Category: climate

Our Goldilocks World

You know how it is sometimes fun to sit around and Google things that just pop into your mind? Well, I was doing that tonight while pondering the world around us. I was thinking about trees and plants, and how they figure into our environment. The process I looked up was photosynthesis.

We would not have oxygen to breathe if it were not for carbon dioxide (CO2) and plant life.

6H2O + 6CO2 ———-> C6H12O6+ 6O
Six molecules of water plus six molecules of CO2 makes one sugar molecule and six oxygen molecules.

This is what happens. Plants get their water from the ground through the root system, and they suck in carbon dioxide gas (CO2) from the atmosphere. That’s when the fun starts.

Sunlight is the energy that drives the whole process. When sunlight strikes a leaf of a plant, energy is absorbed. Some sunlight causes heat, and the rest causes chemical reactions between the CO2 and other stuff in the plants. Oxygen is split from the carbon dioxide and water (H2O), and sugar and enzymes result growing the plant.

If it were not for CO2 we would not have trees, plant life, food, or oxygen. It gets that simple.

Global warming is blamed on CO2. There is only a small bit of truth to this in that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and greenhouse gases cause the earth to keep warm enough to support life, but not too warm. CO2 is not the driving gas in the process. The real driver is water vapor, by far the strongest greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.

Photosynthesis is yet another process that can be called a Goldilocks process. It takes in carbon dioxide (CO2), and produces food and oxygen, all necessary for life.

Our earth is just far enough from the sun to keep it warm within a livable range. We live on a water planet where the climate is pretty much automatically maintained by clouds, water vapor, water vaporization and condensation, and the associated heat engines.

When things heat up, clouds form, rain happens, and things cool down. That’s one of the mechanism that keeps the world from getting too hot. Greenhouse gases keep the world from getting too cold for life.

Food and water are plentiful almost everywhere because of the natural processes.

What more can one ask? We do live in a Goldilocks world. It is almost like things were planned that way. Our Goldilocks world is just right.

Note: Yes, I noticed in the chemical equation that the Oxygen molecules did not balance. I did a cut and paste from some web page, and am now paying for my own inattention. I think that the six oxygen molecules should be molecules made up of 2 oxygen molecules. Oxygen does that, you know. I just don’t know how to do a subscript in WordPress.

Carbon Taxes Or Trading – What Do You Know

We have all read about carbon taxes and other malicious fees that our EPA is preparing for the American public. Just how many people in the US know anything about it?

Why should there be a carbon tax? What is it supposed to accomplish? Will carbon taxes halt climate change? Are there other alternatives to handling risks attributed to climate change?

Fortunately for us, we have a guinea pig in the form of the entire country of Australia which foolishly established a carbon tax. We have the figures estimated by world-class economists and climate scientists on the effectiveness of a carbon tax in combating carbon dioxide induced climate change.

A young Australian named Topher Field recently volunteered to produce and direct several YouTube videos explaining carbon taxes and climate change for lay persons. He financed this endeavor with contributions from climate skeptics from all over the world. This is, indeed, a grass-roots effort.

Take a look at the video and decide for yourself. The bottom line is that it costs fifty times more to try to squelch carbon emissions than just adapting to possible damage.

Here’s the link to the 50 to 1 web site.

My New Math Career

Yes, I did it. Even though I am officially retired, I have started college almost all over, again. Well, not exactly all over. I do have a couple of college degrees, and I wanted to take a couple of math courses at a local university.

Part of the entrance requirements is that I had to enter a degree program, no matter how many degrees I already have. So, I signed up to be a mathematics major just to take a course in Linear Algebra.You see, I have a latent interest in things statistical, although I have not harbored any ambition to be a statistician. However, after starting this particular gambit I just may become one.

Most people think math is infinitely boring, and I thought so when as an undergraduate I did the minimum work to get passing grades. Now, I know better. Mathematics is important because we live in a world of numbers. If you really want to be smart, you need to understand numbers.

We see mathematics being applied all around us everyday. When you read a news article about a new study, the authors of that study depended on some math magic to get their numbers to work out so they can continue to get government grants. Government grants are academic welfare. Somebody has to fund all those stories claiming to show that watching Fox News can turn you into a Republican.

I have started looking into some of these studies, and you don’t have to be a mathematician to see that some basic assumptions are BS. Indeed, many times the arithmetic is done correctly, but the assumptions are all wrong. There was one psychological study, recently, that proposed that people who didn’t totally buy into catastrophic climate change also believed that the NASA moon shot never happened, and was filmed in movie studios on earth. This particularly idiotic study was dubbed the “Moon Hoax Study”.

Maybe with my new math skills, I can do some studies and make some of that government money, too. All I have to do is make up some stuff, and then throw in some impressive statistical math for looks. Maybe I will be published by Rolling Stone magazine.

Nate Silver – Lost In The Noise

The book is, “The Signal And The Noise: Why Some Predictions Fail – And Some Don’t”, by Nate Silver. This book is about the art and science of forecasting, and how some predictions are fairly accurate, and some are not. Being a self-proclaimed statistician and economist, Nate Silver has been a successful predictor in baseball, political elections, and on-line poker. Just winning in poker is impressive to me, but Silver managed to put his expertise into computer programs, and that’s where he makes his money, now.

The first part of the book is filled with stories of his salad days in the poker business, and how when the field got over run with players, he found it tougher to earn money. He has been successful in predicting political elections, using his own methodology.

Although being good at mathematical statistics, he comes up short when addressing scientific issues. It is not that Silver is incapable of the science, but he is an economist, and has misinterpreted noise as signal, a common problem that Silver is supposed to be writing about.

Climate Consensus – Silver realizes that the so-called consensus of climate scientists is defined from a very simple statement. I accept the so-called consensus view, and so do most climate skeptics. My cat would accept the consensus view which says,”The greenhouse effect is real. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Increasing carbon dioxide causes additional warming in the atmosphere, and mankind is the source of some of this carbon dioxide.”  OK. That’s it. Silver recognized this.

Extreme Weather – There is no evidence that accumulating carbon dioxide, or global warming will cause weather to become more extreme. More correctly, the available evidence shoes that global warming DOES NOT cause extreme weather. Period. That is an easy research project, The data is readily available on NOAA web sites. Silver did not do his homework.

Climate Models – Silver argued that climate model predictions are within a reasonable error, and if several are averaged, a more accurate forecast is achieved. Averaging forecasts is a theme that runs throughout other chapters. He argues that averaging several climate forecasts results in more accuracy. I think Silver seriously misreads the science on this one.

Climate models need to be reasonable models that can stand on their own. There are parameters in the model input that need to be realistic, but instead are just assumptions. They have shown over time that assumptions about clouds, aerosols, and sensitivity to carbon dioxide are significantly incorrect.

It is widely agreed among climate scientists (not modelers) that the models are running hot, meaning that their forecasts of global temperatures are out of bounds on the warm side. Silver interviewed Gavin Schmidt, a well know NASA modeler and political activist, but did not investigate the actual record and physics of the models. Schmidt makes his living running models for NASA, and is known to suffer from a political bias in his science. Silver scores a fail on science.

ClimateGate – Nate Silver really struck out on this one. He thinks that Climategate was all about a monthly published global temperature record called HADCRUT. This stands for the Hadley Center in Britain, and the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. Sadly, it is obvious that Silver never researched Climategate, and has totally missed the mark. Climagegate had nothing to do with the global temperature product.

Climategate was all about prominent scientists from the University of East Anglia fudging data; publishing fraudulent academic studies; endeavoring to silence skeptics by controlling the peer review process with well known scientific journals; and illegally conspiring to refuse Freedom Of Information Act petitions for data paid for by the public. These rogue British scientists did so in league with some American scientists, guilty of the same scientific crimes. The most infamous American was Dr Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University.

Silver defended Mann by saying that Mann had been cleared by a group of his peers. You should remember that academics are rather like cops and doctors. They do not squeal on their  buddies. Penn State actually gave Mann a  whitewash, not an investigation. Not once was a complainant questioned, and the Climategate emails were not introduced into evidence. All this information is available, and Silver believed Mann instead of doing the work necessary to find the truth. Mann is a bad apple.

Doom! Gloom! Boom!

We get lots of propaganda from union leaders and politicians that capitalism has failed. We hear from the main stream media that climate change is the biggest threat to humanity since Godzilla. The medical community almost daily comes up with a new way you can die if you eat the wrong stuff.

Doom! Gloom! Boom! In the last century with the election of Bill Clinton, the big scare was AIDS. According to the simpletons in the Clinton Administration, AIDS was the biggest threat to the human race since Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt in the aftermath of Sodom and Gomorrah. Spicy language not necessary.

It is true that large populations in Africa are at risk of contracting the AIDS virus, but that is a direct result of a cultural standard of infidelity in marriage. Thanks to President George W Bush, many in Africa are being educated as to what kills people, and are now receiving treatment for that social disease.

How do all these alarmist claims originate? Most alarming, gloom and doom claims are the product of the same set of people that brought forward the last round of alarming predictions. Most famous is Paul Ehrlich, author of the 1968 book, Population Bomb, where he forecast billions of people in famine by 1980 because of the increase on world population, and the shrinking of the earth’s resources.

None of his predictions even came close to being true, and he has tried the same crap again, and again. His notable fans include Dr John Holdren, co-author with Ehrlich, and personal science adviser to Barack Obama. You will note that crazy people hang together.

www.cartoonsbyjosh.com
http://www.cartoonsbyjosh.com

It is no wonder that the American people are viewing so-called climate change with a jaundiced eye. The reason is that none of the well publicized increases in long term global average temperatures, extreme weather, or other signature global warming events have ever come to pass. There is not only no evidence of extreme weather events due to global warming, but the evidence NOAA has refutes that claim, altogether.

You can’t fool all the people all the time. However, Paul R Erhlich and others of his ilk also believe that if you tell a lie often enough, people will believe it.

Not only are these predictions of doom, gloom, and boom false, they are the product of a political scam. Who will benefit, you might ask. The politicians, socialists, and people who want to ruin your life are the first ones in line to nationalize you retirements savings, your bank accounts, and your thoughts.

All this stuff is a scientific and political scam.

Extreme Weather Is Horse Feathers!

I could have said something else, but lest you didn’t get the message, extreme weather events are not getting more numerous do to climate change, or any other change. Most people don’t like technical subjects like this, and that’s why they believe the politicians and news media that we, humans, are causing the weather to get worse. We can change local climates, but the hypothesis that weather is getting more extreme is easily falsifiable.

Here are the facts:

  • There is no discernible trend in the number of strong tornadoes in the continental US over the last half-century.
  • There is no discernible trend in the number of hurricanes in the last century. Yep. Katrina was a big one, but there have been very few hurricanes since.

Here are a couple of graphs drawn with data from NOAA that demonstrate that there is no increase in either of these extreme weather events.

Tornado Activity
Tornado Activity
Hurricane History
Hurricane History

There are no trends no matter what the media says, and there is no scientific consensus for that hypothesis.

 

Who Pays For Scientific Research?

Every day we read news releases about new scientific developments, and about how the current administration is entranced with protecting the climate, and pushing “green” technology and jobs. The problem is that many of the news releases are just that, news releases meant for publicity and do not herald the great break-through they promise. You can know this by making a note of these extraordinary pieces of scientific news, and by consulting your notes six to twelve months after the news release. If you do a Google search you will learn that a significant portion of those announcements did not mature into their promise.

This is not unusual. Scientists, universities, foundations, and government officials who have approved massive funding for some of these projects are under pressure to produce, so they put the pressure on the institution that got the funding. From there, the scientists are pushed to announce something. Of course, these scientists are basically dishonest in the first place, and would do anything to keep getting government grant money for their nefarious and various projects. They have to make a living, too.

The Federal Government funds the lion’s share of scientific research. The following graph shows the Federal funding for research in fiscal years 1995 – 2011.

File:U.S. research funding.png

As you can see, the spending on research in 2011 was about $60 Billion. That spending includes Defense, NASA, National Science Foundation, and about a dozen other departments and offices of the United States Government. Most of these offices dispense these funds to other institutions like universities and think tanks in addition to funding internal programs.

The Federal Government supports a huge amount of university scientific research in this country. In 2009, that amounted to the Federal Government supporting about $33 billion of universities’ total annual R&D spending of $55 billion. As you can quickly calculate, this is sixty percent of the research done at our universities.  About seventy percent of science and engineering graduate students are funded by these Federal funds. This is an important fact.

President Obama’s proposed 2011 budget included $2.56 Billion for climate research. Since the science of global warming and climate change is settled (according to a large number of people in the research business), why does the Federal Government continue to spend billions of dollars in this field. Could it be that they still don’t know what is going on?

If you are a cynical character such as I, you will consider the facts as outlined. Climate scientists education are paid by the Federal Government. Climate scientists swear that global warming is a threat to society if we don’t do something about it. The Federal Government says it can do something about global warming by establishing carbon taxes and strangling the US economy by implementing inefficient energy sources, i.e., wind power and solar power. The Federal Government pays for climate science PhD’s education, and it gets the research it demands from the academic community. University programs cannot exist without Federal funding, and the Government cannot implement a carbon tax without the questionable climate research being done.

There is a symbiotic relationship between the university system and the Federal Government. This relationship results in an insidious culture with corrupt science, money, and the power.

I would be overjoyed for someone to tell me how government funding of science can have any good result. The fact is that the government simply cannot manage an economy, much less the broad and complex world of science. Do you remember Solyndra?

The citizens and taxpayers of the United States pay for all this research. Some of it is over the top. Some is useless. When the Federal Government funds academics, things are unavoidably political, and science becomes a charade that makes losers of us all.