Bad science writing 101

The headline at the UK Independent caught my eye: “One giant leap for mankind: £13bn Iter project makes breakthrough in the quest for nuclear fusion, a solution to climate change and an age of clean, cheap energy.”

Of course, as the headline suggests, the article is stuffed with the anti-science idiocy and blind fanaticism of the dying Church of Global Warming, which at this point survives by throwing in little drive-by hosannas and hoping readers are ignorant of the actual science that provides no evidence whatsoever of climate change.

The international nuclear fusion project – known as Iter, meaning “the way” in Latin – is designed to demonstrate a new kind of nuclear reactor capable of producing unlimited supplies of cheap, clean, safe and sustainable electricity from atomic fusion.

If Iter demonstrates that it is possible to build commercially-viable fusion reactors then it could become the experiment that saved the world in a century threatened by climate change and an expected three-fold increase in global energy demand.

The Brits are a lot less concerned with freedom of speech than we are, so they’d be doing their public a favor by passing a law that stipulates a disclaimer following paragraphs like that: “NOTE: There is absolutely no evidence that the current century is ‘threatened by climate change,’ and in reality climate scientists are grappling with the absolute and total failure of their doomsday models to match the actual data.”

So the Independent writer is either fashionably clueless about the current state of climate science, a religious fanatic, or a con artist.  At least we can marvel at the awesome “breakthrough in the quest for nuclear fusion” we came to read about, because no matter what’s currently happening with the global warming fraud, nuclear fusion would be awesome.  So what’s the big breakthrough?

This week the project gained final approval for the design of the most technically challenging component – the fusion reactor’s “blanket” that will handle the super-heated nuclear fuel.

The building site in Cadarache has also passed the crucial stage where some 493 seismic bearings – giant concrete and rubber plinths – have been set into the reactor’s deep foundations to protect against possible earthquakes.

Peering over the edge of the huge seismic isolation pit, it is still possible to see some of these bearings before they are covered with a raft of reinforced concrete that will support the massive fusion machine at the heart of the £13bn Iter project.

That’s it.  The “breakthrough” is that they got final approval for pouring the reinforced concrete blanket.  After thousands of words extolling the benefits of nuclear fusion, and relating the long history of the Iter project, we’re finally given a timeline that doesn’t even mention the year 2013 at all.  The last significant event on the timeline was 2005, when the Iter site was chosen; the next notable event will come in either 2021 or 2022, when the first infusion of ionized gas is scheduled.  Electricity will not be produced until sometime in the 2030s, and power from the plant won’t be commercially available until sometime in the 2050s.

It sounds like a great project if it works.  It would be nice to get reports on projects like this which aren’t wrapped in layers of hyperbole and anti-science “global warming” political posturing.


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