CROSS: Solar Stupidity

Solar power is pretty awesome — when its use is determined by free minds in a free-market.

However…

Why The Solar Roadway Is A Terrible Idea

COST

Solar Roadways seem to take the problem of generating solar power, and put it into conditions that maximize cost.

[...]

I may have missed a few points. Read this.

Those solar-panel-covered shade structures that are popping up in church parking lots all over Tucson are looking smarter by the minute. The solar panels are mass-produced in China for a couple dollars a watt, and the structures are simple cantilevered steel I-beam ramadas. No fancy computers are needed, no worries about damage from tires, no hacking into can happen, and they are not blocked by pedestrians, cars, trees or buses.

Save your $5 for a good cause.

Under capitalism, in the “long run”, it is the rational decisions that eventually win. If people wish to put their own money into making roads solar, that is their right. Not a smart choice given the present context; but their choice none the less.

The Myth of the Climate Change ’97%’ x

Write Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer in WSJ.com:

[T]he assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is a man-made, urgent problem is a fiction. The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research.

[...] Another widely cited source for the consensus view is a 2009 article in “Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union” by Maggie Kendall Zimmerman, a student at the University of Illinois, and her master’s thesis adviser Peter Doran.

It reported the results of a two-question online survey of selected scientists. Mr. Doran and Ms. Zimmerman claimed “97 percent of climate scientists agree” that global temperatures have risen and that humans are a significant contributing factor.

The survey’s questions don’t reveal much of interest. Most scientists who are skeptical of catastrophic global warming nevertheless would answer “yes” to both questions. The survey was silent on whether the human impact is large enough to constitute a problem. Nor did it include solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists or astronomers, who are the scientists most likely to be aware of natural causes of climate change.

[...] In 2013, John Cook, an Australia-based blogger, and some of his friends reviewed abstracts of peer-reviewed papers published from 1991 to 2011. Mr. Cook reported that 97% of those who stated a position explicitly or implicitly suggest that human activity is responsible for some warming. His findings were published in Environmental Research Letters.

Mr. Cook’s work was quickly debunked. In Science and Education in August 2013, for example, David R. Legates (a professor of geography at the University of Delaware and former director of its Center for Climatic Research) and three coauthors reviewed the same papers as did Mr. Cook and found “only 41 papers—0.3 percent of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0 percent of the 4,014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1 percent—had been found to endorse” the claim that human activity is causing most of the current warming. Elsewhere, climate scientists including Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir J. Shaviv and Nils-Axel Morner, whose research questions the alleged consensus, protested that Mr. Cook ignored or misrepresented their work.

[...] Surveys of meteorologists repeatedly find a majority oppose the alleged consensus. Only 39.5% of 1,854 American Meteorological Society members who responded to a survey in 2012 said man-made global warming is dangerous.

Read the rest of The Myth of the Climate Change ’97%’

Portrait of a “Catastrophic Global Warming” Sceptic

Paul Mulshine at the Star Ledger on Freeman Dyson:

Freeman Dyson is a physicist who has been teaching at the Institute for Advanced Study  in Princeton since Albert Einstein was there. When Einstein died in 1955, there was an opening for the title of “most brilliant physicist on the planet.” Dyson has filled it.

[...]  in the late 1970s, he got involved with early research on climate change at the Institute for Energy Analysis in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

That research, which involved scientists from many disciplines, was based on experimentation. The scientists studied such questions as how atmospheric carbon dioxide interacts with plant life and the role of clouds in warming.

But that approach lost out to the computer-modeling approach favored by climate scientists. And that approach was flawed from the beginning, Dyson said.

“I just think they don’t understand the climate,” he said of climatologists. “Their computer models are full of fudge factors.”

[...]

Dyson said his skepticism about those computer models was borne out by recent reports of a study by Ed Hawkins of the University of Reading in Great Britain that showed global temperatures were flat between 2000 and 2010 — even though we humans poured record amounts of CO-2 into the atmosphere during that decade.

That was vindication for a man who was termed “a civil heretic” in a New York Times Magazine article  on his contrarian views. Dyson embraces that label, with its implication that what he opposes is a religious movement. So does his fellow Princeton physicist and fellow skeptic, William Happer.

“There are people who just need a cause that’s bigger than themselves,” said Happer. “Then they can feel virtuous and say other people are not virtuous.

To show how uncivil this crowd can get, Happer e-mailed me an article about an Australian professor who proposes — quite seriously — the death penalty for heretics such as Dyson. As did Galileo, they can get a reprieve if they recant.

[...]

In fact, there’s more solid evidence for the beneficial effects of CO-2 than the negative effects, he said. So why does the public hear only one side of this debate? Because the media do an awful job of reporting it.

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The problem, said Dyson, is that the consensus is based on those computer models. Computers are great for analyzing what happened in the past, he said, but not so good at figuring out what will happen in the future. But a lot of scientists have built their careers on them. Hence the hatred for dissenters. [Climatologists are no Einsteins, says his successor | NJ.com]

 

 

 
 

 

“Big Bang” Confirmed

Assistant Professor Chao-Lin Kuo surprises Professor Andrei Linde with evidence that supports cosmic inflation theory. The discovery, made by Kuo and his colleagues at the BICEP2 experiment, represents the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the “first tremors of the Big Bang.”

Warming Predictions vs Real World Science: Who is the Flat Earther?

Write Richard McNider and John Christy at WSJ.com:

…who are the Flat Earthers, and who is ignoring the scientific facts? In ancient times, the notion of a flat Earth was the scientific consensus, and it was only a minority who dared question this belief. We are among today’s scientists who are skeptical about the so-called consensus on climate change. Does that make us modern-day Flat Earthers, as Mr. Kerry suggests, or are we among those who defy the prevailing wisdom to declare that the world is round?

Most of us who are skeptical about the dangers of climate change actually embrace many of the facts that people like Bill Nye, the ubiquitous TV “science guy,” say we ignore. The two fundamental facts are that carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere have increased due to the burning of fossil fuels, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a greenhouse gas, trapping heat before it can escape into space.

What is not a known fact is by how much the Earth’s atmosphere will warm in response to this added carbon dioxide. The warming numbers most commonly advanced are created by climate computer models built almost entirely by scientists who believe in catastrophic global warming. The rate of warming forecast by these models depends on many assumptions and engineering to replicate a complex world in tractable terms, such as how water vapor and clouds will react to the direct heat added by carbon dioxide or the rate of heat uptake, or absorption, by the oceans.

We might forgive these modelers if their forecasts had not been so consistently and spectacularly wrong.

Read the rest of Why Kerry Is Flat Wrong on Climate Change.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is Not a Scientific Organization But a Political Lobbying Group

John McLean, author of three peer-reviewed papers on climate and an expert reviewer for the latest IPCC report elaborates on how a Lack of accountability clouding the climate change debate.

He explains how the “world’s so-called authority on climate change engages in exaggerated science and has become a political tool.”

 

The [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's] charter from the outset has been ”to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation”.

The IPCC’s focus is therefore very specific – any human influence on climate. It has no mandate to examine other causes of climate change. IPCC assessment reports claim that the human influence is significant but look closely and we find the claims are based on the output of climate models that the IPCC admits are seriously flawed, that the IPCC often asserts a level of certainty that the data cannot sustain and that as ”Climategate” showed us, a clique of scientists has in the past sought to control the material cited by these reports.

What starts out being a scientific report becomes a political instrument because after a hard-core group of IPCC supporters draft the Summary for Policymakers, government representatives discuss, negotiate and eventually agree on the wording of each sentence. The scientific component of the report is then modified to better align it with the thinking of government representatives.

If the IPCC reports were accepted for exactly what they are – exaggerated science with a large dollop of politics – this would be the end of the matter. Unfortunately, various bodies actively encourage us to believe the reports are entirely scientific, accurate and completely authoritative on all climate matters, this despite the IPCC’s charter and the political interference.

Foremost among those who imply that the IPCC has a wider remit than it does is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). At its inaugural meeting in 1992 the UNFCCC declared that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 were causing significant and dangerous climate change. This statement had no factual basis. [...]

The UNFCCC’s deceit continues via its annual conferences that try to pressure countries into reducing carbon dioxide emissions despite the absence of any clear evidence that warrants such action.

He then goes on how various government bodies (i.e., Department of Climate Change the now-privatised Climate Commission), environmental “green” organisations (Greenpeace and WWF), sustainable energy industry, and scientists  (whose “income and reputation rest on the IPCC’s position”) have vested interests to endorse and “push the IPCC view, implying it’s the ultimate authority on climate matters.”

The reality is that the IPCC is in effect little more than a UN-sponsored lobby group, created specifically to investigate and push the ”man-made warming” line. With no similar organisations to examine other potential causes of climate change, it’s only the IPCC voice that is heard. But the IPCC’s voice isn’t heard in context and with all the necessary caveats; it’s distorted via the UNFCCC and others who imply that the IPCC is the sole scientific authority on climate matters.

Of course those with vested interest support it, which include governments, politicians, government bodies, ”green” groups and many scientists. Ultimately it’s the unquestioning media, or perhaps a media unwilling to admit that the UN and its agencies might be dishonest or wrong, that misleads the public into believing the IPCC is something it’s not.

Read the full article: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/lack-of-accountability-clouding-the-climate-change-debate-20140102-307ja.html#ixzz2pZDoQ0f5

Three Ways Climate Scientologists Abuse Science

Writes Alex Epstein at Forbes:

“Science” is perhaps the most abused word in the English language.

The word used to name the method of Galileo, Newton, and Einstein has also been used to rationalize some of the most destructive political policies in human history, such as socialism and population control. The Nazis invoked the once-renowned “science” of eugenics to justify a Holocaust of “scientifically inferior” races.

How do we protect ourselves against such abuses of science? By knowing the one key difference between real scientists and science abusers. Science abusers treat science as an infallible authority to be blindly obeyed by the public. Real scientists treat science as a method to be carefully explained to the public.

By this standard, today’s vaunted “climate science consensus”—that it’s been scientifically proven that we need to dismantle the fossil fuel industry, the economic engine of the world—is more Scientology than science.

Here are three ways the Climate Scientologists abuse science.

1.They use manipulative language

If you are ever asked the incoherent question “Do you deny climate change?” you have found yourself a Climate Scientologist.

No one denies “climate change.” “Climate change” is a constant. The “climate,” which is an averaging of weather over long timespan, is an inherently changing phenomenon. There’s no “climate non-change.”

Don’t tell me “Oh, we all know what we mean by climate change”–because I don’t, and neither do you.

“Climate change” is a manipulative, rubber term used to mean anything from “the climate changes” (which everyone agrees with) to “we impact the climate at least a tiny amount” (which everyone agrees with) to “we impact the climate for the better” (yes, that’s possible) to “we are making the climate much more dangerous” (which much fewer people agree with) to “we are making the climate much more dangerous and the only response is to stop using fossil fuels but also incoherently oppose nuclear power and hydroelectric power while advocating the worst-performing energy technologies, solar and wind.”

Climate Scientologists are usually advocates of the last, bizarre position. Since they can’t argue for that view honestly and directly, they dishonestly name their view “climate change.” That’s the equivalent of a eugenics advocate calling his view “evolution.” Which is, in fact, exactly what eugenics advocates did. And just as we needed more thinkers back then, so we need more Climate Thinkers today.

Read the rest of The Church Of Climate Scientology: How Climate Science Became A Religion at Forbes.

How Energy Is Used In America

Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) has published flow charts (also referred to as “Sankey Diagrams”) of energy use. This allows energy to be “visualized as it flows from resources (Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, etc.), through transformations (electricity generation) to end uses (Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Transportation).”

Walter Hickey over at Business Insider makes a few poignant observations:

  • Renewables — Hydro, geothermal, wind and solar — are still absurdly tiny in the grand scheme of things, despite significant investment and recent growth. 
  • The amount of rejected energy — that’s energy lost in transportation — should make every American wince. It’s just shocking how much energy is lost due to grid inefficiencies, heat waste, and exhaust. 
  • Petroleum runs cars and industry, but nowhere near as much electrical generation as one might expect. 
  • Natural Gas use has grown, driven almost entirely by use in electrical generation. Coal use has demonstrably shrunk. 
  • Nuclear power declined since 2011, which is disappointing due to how inexpensive it is.
Also of interest are “Carbon Flows”:
2012_US_Carbon