted food from Venezuela, large parts of the country have not been declared 'uninhabitable'.  Nor have self-proclaimed 'experts' appeared on TV in America and Europe to dramatise the danger and suggest that people in far countries are at risk.

All this despite the fact that the disaster (an actual, genuine disaster) released massive amounts of toxic waste and dangerous fumes into the atmosphere.

If the accident had been nuclear...well, who can imagine the public reaction when a nuclear incident that killed or injured noone in Fukushima last year has generated such horror, such fear, such terror?

The demands placed on the Fukushima accident to be 'safe' are extraordinary and it has passed them all with flying colours.  It's impossible to cause fewer casualties than zero.  Fukushima will not be any safer until radiation starts raising people from the dead.

How do people continue to ignore this hypocrisy?

Here's the response from the oil industry regarding the Venezuelan explosion.  It's good for a laugh.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Neil Armstrong

So Neil Armstrong has died.

I seriously wonder whether I will see the day in my lifetime when the last person to have walked on the moon dies.  There seems little prospect of anybody else landing on the moon.  Or anywhere.

I am very disappointed with the future.  I want my moon holidays, my flying cars, robo-maids and hoverboards.  Not to mentions sex bots.

All we've got spacewise at the moment is a big rover on Mars.  A not  insignificant achievement, but certainly with little possibility of anything interesting being found.  Robots first landed on Mars in the 70s.

The essential problem is that it is impossible to make money out of space.  Nobody could possibly make money going to the moon again, let alone Mars or somewhere further away.  That means governments, and in the current economic climate (and, I suspect, the climate for many years to come) governments will not possibly be able to consider the costs of putting on on such an immense and useless project.