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Lithium make way for hydrogen
As we approach our COVID-19 peak in the Western Cape (always ahead of the rest of SA), I am inspired by the potential for a radical shift in thinking about energy availability in many areas.
I could not believe the resurrection by government of Russian-funded and designed nuclear power as a potential major component of our future electricity base load – that while the Medupi and Kusile power stations and their bed partners in the ICU ward of so-called ‘Clean Coal’ generation are still wringing the dried-up tits of government for more, more, MORE cash!
Similarly, big, bad auto industry bucks are pushing the world towards big, bad battery-powered vehicles that generate terrible range and recharge anxiety.
I have unlimited admiration for Pretoria boy Elon Musk and his lithium dreams. In the hugely disparate fields of stationary and outer space energy; nobody in the world comes close to his vision and delivery. But, out on the street, his storage unit vehicles will be confined to the niche of DeLorean fantasy, suburban human transport and door-to-door delivery.
Why? Because competing hydrogen fuel generation and storage technology are on an exponential trajectory. The latest in Kubas Manganese Hydride hydrogen fuel tank designs from Professor Antonelli at Lancaster University in the UK, promises a fuel cell system that costs five times less than lithium-ion batteries with a four or five times longer range, at pressures less than an underwater diver’s scuba air tank. And without the deadweight burden of batteries that would drown the enthusiasm of your average motorist.
The relentless retreading of out-of-sell-by-date technologies for Africa is a Stalingrad defence by entrenched capital. Enough!
Remember Einstein: repeating the same and expecting a different result is madness.
See his essay Flogging a (battery-driven) dead horse in this issue. – Ed.
Extortion, theft, daylight robbery
I just had my account debited with an enormous amount by the SA Revenue Service (SARS), despite the fact that a dispute matter is in progress and they had stated that nothing would be done whilst the matter was still being resolved. Extortion, theft, daylight robbery by agents of the State, that’s what it is.
I know this is occurring throughout the country as a result of the actions of rogue SARS elements that simply could not give a toss when debiting taxpayers accounts illegally (as per the Pretoria high court ruling on 14 July 2020).
This is in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic when everyone is struggling, unemployment is at levels never seen before, and the economy is in the doldrums.
This is when these maven decide to screw everyone they can for as much as they can so as to ensure that any chance the economy may have to recover is compromised again.
Do you think this type of abhorrent stupidity is as a result of them having to meet commission targets?
Thank you Bheki Mashile!
Thanks for the link-up with your Barberton columnist Bheki Mashile. He kindly called us this week and called Keletso – the matriculant who wants to become a farmer – on the same day!
I’m really sorry that we are unable to contribute towards the Noseweek fund but we do believe in prayer and so will ask the Good Lord to bless you all with courage, strength and indomitable wisdom to do what is right.
House on the Rock
Mabula Private Game Reserve
Guinea Fowl School
As his contemporary for some of his time in Wellington House, Jack Lundin’s memoir about his “bush school” days at Guinea Fowl School in then Rhodesia (nose 247) brought back many memories.
Jack’s account of the pre- and post- history of the school was most interesting, although some of his stories of his time at the school are more dramatic than I remember – but then he was very much of the dramatic type, where he excelled. And his concluding comment, “although the last step before the borstal for city school rejects” is unfair.
Many pupils did not live near enough to a high school, thus boarding school was the only option – witness the number who came from (the then) Nyasaland. For many of its past pupils, it provided the basis for further education at university in the RSA or UK.
That said, yes, a happy read that brought back happy memories for me too.
Alistair “Jack” Frost
Cyril’s Limpopo deal with China
With his deal with China (“Limpopo’s dirty great white elephant”, nose247) President Ramaphosa is giving back the land – only just giving it to the wrong people.
- I’m concerned and troubled by this. If one thinks apartheid was bad...wait until the Chinese take over!
- Tomorrow our dogs and cats disappear.
Letitia Jansen van Vuuren
Cyril’s racing pigeons
We, the nation, are wasting Ramaphosa’s time. The president is a pure capitalist with no interest at heart for his people.
Imprecious Mngoya Mahlangu
Rust De Winter
See Cat among the pigeons in this issue. – Ed.
- Pigeon racing and the culling of unwanted birds is cruel. You are showing more of your true colours, Cyril.
- It is his money, and he will need a hobby soon, especially after being bossed around by you-know-who.
- He did not steal the money. I’m happy he has a hobby that he can afford, unlike politicians who steal from the poor.
See Editorial in this issue. – Ed.
A book of note
“A Childhood Made Up” by Brent Meersman (nose247) is definitely a book to look forward to! It’s always good to find a new South African author.
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