Monday, 9 May 2011

Caroline Spelman on Wifi and Temperature

She warned of intense rainfall, droughts and heatwaves in the next 50 to 100 years because of man-made global warming. The signal from wi-fi cannot travel as far when temperatures increase. Heavy downfalls of rain also affect the ability of the device to capture a signal.
"Our economy is built on effective transport and communications networks and reliable energy and water supplies.
"But the economy cannot grow if there are repeated power failures, or goods cannot be transported because roads are flooded and railways have buckled, or if intense rainfall or high temperatures disrupt Wi-Fi signals.
1) Wifi actually has relatively small impact on our economy. I'd rather use a PC with wireless where I can sit anywhere in the house to work. It's handy occassionally to be able to sit in a cafe and work. But most corporations and even quite small companies use wired networking because it's more reliable, faster and more secure (no, I'm not saying wifi is insecure, just that if you can guess the password for a wired network, you still need physical access to it).
2) Google, Apple and HP and thousands of tech startups are all based on California. If wifi was a problem, we'd have soon heard about it from all the geeks out there.
I'm sure this is true, but one of those theoretical things, like that you have to add 60 degrees before you lose 1m of distance. I doubt it has any impact whatsoever on real-world distances affected by 1-2 degrees in temperature.
As for all the other stuff...
3) If you want to stop power failures, build some more nuclear power plants.
4) At worst, our weather ends up something like Toulouse in 100 years. They run TGVs down there just fine.
I assumed for a few years that the environment was the tories trying to sell themselves as not being the nasty party, but they'd have shaken that by now if they were. They seem to be, despite claims of wanting smaller government, to be just as signed up to global warming scaremongering as Labour.

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