Thursday, February 28, 2013

Forget sequestration a minute, and worry about helium

OK, I know that sequestration is the dish of the day, and I'll have a post about that right after this one.

But I've been posting occasionally on the HELIUM CRISIS ever since I first heard about it, and Congress is trying to take action to avert the worst of the HELIUM CRISIS.

I am not kidding!  The HELIUM CRISIS is real.  We, globally, as a human race, could run out of helium, and helium does a darned lot of things for us besides filling up birthday party balloons and Buzz Lightyear in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

Congress tries again to head off looming HELIUM CRISIS

"A new bill hopes to address issues with the system, and would continue current sales for another year and then again in a second phase lasting until about 2020. But even if the bill becomes law, the helium reserve will be gone within roughly 15 years."

"...  the wispy gas has several properties that make it indispensable for myriad high-tech uses. It's the only element that remains a liquid at absolute zero, so it's the only thing that can serve as a cryogen to cool the superconducting magnets in MRI machines and particle accelerators such as Europe's Large Hadron Collider. The supremely inert gas is also indispensable for the production of microchips and optical fibers."

But here's the worst part:
"For the second time in 8 months, a congressional committee is considering a bill that would avert a calamitous shortage of helium that's sure to take place this year if Congress does nothing."

Since this is a Congress that specializes in doing nothing, it looks like a HELIUM CRISIS is a sure bet.

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