Science Becoming Religion
Those who are criticizing conversion of corn and soybeans to fuel have a good point. Diverting food crops to fuel doesn't do much to increase energy resources, even though it reduces food supplies.Corn and soybeans have been bred for eating to provide energy for animals. Corn and soybeans cannot be efficiently converted to fuel. Too small a portion of the plants can actually be used to produce ethanol. Using wind energy for ethanol plant operation provides a greater net energy yield, but not enough to really increase energy resources.Technology to convert corn stalks and soybean leaves to ethanol would improve the yield, but such technology would eliminate the need to use corn and soybeans. Waste paper and tree trimmings could be used without diverting food crops to fuel.Currently algae provide a much more productive source of biofuels. Glen Kertz president and CEO of Valcent Products says that algae can produce 100,000 gallons of oil per acre compared to 30 gallons of oil from corn and 50 gallons per acre from soybeans. Unfortunately, ignorant politicians think that the carbon dioxide that "fertilizes" algae is a pollutant that should be prohibited. Algae production facilities connected to coal fired power plants can increase the amount of energy produced from the same amount of coal without reducing food supplies.
The people who want to sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) don't understand the biosphere. Carbon and oxygen are two of the most important elements for biological life. 65% of the human body is oxygen and 18.5% is carbon. Plants are carbon structures with the percentage of carbon varying according to the type of plant.The CO2 oxygen cycle is critical to the functioning of the biosphere. Animals exhale CO2 which plants then use to produce the molecules such as sugars and starches that animals use for food. Plants release oxygen into the air which animals inhale and combine with the carbon compounds to grow or perform various body functions.CO2 is a major source of that carbon that provides the structure for plants. Absorbing CO2 through the leaves allows plants to use their roots for water and minor nutrients, particularly during the initial growth when they don't have extensive root systems. Some plants grow better as the amount of CO2 in the air increases. Some greenhouses use CO2 enrichment equipment to add CO2 to improve plant growth.Humans are already removing large amounts of carbon from the environment through such actions as construction of wooden buildings and making paper. Much paper and plant wastes are buried in landfills making the carbon unavailable to become part of plants.The combustion of fossil carbon fuels offsets the removal of carbon from the environment and increases the planet's ability to grow more plants. Adding carbon to the ground to replace carbon in harvested plants isn't as practical as adding carbon to the air in the form of CO2.Plants are normally thought of in terms of their biological function, but they have an inportant physics function. Plants are the original solar energy storage devices. Globally plants convert huge amounts of solar radiation into the chemical bonds of complex carbon molecules. This process reduces the amount of solar energy converted to heat energy.The molecules plants produce can be extremely long lived. If fossil fuels are ancient plant wastes as is commonly believed, the combustion of fossil fuels releases solar energy stored millions of years ago.Each CO2 molecule contains 2 oxygen atoms which are essential to animal life because animals breathe oxygen. Burying oxygen would reduce the amount available for humans to breathe and adversely affect human health.A better way to "get rid" of CO2 would be to encourage plant growth to return the oxygen to the air humans breathe. For example, power plants that produce CO2 could have attached greenhouses to recycle the CO2 into oxygen for humans to breathe and plants to convert to food or fuel. Kansas should encourage construction of the power plants Sunflower Electric has proposed rather than attempt to prevent construction.
Kansas Governor Kathleen Gilligan Sebelius has something more in common with the title character of "Gilligan's Island" than just her maiden name.The Professor on "Gilligan's Island" used his intelligence and knowledge to find ways to get the castaways off the island. Then, Gilligan would inevitably and inadvertantly sabotage the Professor's plan.Isaac Berzin may not be employed as a professor but he does have the academic qualification of a Ph. D. Dr. Berzin has developed a technology that allows coal powered electric plants to not only produce electricity but produce additional fuel. Incidentally,.Bob Metcalfe the codeveloper of the Ethernet is the interim CEO of the the company Berzin founded.http://web.mit.edu/erc/spotlights/alg-all.htmlFor someone like Gilligan carbon dioxide might be a pollutant. Berzin recognizes that CO2 is one of the raw materials used by the original solar energy devices such as algae to convert solar energy into the chemical bonds that bind carbon atoms to other atoms. According to Glen Kertz of Valcent Products algae can produce 100,000 galloms of oil per acre compared to 30 gallons of oil from corn and 50 gallons from soybeans. http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/04/01/algae.oil/Sunflower Electric's proposed power plant would use coal to provide electricity while producing the raw material that Dr. Berzin's technology would use to convert the abundant sunshine of the state "where the skies are not cloudy all day" into usable energy. The sun is our primary source of energy. Algae are very efficient solar energy storage devices. In nuclear energy a facility which produces nuclear fuel in addition to using it is called a breeder reactor. The Sunflower facility is the carbon fuel equivalent of a breeder reactor. Governor Sebelius claims to support the concept of renewable energy. So why does she oppose the renewable energy facilities Sunflower wants to construct? Could it be that she and the legislators who agree with her are no smarter than Gilligan?
Some people seem to believe that anyone who studies some physical phenomenon is a scientist and that anything a "scientist" says is to be accepted as if the "scientist" were a priest. J. Robert Oppenheimer once remarked "There must be no barriers for freedom of inquiry. There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors" Empirical scientists use repeated observations and experimentation to study physical phenomena. Scientists attempt to provide approximate explanations for phenomena. Exact explanations may not be possible, that is unless someone can come up with the holy grail of physics the Unified Field Theorem.. A real scientist would produce experimental evidence to support a claim that CO2 could cause temperature increases instead of claiming that historical data can be interpreted to imply CO2 affects temperature. When dealing with complex situations real scientists set up experiments in which all but one factor is controlled so they can determine the effect of that factor. Real scientists don't expect to have their explanations automatically accepted. They expect to have to prove what they say is valid by conducting experiments and providing evidence. They accept the existence of physical "laws" which control and limit physical phenomena. They accept concepts like those in quantum physics, even if they don't seem to make sense, if there is evidence that they do. Niels Bohr "And anyone who thinks they can talk about quantum theory without feeling dizzy hasn't yet understood the first thing about it." Some climatologists aren't acting like empirical scientists. For example, they claim the existence of things like greenhouse gases that are not consistent with established physics such as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Religious figures sometimes claim that physical laws can be ignored, but they typically suggest that a deity can perform supernatural feats. Scientists recognize that concepts come and go. Physicists have been debating whether light is a wave or a particle for two centuries. Each side has dominated at one time or another. They may think that those who disagree with them are misguided, but they don't call the members of the other side names like "denier" or "contrarian" like the believers in greenhouse gases do. These people who use such terms use them in the same manner religious figures use the terms 'heretic" and "infidel". The greenhouse gas believers believe that consensus is more important than evidence. Real scientists recognize that everyone can be wrong as 19th Century scientists were when they believed that atoms were the smallest particles of matter . Scientists don't vote on which explanation is the best. They develop evidence through experimentation and observation. Real scientists recognize that mathematical explanations are often complex and that throwing a bunch of numbers together and averaging them isn't likely to produce any meaningful result. Greenhouse gas believers think they can average global temperatures and get an exact explanation of the climate of every place on earth. The climatologists who claim to believe in greenhouse gases do not behave like scientists and thus are not scientists. A real scientist wouldn't provide vague explanations like "global warming is going to cause this or that". A real scientist would give specific explanations for climate in each area of the globe. The greenhouse gas believers use the term "global warming" as if it were some type of deity. If the weather is colder or warmer than usual the answer is the same "global warming did it."
Many climatologists misunderstand the theoretical physics concept of a black body model. They falsely believe that earth must radiate most of the energy it receives back into space.The black body model is a theoretical concept that can only be approximted in a lab by examining what is called "cavity radiation". It isn't a practical concept for climatology.A planetary black body, if one existed, would absorb all radiation received, become hotter and then convert the heat energy back into radiation.Substances are black if they absorb all radiation. White substances reflect all radiation. Transparent substances allow radiation to pass through. Substances that are transparent or reflective don't radiate well.A black body concept is a simple linear model that only looks at radiation and heat. A linear model can be represented by a relatively simple equation. Non-linear models require complicated equations that may be difficult to solve. Chaotic models may be difficult to represent with equations.For planetary objects the model can only apply to solids in a vacuum and to be fully applicable the solid cannot be reflective. The model cannot apply to planets with a transparent atmosphere because such planets are non-linear. Planets that also have liquid oceans especially a water ocean, are too chaotic to function as black bodies.For a planet with a transparent atmosphere the solid will still heat up after absorbing radiation, but a portion of the heat is transferred to the atmosphere through conduction. The heated air then rises drawing in colder air which is also heated. As the heated air rises the heat energy is converted to potential energy rather than radiation.Water is transparent to light which means it doesn't radiate very well. Water loses heat through conduction and evaporation instead. Conduction heats the air. Evaporation carries heat energy into the atmosphere as latent heat rather than by raising the temperature of the air or by converting heat to radiation.Earth's biosphere further prevents earth from being a black body. From a thermodynamics standpoint, plants are solar energy storage devices. They convert solar energy into the electron bonds that hold complex carbon molecules together. When animals eat plants they store part of the energy as body parts and convert some of the energy into heat part of which may be transferred to the atmosphere through evaporation of water on the skin or exhaling water vapor. Fossil fuels are believed to be plant parts that weren't eaten and continued to store solar energy.A planetary black body is a simple energy in energy out system. Earth's energy utilization system is far too complex for earth to function as a black body. The above discussion is an oversimplification of that energy utilization system.
The U.S.Environmental Protection Agency needs to adopt regulations for human emissions of dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO). Last year the Supreme Court ruled last year that carbon dioxide (CO2) qualifies as a pollutant subject to government regulation under existing pollution control laws. The gaseous form of DHMO can produce more adverse effects than CO2. Some people refer to DHMO as dihydrogen oxide.Humans add DHMO to the air through various activities including combustion of hydrogen containing fuels such as natural gas and petroleum based fuels.The only alleged adverse affect of CO2 is that it supposedly causes increased atmospheric temperatures through a process that some physicists say doesn't exist. Some climatologists claim that CO2 causes adverse warming by trapping infrared radiation even though physicist R.W. Wood demonstrated in 1909 that trapping IR doesn't cause greenhouses to be warmer.DHMO is said to be more effective at trapping IR under the process that greenhouse gas believers claim is causing global warming which means it should qualify as a pollutant under the same criteria as CO2. DNMO comprises 2-4% of the atmosphere, but CO2 is less than 0.04% DHMO can cause climate changes even if the greenhouse gas warming process doesn't exist.One gram of the gaseous form of DHMO can melt almost 7 grams of ice which means adding DHMO to the air can increase the melting of glaciers and the polar ice caps. The same thermal characteristics that allow DHMO to melt ice allow it to prevent temperatures from dropping below a threshold. Scientists have long known that increasing the amount of DHMO in the atmosphere can keep the low temperature above freezing which can increase the melting of ice and prevent it from refreezing.The severity of flooding and hurricanes depends upon the amount of DHMO in the atmosphere. Severity of both increases with increases in the amount of atmospheric DHMO. Obviously, human DHMO emissions can increase the severity of floods and hurricanes and the EPA should regulate such emissions.DHMO can corrode metal and damage wood products among other adverse environmental effects. DHMO can adversely affect human health.Some people might argue that DHMO cannot be a pollutant because it occurs naturally in the atmosphere. The Supreme Court didn't find that claim important regarding CO2. Various natural processes put CO2 into the atmosphere including venting from the oceans and volcanoes. According to the Court's ruling in Massachusetts et. al. v. Environmental Protection Agency the law is so broad that it allows regulation of any chemical released into the atmosphere. DHMO qualifies as a chemical for the same reasons CO2 does.Plants need DHMO, but they also need CO2. Some greenhouses deliberately increase the amount of CO2 in the air to increase plant growth. The Supreme Court didn't consider the need plants have for CO2 to justify exempting it from government efforts to force the atmosphere to adhere to human law precisely regulating its content.For a further discussion of DHMO and its affect on temperature see my previous post on the subject.
Reporting on the issue of "global warming" demonstrates that often the only difference between reporters and prostitutes is that prostitutes understand what type business they are in. Many reporters are allowing themselves to be used by politicians and others to con the viewers and readers the reporters are supposed to be serving.30 years ago as a graduate student I took some journalism courses. At that time reporters were encouraged to get more than one opinion on issues and to avoid taking sides by reporting allegations as facts. A phrase like "according to" some source should precede or follow whatever claim the source is making.Many reporters willingly repeat the allegation that "greenhouse gases are causing global warming" as if it were an accepted fact instead of a subject of controversy. News stories will state that "CO2 causes global warming" without presenting any evidence to support the allegation. Those who support this hypothesis cannot provide evidence because the process doesn't exist.The situation is occurring in spite of the fact that it is easier for reporters to find alternate opinions than it was 30 years ago. In the 70's reporters had to contact other news sources and ask for other opinions. Today reporters can use internet search engines to find quotes from other sources, including experts who aren't well known, with just a few mouse clicks.Good reporters should be skeptical of their sources and recognize that people who willingly talk to reporters are usually attempting to gain acceptance for their points of view. Such sources may get away with misrepresenting the facts when reporters don't bother to check the validity of statements. Reporters who don't understand the issues they are reporting on are particularly vulnerable.Why should reporters who don't understand science be skeptical of the claims about "greenhouse gases causing global warming"?First, those making the claim admit that average temperatures only increased by 1 F (0.5C) (about 0.17%) during the entire 20th Century. Average temperatures can vary by more than that from one day to the next or from a shady area to a sunny area only a few feet apart.In an era when even priests and preachers can be crooks, there is no reason to assume scientists will tell the truth.Those scientists who believe in global warming sometimes claim that those who disagree are being paid to do so by oil companies, etc. If these scientists don't believe scientists as a group can be trusted to tell the truth why should reporters? Have reporters checked to see how many of those scientists who support global warming claims are being paid to do so.The scientist as con artist is an old movie plot that is based on fact. There have been recent cases of scientists being caught presenting false data to support their claims in addition to those who claim they can provide miracle cures for diseases.The claim that a minor atmospheric gas (0.036% of the atmosphere) can determine air temperatures sounds too much like magic to be taken at face value.Statements by global warming claimants about punishing those who disagree with them should raise a red flag with any real journalist who supports freedom of speech. Such statements made by individuals in authority positions can indicate fear that someone will find out they are wrong. Scientists who believe they are correct welcome challenges.If the idea of "global warming" is valid why do those who support it feel they have to exaggerate everything. Many of their claims sound too much like the traditional Hollywood disaster movie plot to be believable, particularly the claims of the great exaggerator, Al Gore.Journalists have criticized the U.S. military for "planting" stories about the Iraq conflict. NASA's Gavin Schmidt has been running an ostensibly private website supporting NASA's claims about global warming for some time. If the claim about global warming is valid, why does the government need to set up a propaganda site to plant information supporting the claim?S.. Fred Singer who was the first director of the National Weather Satellite Service has questioned claims about global warming for years. John Coleman who founded the Weather Channel recently called the global warming claim the greatest scam in history, but reporters ignore him because they have already made up their minds and aren't interested in facts. How many of those who call themselves journalists have bothered to check with these well known experts?Real journalists report both sides of controversial issues. Propagandists only present one side.Perhaps it is unfair to compare reporters to prostitutes. Prostitutes are professionals who are provide their services to those who pay them. Reporters who present only one side of an issue don't serve the people who pay them.
The evidence that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions won't cause an environmental calamity by raising temperatures continues to mount. Hungarian scientist Ferenc Miskolczi has discovered the greenhouse gas equation Arthur Milne developed in 1922, and is being used today by those who believe CO2 can cause "global warming", contains a serious flaw. Milne mistakenly solved the differential equation involved by assuming an infinitely thick atmosphere. Miskolczi was working for NASA at the time he discovered the flaw in Milne's equation and NASA suppressed his report which contradicted NASA's claims. That's right readers, presidents and foreign policy agencies like the Department of Defense and the CIA aren't the only federal agencies that suppress views that contradict the official department/agency position.Miskolczi resigned in protest, stating in his resignation letter, "Unfortunately my working relationship with my NASA supervisors eroded to a level that I am not able to tolerate. My idea of the freedom of science cannot coexist with the recent NASA practice of handling new climate change related scientific results."http://www.dailytech.com/Researcher%20Basic%20Greenhouse%20Equations%20Totally%20Wrong/article10973.htmMiskolczi rewrote the equations and the modified equations don't indicate a runaway greenhouse effect. His equations indicate a limit to any greenhouse effect. Thus even if there is a greenhouse effect it cannot do what the Rev. Al Gore of the Church of Global Warming claims it will do. http://images.dailytech.com/nimage/7493_large_miskolczi_03.JPGI haven't studied differential equations for a few decades, but I do remember that guessing at values for variables is sometimes used to solve differential equations because of their complexity. However, there are two values that should never be used, infinity and zero. These two numbers have special mathematical properties that make them unsuitable for this purpose. For example, you may remember learning that division by zero is impossible. However, there is one special case in which division by zero is possible, zero divided by zero. The test to determine if division is correct is multiplication. Zero multiplied by any other number is zero so zero divided by zero can be any number.In the real world it might be possible to have a zero amount of any commodity, but not an infinite amount. An infinitely thick atmosphere would also be infinitely massive, i.e. a super black hole. In an infinitely thick atmosphere it wouldn't make any difference what the gases were because the gravitational attraction would be so high that radiation would be unable to escape. Incidentally, when making temperature calculations the Kelvin scale should be used instead of the Celsius or Fahrenheit scales because both have arbitrarily chosen zero points. In fairness to Milne, his research dealt with stellar atmospheres rather than planetary atmospheres. Milne unsuccessfully attempted to develop a competing theory to Einstein's Theory of Relativity. If there are any negatives to CO2 emissions from the proposed electric plants in Holcomb, Kansas, increased temperature isn't one of them regardless of what our dopey Governor Kathleen Gilligan Sebelius believes. CO2 is essential for biological life because plants require it. For many plants adding CO2 is like adding fertilizer because higher CO2 levels improve their growth.
The idea that greenhouses stayed warm by trapping infrared radiation (IR) was popular among 19th physicists who also believed that atoms were the smallest particles of matter. Physicist R.W. Wood, who invented IR photography, decided to test that hypothesis in 1909 and discovered that trapping radiation was not a factor. Instead greenhouses stayed warm by preventing heated air from escaping. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_W..."There appears to be a widespread belief that the comparatively high temperature produced within a closed space covered with glass, exposed to solar radiation, results from a transformation of wave-length, that is, that the heat waves from the Sun, which are able to penetrate the glass, fall upon the walls of the enclosure and raise its temperature: the heat energy is re-emitted by the walls in the form of much longer waves, which are unable to penetrate the glass, the greenhouse acting as a radiation trap.""I have always felt some doubt as to whether this action played any very large part in the elevation of temperature. It appeared much more probable that the part played by the glass was the prevention of the escape of the warm air heated by the ground within the enclosure. If we open the doors of a greenhouse on a cold windy day, the trapping of radiation appears to lose much of its efficacy. As a matter of fact I am of the opinion that a greenhouse made of a glass transparent to waves of every possible length would show a temperature nearly, if not quite, as high as that observed in a glass house. The transparent screen allows the solar radiation to warm the ground, and the ground in turn warms the air, but only the limited amount within the enclosure. In the 'open', the ground is continually brought into contact with cold air by convection currents.""To test the matter I constructed two enclosures of dead black cardboard, one covered with a glass plate, the other with a plate of rock-salt of equal thickness. The bulb of a thermometer was inserted in each enclosure and the whole packed in cotton, with the exception of the transparent plates which were exposed. When exposed to sunlight the temperature rose gradually to 65 C, the enclosure covered with the salt plate keeping a little ahead of the other, owing to the fact that transmitted the longer waves from the Sun, which were stopped by the glass. In order to eliminate this action the sunlight was first passed through a glass plate.""There was now scarcely a difference of one degree between the temperatures of the two enclosures. The maximum temperature reached was about 55 C. From what we know about the distribution of energy in the spectrum of the radiation emitted by a body at 55 C, it is clear that the rock-salt plate is capable of transmitting practically all of it,while the glass plate stops it entirely. This shows us that the loss of temperature of the ground by radiation is very small in comparison to the loss by convection. in other words that we gain very little from the circumstance that the radiation is trapped.""Is it therefore necessary to pay attention to trapped radiation in deducing the temperature of a planet as affected by its atmosphere? The solar rays penetrate the atmosphere. warm the ground which in turn warms the atmosphere by contact and by convection currents. The heat received is thus stored up in the atmosphere, remaining there on account of the very low radiating power of a gas. It seems to me very doubtful if the atmosphere is warmed to any great extent by absorbing the radiation from the ground even under the most favorable conditions."Originally published in the Philosophical magazine , 1909, vol 17, p319-320. http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/wood_rw.1909.htmlIf greenhouses don't heat up by trapping IR than neither does the atmosphere and changing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere won't affect its temperature. Thus the CO2 produced by coal powered electric plants will not increase temperatures. In fact, by blocking incoming solar IR, CO2 might reduce solar warming of ground and water.
he Bush administration is once again forced to deal with a government agency planting information in the media. Two years ago the Bush administration got into trouble when reporters discovered that the Pentagon had been planting stories in Iraqi newspapers and even paying Iraqi reporters. More recently FEMA conducted a "news conference"in which the questioners were actually FEMA employees. Steve McIntyre is reporting on Climate Audit that NASA has been using one of its employees in apparent violation of NASA regulations to operate an ostensibly private web site promoting NASA's claims about an alleged "global warming" threat.http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2536The employee, Gavin Schmidt, claims to be operating the web site RealClimate on his own, but NASA provides him the income that allows him to do so.Schmidt is described as a climate modeler which is NASA's term for the glorified fortune tellers who claim they can predict what will happen in the distant future even if they cannot predict what will happen with hurricanes a few months in advance. NASA has financed studies of questionable scientific value such as one on the supposed affect of global warming on tornadoes.http://my.telegraph.co.uk/reasonmclucus/september_2007/bogus_nasa_study.htm One Florida business owner is attempting to sue those who falsely predicted an active hurricane season this past fall.Schmidt's supervisor at NASA, James Hansen, is a known advocate of the Al Gore's global warming religion. The site allows Schmidt to criticize those who question IPCC and NASA claims about climate without it being apparent that the government is behind the site. They can also use the site to criticize NASA director Michael Griffin for not accepting their alarmist claims. Democrats may have trouble taking advantage of the scandal because they support the claims of catastrophic climate change supported by Gore and Hanson.For those who don't see anything wrong with NASA's incestuous relationship with the RealClimate site, what would you say if a high ranking military officer still on the Pentagon's payroll were operating an ostensibly nongovernment site supporting the Bush administration's handling of the conflict in Iraq?