Monday, December 04, 2006

See what you missed...

Ethon is back from Thanksgiving (if you are sick of turkey, he is full up on liver) and was wandering over at the old place where he saw this from William Sweet

In a nutshell: Fermi had told the graduate student Isodor Rabi that the idea of an atomic bomb was "nuts." Rabi conveyed that opinion to Leo Szilard, who was sounding the alarm about the possibility of a Nazi nuclear weapon. Szilard suggested Rabi ask Fermi just why he thought the idea was nuts. Rabi did so, and Fermi told him he considered the possibility of a bomb being made successfully was ”remote.” So Rabi asked Fermi what he meant by that. Fermi said that the possibility of a bomb being built successfully was perhaps only about 10 percent. To which Rabi said: "Wait a minute. If I go to the doctor and the doctor tells me that there’s a remote possibility I might die, and that it’s 10 percent, I get excited."
Nice story, but Rabi got his PhD. in 1927 and was on the faculty at Columbia for most of the 1930s. Fermi got there in 1938/9. Besides which Rabi's name was Isidor Isaac, and was almost always called I. I. Rabi. We here believe that Rabi's real name must have been Rabitt, but the family shortened it when they immigrated. For sure he was a Landsman as the Rabetts hail from Galicia on dad's side.

However, for some reason Ethon's lunch has become enamored by an air capture method for CO2 dreamed up by a couple of Canadians. He handwaves the energy and disposal issues away, but everyone is ignoring the camel in the tent. There is an IPCC report on CO2 capture that is quite optimistic, at least for capture and disposal from large fixed sources (power plants). The estimate is that without capture and geological storage the cost/KWH from a coal plant is U$0.04-0.05, and with it is U$0.06-0.10

As for mineral carbonation, RTFR. Again, something that no one did.


C W Magee said...

A couple weeks back at RealClimate, someone was adamant that we use lime to scrub CO2 from the atmosphere. I'm not entirely sure where he was going to get the lime from. Perhaps he was a citrus farmer.

My personal approach to mineral carbonation is to bulldoze central America, New Guinea, and the Philippines back to bedrock. Been having a bit of trouble getting the greenies on board, though.

EliRabett said...

Like they say, yuh gotta be kidding. For the non fuzzy mammal types out there you MAKE lime by heating CaCO3 to give off CO2.

BTW, what is it that attracts lemmings, stoats and rabetts to blogging?

Anonymous said...

"What is it that attracts lemmings, stoats and rabetts to blogging?"

I know. They are all full of sound and furry and signify nothing.