Skip to comments.British academic: Ban party balloons (helium filled)
Posted on 12/13/2012 5:58:00 AM PST by chessplayer
The scarcity of helium is a really serious issue. I can imagine that in 50 years time our children will be saying, I cant believe they used such a precious material to fill balloons, said the doctor, Peter Wothers.
The non-renewable gas is a necessity in hospitals, where it is used to cool magnets in MRI scanners and mixed with oxygen to allow ill patients and newborn babies to breathe more easily.
Scientists have been unsuccessful in finding a sustainable way of making the gas artificially.
If we keep using it for non-essential things like party balloons, where were just letting it float off into space, we could be in for some serious problems in around 30 to 50 years time. The gas is hugely valuable.
Helium? Do you mean the waste product of a fusion reactor?
Puleeese Peter, give it a rest.
I would think that Aire Liquide would have a ceramic that would seperate it out. Probably can’t get the volume needed though.
There are only eight wells in the US that produce Helium and I cannot figure out why Congress decided to open up sales. It just does not make a whole lot of sense because it is definitely a national security material.
Anyone have some insight into this?
What an idiot. Helium is cryogenically distilled from natural gas.
“I would think that Aire Liquide would have a ceramic that would seperate it out.”
Should read “I would think that Aire Liquide would have a ceramic filter that would seperate it out.”
Right. Thanks for playing, Mr. “Academic.” Now, get off the stage, and no... Johnny Olsen doesn’t have a parting gift for you.
should read “..separate..”
Let the free market decide. If demand for helium is so strong, the price will go up accordingly. And while someone with a medical need will pay whatever’s charged, no one — except maybe a limousine liberal — will pay $95 for a party balloon.
This guy doesnt understand economics. The more uses for something the cheaper and more available it gets. Aluminum was one of the most expensive and rare elements on the planet until the government decided it wanted lightning rods on public buildings to be made from aluminum. (This was, at the time, like ordering lightning rods made from gold.) This created a market and chemists immediately invented processes to produce material to fill that market. Unlike gold, aluminum is the most common metal in the Earths crust. Market/use = cheap/abundance.
This mans thinking is typically liberal. If you use something you use it up; therefore it must be regulated by the government. In reality, the more you use something the more there is of it. Take oil. In 1960 alarmists said wed be completely out of oil by 1970. In 1970 there were more reserves known than in 1960. So, they moved the date to 1980, then 1990, then 2000. Each decade saw more known reserves. Now, we know that oil is produced by biological processes near the earths core, not fossil bones (see link below.) Even if that werent the case, a market for oil would mean somebody would invent a process to come up with oil. (The Nazis did; coal to oil.)
Looks like U.S. helium reserves could be empty in as little as 5-7 more years.
It is a serious issue.
What right does Congress have to regulate sales of helium? Or anything else for that matter ...
Remember the National Helium Reserve? The boondoggle that was costing taxpayers $1.4 billion? The one that was established to ensure that the US airship fleet had an adequate supply?
It was privatized. As well it should have been.
[in a high, squeaky voice] “No, you can’t do that!”
A quote from the article:
“On July 1, 1925, the government assumed control of all helium production in the nation.”
“should read ..separate..”
Thanks. I can never remember whether there is or is not “a rat” in “separate”.
There is a rat...I will have to write that on the chalkboard 100 times now.
There are only a very few wells in world that contain Helium. You cannot get if from almost all wells.
Parties, too. Ban parties.
And happiness. Ban happiness.
People. Ban people.
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