Greenpeace Proves their Incompetence

Apparently, Greenpeace is made up by technically incompetent morons. In a press release from 28 June 2005 they bash out on the Iter project. Previously, I did have some respect for Greenpeace as they made people realise that the environment is important (although I cannot say that I agreed with their methods all the time), all this respect has been lost now, since it now shows that their technical incompetence is extremely dangerous for the environment.

The press release is full of disinformation and technical incompetence. For example, they claim that for the €10 billion (short scale) that the project will cost, one could build offshore windfarms producing 10 GW of energy. The calculations here may be correct, but they fail in one vital point: we do not have wind all the time and it would certainly be unwise to rely on something that is so stochastic in nature. It would be necessary to have fast started backup power plants in case the wind fails.

The point they are trying to make is that it takes away money from already working technologies. With this mentality however, we would still live in the stone age. Of course, their claim here need not to be wrong, but it is severely misinformed, and suggests that the people behind it lacks the ability to grasp the whole picture.

Another claim in this press release is that fusion would create a serious waste problem, would emit large amounts of radioactive material and could be used to produce materials for nuclear weapons. These claims are outright lies.

First of all, the waste problem with fission is not the high active waste that you only have to store for a hundred years, the problem is the low active waste that you have to deal with for hundreds of thousands of years. With fusion, you generate small amounts of highly active waste as the reactor walls are contaminated; this is only a problem when decommissioning a plant after its half a century in service and you would only have to store this waste for a hundred year period.

Secondly, the claim that that the material could be used to produce nuclear weapons is just so misinformed that I get sick. I suppose they are thinking on the tritium generated from the lithium blanket. On the other hand, you basically need all this tritium to sustain the fusion reaction.

If we now imagine that tritium somehow, however unlikely was extracted, the tritium in itself cannot be used to build nuclear weapons, firstly you would need an atomic bomb from uranium or some other fissile material as a starter charge. In order to use tritium as a fusion fule in a bomb, you would need deuterium as well (available in regular sea water). In a normal hydrogen bomb the tritium is actually produced from lithium, and why bother finding tritium which is one of the most expensive substances on the planet when you can buy some lithium and produce the tritium yourself when the bomb detonates?

The claims they make are similar to saying that your mobile electronic device can be used to produce nuclear weapons since it contains a lithium battery, or that people should stay away from water as it contains deuterium.

Greenpeace is out, proving their incompetence in finding working solutions for the environmental problems we are facing. Fusion have the promise of producing cheap, safe and pollution free energy and is the best hope for the future of mankind and earth.


The Darknet is Coming

With the recent addition of censorship of the Internet in Sweden and many other European states, the need for an anonymous communications system is growing. The current system in Sweden (heralded by the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet) for example was only to be used to block child porn. In a previous post I predicted that this filter would be expanded; it would sadly seem so that I was right about this. Bodström with his orwellian ambitions decided to request an expansion of the child porn filter to also include web pages that are used by prostitutes and their clients.

So, what is coming next? More pornography related stuff of-course, file sharing networks are probably in danger, and not to forget all the web pages containing hate speech. One is however out on VERY thin ice when starting to ban these since the government tries to act nanny and decide for you what is deemed morally right.

It is of course very difficult for an opponent of these technologies to discuss this, especially since the banned pages are of such kind that you really would like them gone from the planet. Non the less, liberty has never been gratis, it has been payed for in many good men's blood.

The censorship of the Internet is not limited to the enlightened western world, it is far worse in the unfree world. States like Iran, Saudi Arabia and China conduct censorship on the Internet, but these governments censor political information that the state dislike as well. China's Great Firewall (developed by Cisco) is perhaps the most well known of these systems. It cannot be denied that the citizens of these countries should have the right of free speech and liberty. Liberty of thought and speech can in an oppressive country only be guaranteed by completely anonymous communication.

A few weeks ago Ian Clarke of the Freenet project (if you are in China, don't bother to click the link) together with Oskar Sandberg had a presentation on the new version of Freenet in development. The great new thing is that the new version will be scalable on the global scale thanks to new routing algorithm and an invite only system. The motivation behind the new routing algorithm is the small world phenomenon, which basically is a hypothesis stating that every person in the world can be reached through a short chain of social acquaintances.

The network will guarantee the anonymity of a document's publisher and protect the transmissions from governmental eavesdropping. This will ensure that dissidents can publish thought without fearing that the government will knock on their door and drag them away in the night.

If you oppose the right of anonymous communication as it makes it harder to catch pedophiles, ask yourself whither the over 100 000 000 human beings that have been the victims of democide in the 20'th century did not deserve to live. I'm not claiming that all could have been saved, but I am claiming that hundreds of thousand and maybe millions could have lived.

These are exciting times for friends of liberty.

IDG on the censorship extension (sv)
Dagens Nyheter on the New Freenet (sv)
New York Times on the New Freenet (en)
Slashdot on the New Freenet (en)
Freenet Conference Paper (en)


Self-destructing Property and Time Limited Hardware: NO THANKS

The new HD*-DVD format Blu-Ray is apparently going be supporting some disgusting DRM-features. The worst of them is the self-destruct mechanism that will be embedded in the players. Also, while stand alone players will not need to, players in computers will apparently need to be updated periodically via the Internet in order to continue working.

When an individual purchases a DVD-player, the player is now that individual's property. Having the ability for an organisation such as the Blu-Ray forum to disable devices is disgusting, and I believe that article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 1, protocol 11 of the European convention on Human Rights is in violation since it guarantees the right to property.

It is imperative that we stop this development that undermine such important principles.

And NO, nonnegotiable end users agreements cannot revoke the UDHR or ECHR.

* HD = High Definition

Blu-Ray DRM Paper (PDF-file)


Fighting Crime and Terrorism in Europe

In the wake of Madrid and London, the Council (Justice and Home Affairs Council to be exact) is trying to introduce some (in the third pillar so the elected parliament has nothing to say) orwellian laws that will destroy the free and open society. I'm of course referring to the telecommunication data storage programme that some on the Council wants to introduce. There are however steps in the right direction that are taking place as well.

Firstly we have Europol, a European police organisation that assist in enhancing cooperation between national police. Europol helps with planning multinational operations, previously this had to be done through diplomatic channels. The second thing is the European arrest warrant, which moves requests for arrests in other EU-states from the slow and bureaucratic diplomatic channels towards the courts. Another thing that has just recently been agreed upon is the exchange of criminal records over the borders.

One idea that would enhance the ability to fight crime and terrorism across the borders and that would be extremely helpful is the creation of a federal European police force. I.E. a European FBI. The idea is that Europol should be given executive powers and start to conduct their own investigations. This is of course a thorn into national sovereignty which make the idea even more appealing.

All of this is in my mind good and clearly demonstrate that it is possible to enhance the ability to combat crime and terrorism in Europe without introducing fascistic laws such as the teledata proposal.