Letters to Craig Murray #10

Letter #10 Delivered 17 Oct 21

Happy Birthday Craig,

The circumstances are far for ideal, but I hope you’re able to celebrate in some way.

Are you able to hear the protests in your name when they take place outside the prison, or are things too distant?

It must has been wonderful to meet Arthur C Clarke. I took a look at Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, and was surprised to find that it was not a Clarke invention (like geostationary satellites), but rather something that had first been conceived in the 19th century. It seems that there are still various efforts to further investigate and commercialise it, but the system efficiency remains atrocious at around 7%. The nutrients that you mentioned for the abelone farm in Hawaii may be a useful by-product, but also seem to be a major obstacle to effective heat transfer between components.

I read this week about a type of solar cell that had been invented by George Cove in 1905 using a zinc-antimony alloy. It seems that Cove ran into all sorts of trouble when it came to commercialising the technology, with some speculation of dirty tricks from Edison. So the ideas he had been working on got lost in the sands of time, but may prove useful once more as we try to cover the planet (or at least our roofs) with panels; as the alloy panels are more robust, and easier (and less polluting) to manufacture, which might be more important than high efficiency in some parts of the world.

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to get through Stross’s ‘Invisible Sun’, and it was one of those books that became more urgent for attention as I neared the finish. Without spoiling the storyline, I can say that the author has a lot of fun with the idea of ‘some countries have spy agencies, and some spy agencies have countries’ by throwing it into a multiverse where certain people can travel between parallel timelines. Though as with all great fiction it’s bittersweet to reach the end, knowing that there won’t be another instalment. Still, I can now turn my attention to books 5 & 6 of Anne Currie’s ‘Panopticon’ series so that I’m ready to do a launch day review when 6 hits the presses on 20 Nov.

I’ll close on some dog news. Milo has grown a lot since I first wrote to you, and I struggle sometimes to tell him apart from Max at a glance. Though at 5 months old he’s still got some growing to do, so maybe he’ll end up being the obviously larger one. At least they both sleep through the night on the sofa now – no more escape from playpen shenanigans.

Keep well,


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