A great poem to live by.
You can take this to the bank.
–By Rose Milligan
-the old man
A great poem to live by.
You can take this to the bank.
–By Rose Milligan
-the old man
Pen and the #ArcticMission
When I lived and worked in the Eastern Arctic, one of my responsibilities was for projects on Ellesmere Island in the High Arctic. As a result, I grew to know that part of the North quite well.
Often, some poorly prepared southern celebrity ‘arrogant’ would stage some Guinness world record attempt at a run for the pole for personal fame and fortune out of Resolute. Most left broken, conquered and broke, with a new found humility for the real physics of the planet they thought they knew and understood. At the end of the day, their Science was definitely unsettled.
I confess, having regularly used the Twin Otter on Wheel/Skis on Land and Ice in summer and winter at the top of the world, I somewhat resented the narcissistic dash and dink crowd’s self-centred arm waving for attention. That was long before the days of the dreadful lowest common denominator for instant fame, aka social media of today.
So it’s with some interest because of a decade + of direct onsite understanding of the High Arctic that I’m following the adventure of Pen Hadow, Explorer Extraordinaire. He seems to be an Expert of Arctic Attempts, so I’m quite sure he understands it can turn on you in a New York minute and terrify you to your core, even if you think you are equipped for the worst you can imagine, especially in this, the beginning of the downturn shoulder season for the High Arctic.
I’ve been within a few hundred miles of the North Pole on several occasions in different seasons. I see that at this moment (2017-08-22) the #ArcticMission is about 850 miles away from the pole, and slowing in a logarithmic fashion. I would assume that is mostly because the winds are light at the moment, not that they are yet running into ice. ( I assume ‘wind’ as their main driver, because their basic published theme spins very green and ergo, anti-fossil carbon).
As I recall from the last century, even further north (of the 80th) this time of year at minimum ice, the straits were still open (in the last century), as I can recall watching the whales at sea around Ellesmere from the Twin Otter when we were heading into and around places like Grise Fiord.
Good Luck to you and your crew. I’ll leave it at that, with this observation: While FDR said there’s nothing to fear but fear itself, I would add that the real enemy is your modern ego, which is perfectly capable of vainly leading you to your date with the grim reaper without so much as a sober second thought.
Follow up: Sept 2017
Looks like the closest they got to the North Pole was 1100 Km away. They’ve turned back because of the Ice. Considering their penchant desire for attention, it seems very odd that they’ve gone silent on all their hashtags, their blog and so on. Perhaps they’ve frightened themselves at the floe’s edge. Maybe the story is not unfolding as their twitter accounts would have you assume. Time will tell. If this ‘adventure’ to save the arctic just silently disappears as we head into Ice creep season, you’ll know. For my part, I’ll just say “Told you So” unless I see that they’ve published a book that explains otherwise.
The Arctic always wins. Just ask Martin Frobisher, Captain of wooden sailing ships in search of the Northwest Passage centuries ago. You are just a guest on it’s terms. Mind your manners.
The Voyage as of August 31:
The minimum ice extent is measurably higher than it’s been since a decade ago (2007:)
-the old man
Having spent nearly two decades as an Arctic Engineer and a longtime pilot, my most cherished memories are sitting alone in the cockpit of our company plane during the depths of winter flying from Yellowknife en-route to various High Arctic destinations.
For several hours it was pure joy to be part of that magnificent Northern Lights show dancing across the windshield as it performed an endless ballet from horizon to horizon, reflecting off the low unbroken stratus cloud sheets below.
Once you have touched the hem of all that is and have come to that realisation, it permanently changes your life.
I’ve had enough of the cold for a lifetime tho, and now choose to live in the comparative warmth of Victoria. But I do miss the Arctic in the compromise.
Thx for this beautiful reminder, Maciej Winiarczyk:
-the old man
Andrew and John – Strange Bedfellows
In our History of BC in the making, I’m not sure what to make of the Coalition King Maker, Andrew Weaver. One of my Green leaning friends of UK descent worked tirelessly for the Greens and Andrew during the election, and she only had good things to say. We have had numerous discussions on relative scale and context about the whole climate change cause and effects, but our friendship supersedes all of that. Our backgrounds are very different, but we get along well. She has some valid points, as do I. We both know that we are skipping the tops of the waves in an ocean that has far more depth than we can ever comprehend or arrogantly declare certainty about outcomes.
Today I ran across this tidbit regarding the full-on pettiness of tiny mean spirited people like Michael (hockey stick) Mann who brought forward a SLAPP suit in BC’s Courts against Tim Ball. The article meandered from Ho-hum to the part where an alter ego of Andrew ‘Bob and Weave’ seems to have shown up in the middle of the same story.
Here are some setup tidbits from the article:
“In his books, articles, radio and television appearances, Dr. Ball has been resolute in his generation-long war against those who corrupted the field of science to which he had selflessly dedicated his life. Now aged 79, Ball is on the cusp of utter vindication. Despite the stresses and strains on himself and his family, Tim has stood at the forefront of those scientists demanding more openness and transparency from government-funded researchers.”
As Ball explains:
“We believe he [Mann] withheld on the basis of a US court ruling that it was all his intellectual property. This ruling was made despite the fact the US taxpayer paid for the research and the research results were used as the basis of literally earth-shattering policies on energy and environment. The problem for him is that the Canadian court holds that you cannot withhold documents that are central to your charge of defamation regardless of the US ruling.”
Then this Weaver bombshell plops off the page:
“The second defamation lawsuit involves Andrew Weaver and is scheduled for court in October 2017. We are not sure what will happen as Weaver, who was a lead author for the computer model chapter of four IPCC Reports (1995, 2001, 2007, and 2013), became a politician. He ran for and was elected leader of the British Columbia Green Party and is a sitting member of the provincial legislature. We must continue to prepare for the trial, but it is the prevailing view in the court system that if a scientist becomes a politician their scientific objectivity is compromised – it is considered the bias of a ’noble cause’.”
The Question …
So here’s my question: Will the real Andrew Weaver please stand up? Will it be the Competent Applied Mathematics nice guy his supporters thought they knew, or some overbearing narcissist of the “We’ll chase you ‘till you’re broke” SLAPP Climate Show he and Mike (USA) Mann have underway against poor old Tim Ball, the nice Canadian from Winnipeg?
The newly minted politician Weaver will have to stand up in the Legislature for all of us to evaluate. We’ll have to be watching to see who shows up: the nice guy that my friend worked so hard to elect, or the arrogant self-serving ego out to destroy anyone who might disagree or fail to fall in line.
On the other hand, John the happy new co-Premier seems to be a pragmatic guy, born of humble origins like myself, able to comfortably sit in a pub or a castle and commiserate with anyone.
I’m not so sure about the Weaver tho. Personally, I’ve found that Academic Tenure makes an otherwise reasonable soul somewhat unbearable and disconnected from the realities of the flock. I suppose tho, every rule can have exceptions.
Is it just me, or do the coalition Andrew – John crew seem to be strange bedfellows smiling and waving at us from the bridge of the shiny new government ship of state as it pulls slowly away from the dock?
And more to the point, as the old sea shanty goes, which of them is the cabin boy?
BREAKING NEWS (2018 Feb 13th, WUWT): Tim Ball’s free-speech victory over Andrew Weaver – all charges dismissed
-the old man
The Plan to Weaver a Green BC
At first blush, it pulls at your heartstrings and sounds like a thing to vote for and support. CBC, Global, the Huff along with many of my Green and social friends support the concept. Having been privileged to grow up in a very rural environment with a tiny environmental footprint, I get it from living a long time on my walkabout on this spectacular planet. Politically, the media gets that emotional part down well.
What I have noticed though, is the absence of any realistic STEM project analysis on how we get there from here, and how the wins and losses / debits and credits balance out when we do. Either the heart felt emotional supporters don’t know how to critically evaluate such a plan in engineering project terms, or they don’t care to listen to anyone who can.
So let’s do a high level back-of-the-napkin look at the physical facts for realistically getting to the Greenest Fossil Free BC aspirations under the harsh light of real world pragmatism. Let’s start with the giant sucking sound from the Airport:
Currently, Vancouver’s Airport requires over 1000 loads of supplemental fuel per month trucked across the border from BP’s Refinery in Washington State. The rest comes from Chevron’s Burnaby Refinery supplied by the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Every additional polar route flight to Asia will require another 800+/- truckloads per year.
Thus, the airport’s (ergo the City’s) growth is unsustainable even under current circumstances. The default growth plan is to import even more fuel from Washington State by tanker and run a 13 km underground pipeline through the City of Richmond. You could shut down Trans Mountain Pipeline and Burnaby Refinery, but unless you politically limit the airport’s growth, you are simply playing Fossil Fuel whack-a-mole.
The USA is more than happy to take the jobs and supply the Fossil shortfall necessary to feed the Airport’s colossal fuel appetite from Washington State. It will take a brave (or foolish) coalition to attempt to Green that ball and face the wrath of the interconnected downstream implications by deliberately hamstringing the very international Vancouver image by trimming anything airport. It’s probably a non-starter for Green, so we’ll move on.
• Eliminate internal combustion vehicles in the Lower Mainland in favor of EV’s. As an idea, sounds like it should be enforceable as a political objective. Based on current stats, let’s look at the increased load demand that would be imposed on the Electrical grid. The total gasoline demand for Vancouver is approximately 185,000 barrels per day. That adds an additional 116,400 MWh per day electrical energy gasoline distillate equivalent to the grid. In terms of the additional average (not peak) generating load, it works out to about 4,850 MW more. (Ignoring peaks)
• Add in Vancouver’s single minded political plan to outlaw Natural Gas in favor of Electricity. The city will tell you that you can still use it “subject to”, but will make the city managed building code so difficult for a contractor to jump thru the regulatory hoops, that it will not really be viable as an option. Right now, Vancouver has a natural gas demand of around 26,000,000 Gj/Yr that will need electrical grid replacing. The Green Plan is to allow a green methane alternative, but that optimistically tops out at around 500,000 Gj/Yr, leaving 25,500,000 Gj/Yr to be replaced by electricity. That works out to an additional Grid energy load of around 19,500 MWh/Day, with an average (not peak covering as in winter) addition power demand of about 809,000 kW to the base load.
So where will that extra energy come from as Green input to the Grid? Well, the latest Political speak by the Green NDP Co-Op seems to be currently biased against Hydro as an option. PV Solar north of the 49th Parallel is of such a low density annual load factor as to be unworkable from a capital or physical geography point of view. Nuclear is out of the question. That leaves wind as the option.
Ignoring the intermittent unreliability of base-load wind vis a vis concurrent demand, what would Green Wind look like, assuming they can find sufficient sites that are suited to such an undertaking?
From the two Green bullets above, the extra reliable base load required to handle the demand for those two items add up to 5,658 GW, so we have:
• The Green Windfarm Nameplate Requirements, (using the accepted annual load factor of 12.5% from existing world sites) will need an installed capacity of 45,200 GW total Wind Turbines.
• Based on known current design density, the Net Windfarm Production acreage required to do that is about 2.8 Million Acres (@ 60 acres/MW). Add the supporting Service and Access acreage of approximately 550,000 Acres across the province to end up with about 3.25 Million Acres distributed somewhere outside Vancouver in Rural BC (which is not that Green-NDP friendly at the moment).
It should also be noted that if the Site C Dam (after the political uncertainty dust has settled) is considered politically “Green”, it has a design output of 5,100 GW. Even that is insufficient to cover off Green legislation for EV’s and Vancouver’s determined elimination of Natural Gas by a shortfall of about 550 GW demand.
Not considered in this discussion; – adding that much intermittent and variable weather wind power to the grid will require some type of potential mega stabilizing base load storage either by very large battery farms or pumped uphill hydro storage (think: looks like Site C) on a very large scale. Easy to say.
Wind Turbines 101 Primer *Link
Wind turbines are rated against the wind speed at which its generator will be able to produce its full rated, or nameplate, capacity, which is typically 1.5 MW in today’s models designed for on-shore use.
The rated nameplate wind speed is usually around 30 mph.
The turbine has a minimum wind speed at which it will begin producing minimal power, typically around 10 mph. The power output rises in a cubic relation to the wind speed. That is, if the wind speed doubles, the power output is able to increase eight fold. If the average wind speed of a site is 15 mph (half of the rated wind speed), the average power output will be one eighth of the nameplate capacity, or less than 200 KW.
At a wind speed around 60 mph, the turbine locks down.
For a look at the real world life cycle issues for wind farms, see this post on the site.
To our next BC Government: Think this Green through objectively, and tread very carefully if you want political longevity and platform support with the fickle cash strapped and over taxed voters.
The comparatively small yet flexible Eco footprint taken up by Rurals won’t notice much change regardless of your Green Energy decisions, but the far more energy intensive dependent Urbanites will suffer where it hurts most: in their pocketbooks amplified by unreliable very expensive brown out energy piled on with supporting regressive taxes to pay for the plan. Just Google the growth stats for Vancouver. The lifeblood for such growth is Energy in all forms, including coordinated capital upgrades to the supporting infrastructure across the province. Such upgrades take decades to plan and construct, well beyond the uncertainty of the the politics.
While the wind in the willows is free, at this juncture the complicated Rube Goldberg thrashing Wind Energy machinery is a regressively expensive alternative for BC. Regardless of the voter’s Political preferences, the Urbanites need and depend on the Rurals more than ever for any Green Forward looking Plan that matters.
Sadly, the Politics in BC are a huge divide that will take great leadership to bridge. Time to show your stuff.
Australia’s Daily Telegraph shows how quickly it can all go politically sideways for one of the World’s Climate Leaders. More to follow, for sure. Link Here .
-the old man, in his preferred environment out on the land, circa 1975
I come to the garden alone
As an old soul, knowing full well it’s my bonus round and that I’m lucky enough to still be able to work in our garden while trimming one of the oldest rose bushes, this wonderful essential carbon based example of living things (which we really know very little about outside of our self proclaimed superficial know-it-all arrogance) presented itself.
To be sure, I’ve seen these stick moth pupae before, but was always too absorbed by some trumped up self important life cause to really see that the DNA from which we all have evolved in infinite ways over millions of years branches effortlessly on with or without input from our egotistical hand wringing.
Behold, just one example of the 2017 twig impersonator. It must be good, because our yard is full of a variety of birds that are very diligent hunters looking for just such delicacies.
The garden this year is the best it has been in 30 years, and is in perfect balance with the show – a rich snapshot of the history of all that was, is now and will unfold in the dynamic cauldron of all our backyard carbon based DNA lifeforms in perfect non linear balance for each iterative step as it unfolds with or without our inputs.
Meanwhile, somewhere in big city, a bunch of pasty faced suited logicians, legislators and lawmakers try desperately to contain, direct and infill it all outside the infinite physical reality via some virtual rule based set of petty superficial logic, not realising that they are simply skipping the tops of the waves in an ocean that is ten thousand feet deeper than their made up cause and effect assumptions.
They are out of their depth, hopelessly lost at sea while straining at the oar locks using an assembly of broken compasses. Clearly, they don’t have a real sense of direction. That’s the price they pay for ego certainty, and the sad part is that they can’t even see it.
-the old man
Thirteen of the province’s thirty most populous municipalities are located in Greater Vancouver. The official land area of the district is 2,877.36 square kilometers (1,111 sq. mi). It is the most densely populated region in British Columbia, and in 2016 had 2.4 million people. This represents 50% of the Provinces entire population of 4.8 million.
Under a proportional representation, the overwhelming direction of government will be biased towards the collective whims of the city slickers whose geography is covered by a thumbprint of provincial land that represents less than 1 percent (0.3%: 3,000 sq. km / 944,735 sq. km) of the real estate and it’s massive external Maslow ladder of needs that are essential for the city to even exist, never mind thrive.
Let’s talk about the giant sucking sound of Greater Vancouver’s lifeblood and the importance of the dedicated support from the other 942 thousand sq. km required to maintain its very heartbeat and continued existence :
Metro Vancouver’s ecological footprint in 2006 was equivalent to 10,054,400 gha. This represents an area that is 36 times the actual size of the region. Metro Vancouver residents have an average ecological footprint of 4.75 gha/ca.
This is nearly double the world average bio capacity demand, estimated at 2.7 gha/ca, and almost three times the global per capita bio capacity supply, estimated at 1.8 gha/ca (WWF, 2010). In other words, if everyone consumed at a level commensurate with that of an average Metro Vancouver resident, we would need at least three additional Earth-like planets to supply the resources and assimilate the carbon dioxide emissions to support such a lifestyle. If the impacts of senior government services were also counted, the need would be greater still. *
It all breaks down like this for Vancouver: *
• Food: 45% because of the large area required to grow crops et al for 2.4 million people
• Transportation: 23%, including private, commercial and public transit Fleet and Motor vehicles, Air Travel, and so on
• Buildings: 18%
• Consumables and Waste: 14%
So to hand over (to the narrow-focus consensus of city minded voter’s) full control of Provincial government for the other vast 99.7% of the supporting geography, purely on proportional representation creates an interesting dilemma. And, as the old curse goes, may you live in interesting times.
Back to hard reality, here are some STEM facts for you to consider as the new Green-NDP politicians come referendum knocking on that old recycled saw of Proportional Representation, (and a somewhat O.T. corollary :- before they figure out how to future dither the CO2 free Hydro Site C dam and the billions of committed construction dollars into bureaucratic oblivion half way thru construction), know this:
• Half of the Provincial vote is concentrated in a small aggregated urban chunk of the country’s supporting geographical footprint (about 0.3%). Considering all urban cities across BC, that vote rises to 85% urban, 15% Rural.
• Living Urban allows the citizenry to delegate and offload the intense and time consuming human requirement to be self-sufficient competent universal problem solvers. In such a concentrated social setting, the economies of scale and commerce allow for narrow verticals for everything imaginable. No need to grow or hunt for your food, figure out how to store it, worry about massive energy needs, how to personally mitigate / resolve issues or anything like MacGyver would have to do just to get by. It’s all readily available, from niche skills like sewing on buttons to commuting home on the ‘A’ train. If you don’t like the service, simply tweet a complaint to the urban bureaucracy in charge to get it fixed. Done- Next!
• Rarely does an Urbanite give a second thought about whether the toilet will flush, or how the condo is actually heated and cooled, where the gas and electricity comes from, how the food gets to the supermarket, or what the myriad of mandatory resource requirements are, constantly inbound in the flux to maintain the City’s heartbeat.
• Urban concentrations require gargantuan feeder systems, thoughtlessly drawing food supplies and raw materials from across vast expanses of the (so called rural) country’s infrastructure in order to survive and thrive. They rarely think about or appreciate those massive inbound external energy grids, highways, water systems, hydro dams, railroads, communication networks, feeder farmlands and so on that are absolutely vital to their very concentrated and fragile existence.
• Urbanites need to give their heads a shake if they think they can survive without their Rural Cousins full and cooperative support. If the critical feeder chains are denied to the inbound supply chains even for a few weeks, it would classify as a category 5 crisis for Metro Vancouver.
• Be thankful the current voting system understands that without the whole geographical provincial land base being democratically included onside to deliver the Provinces lifeblood intravenous machinery into the Cities’ arteries, there can be no show. Urbanites, by their chosen preferred path, are typically not “MacGyver ready” for their selfish survival without the full cooperation of the other 99.5% of the physical rural land base delivering the goods and services to their doors 7x24x365.25.
The Proportional Representation meme, by its dominant 85%+ urban weighting (province wide) sitting on a miniscule urban pinpoint 0.5% strip of the total provincial real estate will always reflect an urban bias, and can easily drown out the 99.5% physical geographical land managers of the Country’s rural vote (to the urbans long term detriment and folly). Every rational parent outnumbered by their kids who love sugar instinctively knows that proportional family voting is not a great idea even if the kids whine about it not being fair. They should be careful what they wish for, but they never are.
–the old man: Born Rural, aged Urban and Rural planet wide over a lifetime. MacGyver savvy, MacGyver ready, STEM qualified.
This kind of stuff is why I loved being a design engineer.
Success in a project never comes from the social media 97% group think consensus, it depends on the clear understanding of the unbending laws of physics, differential equations, latency, timing, etc. – no matter how convincing a debater you might be among your peers.
When it all works out there can be no greater internal satisfaction, and above all, no need to armwave and convince any random group in a badly lit bar that you actually understand what you’re talking about.
-the old man
Urbanites, their Rural Sustainers, the Popular Vote and the Electoral College approach to Democracy
Let me first say that I have lived and worked extensively in both Rural and Urban settings over my 70 plus years on this earth. I have voted both left and right during my life, always considering the merits of the arguments of the day. I don’t have an ideological preference based on party for the purpose of this post.
As the World turns
The Physical Reality of the USA is that the bulk of the population (over 80%) is concentrated in a small aggregated Urban chunk of the country’s geographical footprint (about 3%).
Living Urban allows the citizenry to delegate and offload the intense and time consuming human requirement to be self-sufficient competent universal problem solvers. In such a concentrated social setting, the economies of scale and commerce allow for narrow verticals for everything imaginable. No need to grow or hunt for your food, figure out how to store it, worry about massive energy needs, how to personally mitigate / resolve issues or anything like MacGyver would have to do just to get by. It’s all readily available, from niche skills like sewing on buttons to commuting home on the ‘A’ train. If you don’t like the service, simply tweet a complaint to the Urban bureaucracy in charge to get it fixed. Done- Next!
Rarely does an Urbanite give a second thought about whether the toilet will flush, or how the condo is actually heated and cooled, where the gas and electricity comes from, how the food gets to the supermarket, or what the myriad of mandatory resource requirements are, constantly inbound in the flux to maintain the City’s heartbeat.
Urban concentrations require gargantuan feeder systems, drawing food supplies and raw materials from across vast expanses of the (so called rural) country’s infrastructure in order to thrive and survive. They rarely think about or appreciate those massive inbound external energy grids, highways, water systems, hydro dams, railroads, communication networks, feeder farmlands and so on that are absolutely vital to their very concentrated and fragile existence.
They need to give their heads a shake if they think they can survive without their Rural Cousins cooperative support. If the country’s extensive flyover geography for the various feeder chains decided to pull up the inbound drawbridge even for a few weeks, it would classify as a category 5 crisis for the concrete jungles.
Be thankful the broader democratic system understands that without the whole geographical land base democratically agreeing to insert the country’s lifeblood intravenous machines into the Cities’ arteries, there can be no show. Urbanites, by their chosen path, are typically not “MacGyver ready” for their selfish survival without the full cooperation of the other 97% of the physical rural land base delivering the goods and services to their doors.
The Popular Vote meme, by its dominant 80%+ Urban weighting on a pinpoint strip of the total geography will always reflect an urban bias, and can easily drown out the 97% physical geographical resource base of the Country’s rural vote to their own detriment and folly.
Hence, we get to the Electoral College. The basic democratic process compromise as implemented understands that it needs to balance the voices of the comparatively few rural sustainers doing the heavy lifting against the overwhelming popular consensus of the demanding urban dwellers for the leader. It’s not perfect because it’s a compromise and always remember, despite the seemingly marked differences of voting opinion you still need each other to make the Country work.
If you are on the losing side of this particular chapter, you need to try and understand why you lost the high ground after two successful wins, not how you can try and make it the winner’s fault by spinning it as their deplorable stupidity. Get to work and do some convincing with those who did the ousting, else you will surely lose again. Don’t you see that whining and backbiting makes you look worse and convinces “the deplorable” tide that they were probably right?
-the old man
country living c/w deer, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels and a blue heeler
Rex, for the life of me, I can’t understand how the CBC still lets you wrap up the Knightly News for Peter Mansbridge.
As one maritimer to another, you seem to be able to walk the middle of that leaning road unscathed, compared to the rest of the current-bevy-of-the-politically-leaning-ship-of-handwringing, fear mongering, ‘climate-is a people-problem-that-can-be-cured’ 97% consensus talking heads with hair on fire.
(I just tried to be Rex Murphy-ish there, but in reviewing the adjectives and modifiers, it really falls far short of the cutting edge master.)
Click Here: Rex Murphy in full voice
And Here : Rex Murphy clears his throat
And Furthermore: Rex Muses
You get the Not On My Watch Best Comment vote today. Maybe I’ll even go back to catching the last 5 minutes of the CBC Viewcast.
For the Popular Social sphere of the Physics challenged, this article by Anthony Bright-Paul posted on Principia Scientific does a great job of pointing out that in the absolute Earth Scale flux of Thermodynamic relevance, instinctive common sense can, and will prevail over the shrieking of the ‘might-could-maybe in a few hundred years’ fear mongering arm wavers.
This fits the “What’s it all about” Category nicely.
Alan Watts shares his profound wisdom on the nature of the mind.
“You’re really nothing, but this is the most incredible nothing.”
There is nothing else to add. Have a listen:
-the old man
Even in the combative, crazy comment section of some controversial Main Stream media spin cycle, one occasionally runs across truly great wit. In this case, the soup du jour was about our PM, Justin (Instagram) Trudeau’s latest push to ram the Canadian Carbon Tax agenda on the Provinces and spin the associated Tax as a constructive offset to the 30 Billion +/- he’s already added and handed off to the Country’s National debt in his single outing so far.
A clearly intelligent and humorous individual with a nom de plume (or perhaps real name) – ‘Penny Labrecque’ posted this in the comment section of the article re Justin’s Decree:
“Seeing they’re comparing him to the ‘boyfriend’, I think he’s more like a ‘nightmarish’ one-night stand. He makes a grand entrance into the bar, buys you a drink, throws every line in the book at you until he sweeps you off your feet. Gets you to bring him back to your place, and when you wake up the next morning, you feel used, he’s gone and so is your purse and wallet.”
Too funny Penny. In this world of typically angry Social Media hits, You should become famous for all the right reasons. You get the Old Man’s vote today.
the old man from ‘The Far Side’
As a design Engineer and having personally spent many years flying complex mechanical machines with propellers, transmissions, gears, turbines, all subject to vibration and overall wear and tear has provided an instinctive sense of relevance as applied to design, operations and maintenance of such interesting machines.
It has always struck me that this whole mechanical wind turbine farm idea would likely end up as a very expensive proposition on a life cycle cost basis due to the inherent mechanical and physical complexity, regardless of whether it is approached on a preventative or breakdown maintenance strategy. There are the wind turbine wheels, the articulating blades, complex vibration management, bearings in the gearboxes, the gears in the transmissions, the generator, lubricating systems for the entire low speed and high speed shaft sides (yes, even wind turbines need dirty carbon based oil to operate, as well as ongoing routine oil changes, no different than other rotating machinery), yaw systems, computer control management and on and on. Just to complicate the O&M support effort, all of this has to be carried out while balancing on a high pole on land or rolling sea.
Couple that idea with the relative low density of wind power for the large logistical footprint and the typical low load factor of direct wind based energy over the long haul drags the net economic return even lower.
Because wind farm turbine power cannot be relied on as part of the baseline grid power due to its intermittent and variable nature, it needs to be backed up 100% by solid high inertia predictable generating sources. Thus, the incremental capital costs for wind turbine farms (including grid modifications) must stand on their own merits for the full life cycle renewable cost analysis added to the grid. That is, wind power can’t be considered (subtracted) as capital replacement for taking existing predictable inertial grid capacity offline. (Although you can’t seem to tell the political scientists that to date. Fortunately, real physics, like gravity can’t be legislated).
The Cracks are Beginning to Show
In looking at sample literature online for large scale turbine specifications, industry and the government have the commercial turbine life optimistically estimated at 20 to 25 years. Just recently, the Telegraph has reported on a recent large scale study of 3000 onshore wind turbines that has found the actual lifespan in service is only 12-15 years. Compounding the bad news, the measured load factor drops to just 11% over that shortened span. For the platforms at sea, it drops to 15% in just over 10 years because of the harsher environment.
Quote: Dr John Constable, the director of REF, said: “This study confirms suspicions that decades of generous subsidies to the wind industry have failed to encourage the innovation needed to make the sector competitive.
“Bluntly, wind turbines onshore and offshore still cost too much and wear out far too quickly to offer the developing world a realistic alternative to coal.”
You don’t need to be an accountant to see how the political push to wind farms has weighed economically on every place that has gone to scale in the rush to renewables at all cost. Regardless of how various governments might try to bury the accounting and taxes on executing their master renewable plan (and history says they will), big increases for the cost of Electricity are already ending up at the last mile lapping on the doorstep of the impoverished consumer. As a Canadian, its easy to see the very real economic pain this ‘rush to please’ on things like the Paris accord have inflicted on the citizenery. Consider the current grief caused to our Ontario brethren. You can fool all of the people some of the time, etc.
It’s plain to see that the government there is on the run, but it can’t hide from the growing backlash. I’m pretty sure there will / must be other international governments in similar boats rowing madly away from the dock .
Turbines on the hill
You are here, 400,000 years later:
Source: EPA’s Climate Change Indicators (2014) and Petit et al. (2001). They are based on the Vostok Ice Core from Antarctica.
Over the last 400, 000 years, we’ve only touched this current and relatively short but pleasant (for thin skinned mostly hairless humans) temperature spike five times. This time (for the last approximately 10,000 years) we have barely made it back near the scheduled top temperature. Forget the 0.04% CO2 trace gas that gets accused of driving the climate to the current very ordinary peak. There are obviously much bigger and intense physics and thermodynamics at play looking on the four hundred thousand year scale.
What you are absorbing as the modern version of Climate Change Angst is carefully orchestrated by those who want to surgically frame the climate argument by arbitrarily scaling and smoothing the discussion window to match what these Merchants of Fear want you to believe.
For example, the Canadian public broadcaster CBC in September 2011 put up this alarming journalistic headliner: “Arctic sea ice hits record low!”. The opening paragraph purposely starts like this: “The amount of sea ice covering the Arctic is lower than ever before”. Turns out their “Ever Before” starts in 1972. Either the misdirect was intentional, or the CBC never bothered to apply a journalistic center line before publishing, or no one at the CBC knows or cares anything about real Physics, thermodynamics or appropriate scales to determine a bona fide climate trend, or maybe no one understands math or logic over there. Just saying.
You can find plenty of other examples of this skewed journalistic modus operandi, such as “Meteorological Year Warmest EVER!” , where ’Warmest Ever’ is only for the last 140 years that NASA kept records, when 140 years on the real climate cycle scale as a bona fide statistical trend is not even close; its lost in the data noise. Apparently margin of error or journalistic context has no place in such main stream pronouncements.
One doesn’t even have to understand the nuances of the chart’s gargantuan feedback / feed forward balance of primary forces that drive the ebb and flow of past climate change at scale, nor feel compelled to dissect the intense power of the historical trace climate cycles. The takeaway reality is that there are long (approximately 100,000 year +/-) cycle markers that recur in a periodic manner, just as reliable as summer, fall, winter, spring do for the tiny pinpoint limited lifetime scale of human understanding.
As you can see from the big picture, most of the earth’s timeline temperatures are spent in the frigid shallows and miseries of kilometers of glacial ice on top of current city locations such as Toronto. Why the gods of real climate physics choose to occasionally bless the earth with a brief interlude spike thaw to allow mankind to eat, reproduce and thrive for a while is still up for grabs.
Above all, don’t be hoodwinked into believing that the trace gas CO2 is the tipping point in this glacial story. It’s insignificant to the overall system dynamics at play, and in fact, actually lags somewhat behind the temperature rise and fall and even gets out of phase as you can see above. CO2 is just along for the ride on the same bus – and that’s a good thing; – It’s rise and fall with temperature is essential and critical to balance the mix for all life on this green planet, and incidentally, remains the circle of life mechanism of food and oxygen supply for the needy, dependent human bags of carbon based protein who need to eat, exhale CO2 and sporadically walk the planet during the warm spikes.
Don’t be fooled or become yet another willing parrot for “The Science of Climate is settled”. You are being played. That’s all that’s wanted; i.e., hand over your money and compliance, not your love.
The Price of Certainty
By DANIELE ANASTASION NOV. 1, 2016 (Op-Docs, New York Times)
An aside: I’m putting put this thoughtful piece in the Climate Change Category, as we reflect on the simplistic hard line “The Science is Settled” proclamation, but it could equally fit on the other side of this blog in the Category “What’s it All About..” as it’s universally relevant to our human journey on both counts. You should make enough space away from your daily distractions to watch it to the end.
– the old man
It’s alarming to see how polarized politics have become in the United States. The wider the gulf grows, the more people seem to be certain that the other side is wrong. Certainty can be a dangerous thing.
Two years ago, I met the social psychologist Arie Kruglanski while researching a documentary about extremism. Dr. Kruglanski, a professor at the University of Maryland, studies what motivates people to join terrorist groups like ISIS. My producing partner, Eric Strauss, and I had fascinating conversations with Dr. Kruglanski about the psychology of binary thinking, and decided to make a short film about his work instead.
Dr. Kruglanski is best known for his theory of “cognitive closure,” a term he coined in 1989 to describe how we make decisions. “Closure” is the moment that you make a decision or form a judgment. You literally close your mind to new information.
If you have high “need for closure,” you tend to make decisions quickly and see the world in black and white. If you have a low need for closure, you tolerate ambiguity, but often have difficulty making decisions. All of us fall naturally somewhere on this spectrum.
But during times of fear and anxiety — like, for example, right now — everybody’s need for closure increases. We tend to make judgments more quickly, regardless of the facts. We’re also drawn to leaders who are decisive and paint solutions in simple terms. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Dr. Kruglanski and his team of researchers found that as the color-coded terrorism threat system increased, support for President George W. Bush went up accordingly. The more uncertain our world seems, the more we compensate by seeking out certainty.
Dr. Kruglanski has spent his career studying the consequences of this psychology. This film is an effort to impart some of his wisdom as we navigate these uncertain times.
It comes uninvited as the stillness of a lake under a full moon might.
All of that weighty space-time baggage fades away to an immense and singular perspective. There are no thoughts, no reactions, no you.
It’s the essence of pure mind, as it was before self-awareness claimed your throne; pristine and uncluttered, free to observe to the very depths without the anchor of time.
In that awareness, there is no response, no judgement, no call to arms; simply the profound truth of what is.
Some might call it the peace that passes all understanding, but those are just words – the old man
Sunshine on Media Spin and its ugly Twin, the Politics of Fear
A tiny sliver of the Mainstream Media (The Telegraph) are finally looking at Human based Climate Alarm in the context of real facts and real reporting to discover, to their amazement, that the supposed 400ppm CO2 ‘tipping point’ conflictingly coincides with a significant upswing in Arctic Ice. It was always there for the taking, but no one on the Carbon Tax Agenda wants to bias their miserable message.
And the remaining 97% cheerleading media describing CO2 as the devil incarnate (even against this obvious divergence) wonder why the majority of regular folk don’t trust that unholy partnership of Media and Politics.
So it looks like we will soon begin to know those outlets who are ‘ with the facts’ and those who are ‘in bed with the politics’.
And, if you want to keep your own score on who’s likely in bed with guess who, here’s a start: The Guardian (backed up by the BBC) . There are many more, even in our wonderful normally objective Canada.
Let the games begin. We’ll be at the beach. The same beach that has been there, longer than us, still the same frothline. Just the facts.
NOAA / SCRIPPS recently released the latest chart of Real Life Atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa Observatory this September 2016:
Looking at the above Chart from 1980 to 2014 (Only because the info I have on temperature covers that range for comparison purposes), the slope is pretty constant from start to finish.
In the real world, how does that CO2 data compare with temperatures (and just for fun, the Climate models across the same period)? The Temperature chart below can be seen in context at Science Matters.
I added a few measurements off the Y Axis for the purposes of this discussion.
Just the Facts
Starting from 1980 where the IPCC CMIP-5 Climate Models intersect with actual history, then onward to 2014, the real world observations clearly show that the actual Mid-Tropospheric Temperature (as averaged by both Balloon and Satellite sets) gave a rise of 0.072C overall.
For the same period, the Average of 102 IPCC CMIP-5 Climate Models predicted a rise of 0.47 C, or a rate 6.5 TIMES greater. All that projected model rise (above the last actual @ 0.072C) was supposed to happen from 1995 to 2014. In real life, the Mid-Tropospheric temperature has been tracking sideways since 2004 even though the actual CO2 rise remains at a constant and predictable slope upward.
It’s not rocket science to see that CO2 is not coupled to Temperature as cause and effect. The Government models appear heavily biased to favor that same NOAA CO2 DNA curve, with a similar DNA Climate predicted plot from 1994 onward.
The Questions and Comments
* 1 Wadham = 1 Million Sq. Km of Ice.
Fortunately for this little discussion, CO2 has actually cooperated to show the true characteristics of its hand vis-a-vis the 330 to 400ppm steady rising slope over the last 45 years or so to now.
So there is a real life ‘fact’ case to be made that CO2 is not the driver of temperature change at all. Only the Government sponsored Climate Models have mirrored the alarming rise of the CO2 plot as the Panic Driver since 1980.
Based on this quick look at the readily available Government sourced data sets, it sure looks like CO2 is just along for the ride. Yet it appears few in Politics or the Climate Movement are interested in looking anywhere else while the newfound tax opportunity is in play. Easy Money. The Political crowd loves that. Logical Math, not so much.
Not so much loved by the voters tho. Nevermind, with the Internet and Social Media offering a permanent record of decisions with place, time date and names, the ‘future’ Voters will have long digital memories available to unravel the show when they are broke, in the dark, and wondering how it happened.
As we look out on the earth this fall, far from the Climate predictions of an “Ice Free” Arctic, we can see ‘factually’ that both Poles of Mother Earth are freezing back in a hurry. So let’s face facts: It’s really about regular Climate Change as usual…. Billions of years’ worth of complex feedbacks to get here, yet here we are, still sucking up breathable Oxygen thanks to our nearest and dearest friends: CO2, plants and the Oxygen Cycle.
The Problem with Continuity
Ego, that creator of your space-time constructs, endlessly builds an illusion of continuity and perpetual self-awareness while you walk this earth. The underlying truth is that there is only ‘being’ in the unfolding and perpetual ‘now’.
Everything else is make-believe, manufactured by your ego and the judgmental reaction that rises as vapor from the process you know intimately as ‘Me’. All your biases, reacting to what is ‘now’, are a measure of how far removed ‘now’ is from where your abstract biases ‘think’ it should be.
That manufactured separation is the Yin/Yang seat of all your joy, sorrow, love, hate, craving or aversion when compared to what is ‘now’.
Top athletes understand this, and refer to it as ‘unconscious’ (not so much boxing, tho), meaning there is no thought between the ball and the hoop /bat/club/stick to mess up timing.
The unwashed might call it ‘In the moment’. Either way works – take your pick and stop thinking about it. Your lifetime scores will improve greatly out of the gate.
-the old man
JoNova’s website had this tidbit up and running:
Perth Airport’s coldest September since 1944 smashed the previous mean temp record of 1968 by 0.73C ……..
“This September wasn’t just a bit cold in Perth. It was very cold compared to almost all Septembers ever recorded in Stevensons.”
And so it continues. I did like one pair of comments below the article:
No need to comment further. Off to Breakfast on the Boat (see previous post).
The Harmonics of Grid Blackouts
And so it begins. On September 28th 2016, South Australia had a statewide blackout. Synchronous resonances, large AC Grids that have limited tolerances to fast changing step load inputs / falloff will spell disaster to the system re: input sources and sinks as well as the transmission grid itself. Based on what’s happening, it seems apparent that the engineering ‘due diligence’ was not so diligent for whatever reasons; – A question for the local elected political masters to answer in the dark.
An articulate Engineer, Andrew Dodson was interviewed over two years ago by Scott Medwid and Rick Maltese on the subject of grid stability, and the impact of “green energy”. It was a Prophetic advanced warning that foreshadowed the South Australia grid collapse of September 28, 2016.
As an aside, if you look down the comments beneath the YouTube piece, you’ll see the usual array of suspects attempting to discredit him. Lacking the math, physics and understanding resonance implications of the harmonics , the Emotional Alarmists with their feet of clay, (clearly without technical understanding), parrot their negative diatribe anyway. As a Systems and Controls Engineer, suffice to say that the negative comments were made by uninformed trolls beneath the bridge of knowledge. Pretty much like it is today. Social Media 101.
The saving stopgap is that in the end, the physics of all this at scale will unfold badly under the various logic-free plans to win the political apparatus’s apparent objectives. Much like trying to legislate gravity by -2 units so that less people get hurt in wing suit crashes, they press on with their case.
Without thoughtful real world plans that accommodate the physics of the problem, it will be a fools mission heading for the scene of the crash.
Australian harsh Christmas Reality Check: Renewables Can’t Cope – ” it is becoming increasingly obvious that we cannot rely on renewable energy to run our grids..”
Pass the popcorn, please. I’ll be on the boat, off the grid, on the GenSet.
Palm Trees in the Arctic
Who knew (sarc) that the Arctic ice sheet was so melted in 1845 that it allowed the Franklin expedition, on their tiny antiquated three mast wooden ships, to sail up the Northwest Passage. Why-oh-why wasn’t this previous Climate-Warming-Open-Water-Cycle-In-The-Arctic exposed by the Media of Settled Science, one might muse. Perhaps they were quietly hoping that the evidence would never be located. Note that the Government didn’t find the wreck, a group of private citizen taxpayers did.
The government only spun the story after the fact.
Here’s the feel good news on the deal put out by the Government after the fact tho: “Parks Canada says the week it spent looking at the wrong part of the ocean will at least provide useful information for navigation.”
Meanwhile back in Ottawa, the Canadian Government is running full steam ahead on his Carbon Tax Initiative threat, oblivious to / ignoring all the most obvious of ancient historical facts on Climate such as that just demonstrated by the HMS Terror’s coordinates, convinced that in their determination, it’s all “the science is settled”, and it’s never ever been as bad as it is now. Ergo, People are the problem, being composed of essential carbon and off gassing that poisonous CO2 with every living breath, using ancillary energy to survive north of the 49th parallel in a very large country.
Yet it is on this very naïve belief that western country Politicians are prepared to sacrifice their economies and their citizens up to those “Foreign” Governments who understand how it really works. India, for example, is now project to grow out of the gate at 8% (of a really big number) per annum going forward. Look at how fast they are ramping up Coal and Coal Fired Projects to cover the need as we speak. China, no slouch at this stuff, is already busily exporting their Engineering capabilities and Project Management skills on Coal and Coal Fired Plants outside their borders bigtime. And so it goes.
Reference: India on the move
Reference: China on a roll
One More: Coal, Coal and more Coal
Meanwhile, we stagnate, hand wring, inflate and inefficiently spend bags of capital we don’t have on multiple infrastructure green things that get coupled to anti-personnel tax and grant policies that will make matters and living much worse for everyone. Ask anyone from Ontario these days about Wynn’s Big Capital Green power initiatives and how it’s helping their lives. Anyone!
As a young guy growing up in the Maritimes, the mantra of surviving a bar fight went like this:
“Buddy, don’t watch their lips (flapping), watch their feet”. In socially acceptable circles, it translates (for the Millennials) as “It’s not what they say, it’s what they do”.
So here’s my advice. Remember who is doing all this to you as it unfolds, and next time, get off your butt, ignore the flapping lips and Vote with your feet. That’s where the real power resides.
Loneliness and The Urge to Possess
The urge to possess or to be possessed is a profound human trait that comes from deep within. That source is the center of loneliness. Each of us will try to fill that void in different ways: a belief system, an organized cause or some other form of activity. All such efforts are escapes and the deep loneliness still remains to be filled.
To commit yourself to some organization, to some belief or action is to be possessed by them negatively. The other side of that same coin is to possess. Positive possessiveness is the doing good, changing the world, what is to what should be under the guise of love.
To control or direct another in the name of love or otherwise is really the urge to possess. This binary system of possess/possessed is held together by the urge to find security, safety and comfort from loneliness. Yet it’s from this very attachment that conflict and frustration will arise.
So know this: There is no escape from loneliness. It is simply a fact, and when you try to escape facts you can only leave a trail that breeds confusion and sorrow.
Once you directly see this fact beyond thought and logic, the rest will fade away.
-the old man
Arctic Ice Worm turns Early (and maybe the Media)
The Bullets as presented in Principia-Scientific by Paul Homewood:
The Extent of the Arctic Is actually up to 4 Wadhams +*, whereas the “Settled Science” folks had it projected to be reduced to 1 Wadham* already.
*(In the true spirit of The Far Side, you’ll have to research the Wadham your own. Suffice to say, some folks have a wonderful sense of humor). Hint Here
For the Sake of Doing
To wander thru life always bent on doing things for the sake of something else is at the core of all dissatisfaction; a perpetual series of escapes and avoidance from your real self and what really is.
Western Society’s Values are based on this purposeful theme; – I do this for you, and you do that or give me something else. The ‘this for that’, ‘tit for tat’ motivational system has been refined and promoted by the concept of money as the universal exchange agent to cut those deals. Modern Society abstraction is a long way from the shoreline of our hunter/gather days and ways, even though our DNA never left the dock.
Those who loudly practice their Virtuosity in order to gain approval of the respectable component of society are not exempt for their particular variation on the above theme. Really, it’s always the same empty field that’s been ploughed over and over by the many, but never actually sown.
You’d think that compared to our ancestors, we have it made. We live longer; better healthcare and such. We have tons more free time thanks to technology as well as instant global communications.
In spite of the timeline freedom that modern society affords us, doing something simply for the sake of doing it is harshly judged. The end result of all that backdraft is to perpetuate the eternal emptiness of unending desire for more or different whatever, wherever.
Because of the above processes, we miss the singularity of true beauty beyond thought, feeling and desire. It’s a beauty that has no opposite, and is outside the reach of the busy Yin/Yang of Space-Time apparatus.
If you’re feeling there’s a lot missing in your cluttered up life, just quiet your mind and do something simply for the sake of doing it, without intent or motive for anyone or anything. You might get to directly understand (beyond thought) that’s really why you came here.
– the old man
Merchants of Fear
The Climate change discussion came my way uninvited, as one of those innocuous branches in the road of life that you happen upon accidentally. For sure, it’s been around for a long time, but not something that bothered me in the context of 4.5 Billion years of things that went bump in the night to get us to the breathable oxygen – CO2 – sunlight photosynthesis Merry-Go-Round for the 7+ billion bags of protein who cycle thru the system at the moment.
What piqued my interest was a social gathering that I attended where there was a cluster of well-meaning folk handwringing that we were heading for a cliff because of Human contribution to the 0.04% CO2 part of the multiple non linear cycles at play; – that their kids were likely doomed and so on. There was a genuine fear in their eyes, they were sincere in every way, and were convinced of the “Science” that they were ascribed towards. It had pretty much taken over their previously happy lives and circumstances. Very sad to watch.
I listened, and over the next few months of thinking and doing some basic calculations on the matter, realized that the foundation of their fear was not firmly based in actual fact. Sure, it was getting warmer, but this was not the first rodeo for the planet’s cycles, nor was it the warmest or the worst. The alarmist conversations and models were coded and biased in such a way that inferred it “could”, “may”, “might”, possibly” be the human contribution as the smoking gun.
Some were 100% convinced that “it would” be the dire future outcome. The vague data, experiments and models they pointed to were simple, suspect and not in agreement with the verifiable past.
Not one of the regular folk in that social worry circle of doom and gloom was knowledgeable around the real physics, thermodynamics, entropy, enthalpy, calculus, derivatives, flux, feedbacks and so on at play. To me, it was akin to them piling on to a populist conclusion of an experiment that if a dog has four broken legs and you tell it to jump, (and it doesn’t), it can’t hear. The climate boondoggle seemed to be a similar phenomenon; – an example of Cause and Effect being misdirected for some nefarious reason. (Note: No Dogs were harmed in the above paragraph.)
So I got to thinking some more. How much of this is crowd sourced Fear feeding forward? And is it really any different than any other world class fear mongering that is carried on the winds of social media by any of the many Merchants of Fear that pop up regularly in the nightly news?
Why do such hollow pronouncements get so much traction, one might ask. In a word: Directed Fear.
Fear is how you get a few to stampede a huge herd, and lever a small input pronouncement bigtime. It’s very cost effective whether in terms of effort, money or accelerated social influence. Fear is never tied to now; it’s always coded into some future postulation wrapped in some defendable statistical probability.
Fear is the single emotion about the future that will make us ‘Do Political Stupid’ on a global scale in the Present. It comes from the Seat of Human Desire for future stability and certainty. Of course, such doesn’t ever exist and never has been anything but a virtual utopian smoke and mirror game backed by Political Promises on every Campaign Trail. Think of the great wars if you need some examples.
And we ‘all’ (is that too sarcastic?) know that Politicians don’t do, don’t care or don’t understand physical Science, Logic, Math or the material universe. If they did, they wouldn’t have to do Politics except for the ego or money addiction part.
Politics of all stripes are well matched to the current media circus and are collectively able to manage the Levers of Fear very well. Fortunately for greasing their Pairing Skids, Media ‘Don’t Do Math’ well either. That way, they can both look directly into the voter’s eyes with the conviction that only the innocence of ignorance can pull off.
But lately, it’s beginning to look like voters across the globe, across many oceans might not be buying what they’re peddling to (maybe, perhaps, might, could or not) save the earth a century from now from “a sure thing” definitely caused by human activity and populations.
Even though they have told us at least a thousand times that the Science is settled, we might not be listening any more.
Politics to Media:.. Didn’t they hear the latest trending cry of “WOLF!!” …? Why aren’t they running?
Me and you and a Dog named Blue, the “Wolf” of Australia.
It’s amusing to watch the tiny minded arrogance at play in the various Climate Change discussions. Well, they’re not really discussions, mostly yelling loud enough to proclaim the fix is settled. As a friend used to say on how to find the Best of the Best Pizza in Foodie Town: “Ten Million Flies can’t be wrong”. And so it goes.
If you try to find real physics, real data, real cause and effect empirically confirmed for the diatribe, you will drive your logical self nuts. Don’t bother.
Stick with what most should be able to agree upon:
Picking Fly Shit out of Pepper
Summary: The practical time scale of understanding global Climate Mechanics is not analogous to anything like Quantum Mechanics. (sarc)
Pass the popcorn, please. No.. not the pepper. It’s full of Fly droppings.
Evaluating the Integrity of Official Climate Records – Tony Heller
The recent post here about the Emperor’s New Clothes was a simple attempt to put the Current Climate Conversation into the modern human social context.
For anyone searching the ragged edges of the Climate Discussion whose motives are to simply understand, it becomes apparent that there is also a darker underbelly of fact manipulation that doesn’t quite square with history, science or reality. A while back I posted this on Politics disguised as science.
The presentation by Tony Heller struck an honest broker chord with me. You really should sit thru the video to the end and draw your own conclusions. He outlines my “The Emperor has no Clothes” Short Rant far more elegantly than I did a few weeks ago. That’s why it’s linked here:
Honest Real Environmentalists with Integrity: The Old Homestead c/w Dad and Mom – Pre Internet, small footprint, great Salmon Fishing on the Restigouche River, Fly Rods only. Ask any New Yorker who went there for the summers who I had the privilege of Guiding for $2.00 per day.
Ocean Circulation Implicated In Past Abrupt Climate Changes
After a lifetime of interesting real world designing of things related to Gases (Ideal and otherwise), Fluids, Energy Transfer, Thermodynamics, Entropy and enthalpy for mechanical work in open / closed systems and the like, I fell into the Climate change discussion uninvited.
I was finding it curiously difficult to understand how the incidental delta CO2 could be considered the primary villain for Climate Warming. Among the numerous and humongous influences that could move the Temperature needle much further (either way) by a mere 0.001% delta shift, it seemed that the bit player C02 had to be a long way down the list.
Working in the world of complex dynamic systems and controls sharpens your first and second order instincts with respect to dynamic system design and behavior, oscillations, damping, phase shifting, feedback, stability and what happens with random runaway feedforward accidents where it all hits a vertical wall. And they all can – at least for finite real world scenarios.
For Climate change (both ways), the 800 pound Gorilla in the room has to be hidden in the size 13 graph footprints feeding forward / back with distinctive spikes. The Graph below has been discussed in this earlier post:
It really doesn’t take a Doctorate with the promise of Tenure and a quota of published papers to see the patterns. To make the case that it’s not CO2 primarily feeding the temperature forward in the rise or fall, you can see that CO2 actually lags temperature, and never sees the Gorilla peak Stomper coming. CO2 is just another victim on the roller coaster ride. Given the Fractal Nature of Climate, it also scales in both directions for longer and shorter cycles – you have your big ice age events, brief warming, mini ice age events on other scales and so on.
I was about to give up on things related to the balanced Climate Rant, when I came across this on Principia Scientific International’s site by The Earth Institute at Columbia University:
This workpiece of scientific cooperation across disciplines looks and feels like real science that could actually fit the mother of eternal Climate Fractals up and down the earthling’s grasp of time lines.
Good work so far, Columbia University. Hope I live long enough to see where it takes you.
Climate Change – The Emperor’s New Clothes
Being half Danish , let me recall for you a short childhood tale by Hans Christian Andersen from 1837 about the weavers who promise the Emperor a new suit of clothes that would be invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. To those who don’t get the Danish drift, the Exec Summary goes like the old saw:
“You can fool All of the people some of the time, Some of the people all of the time, but Not all of the people all of the time.”
Everyone who walks this planet knows the Climate is ever changing on many levels. The spin to suppress and tag anyone who might not agree on the relevant influence of CO2 as a climate denier won’t prevail over the longer term as Climate Change cuts both ways.
Among the Mega and Minor Climate influences that move the massive Temperature needle (either way) under miniscule changes, it seems that a marginal bit player like C02 has to be a long way down the list.
The question is – Who’s zooming who? How can anyone actually know the average temperature of the active thermodynamic globe at any moment in time? Yet it’s all packaged and clothed as certainty, that the mechanisms are well understood, and it’s about CO2; therefore the Science is settled.
The Weaver’s Tale
One day a couple of swindlers came to the Emperor’s capital city – boasting that they were the finest weavers of cloth imaginable. The kicker was that clothes made of their material possessed a wonderful quality of being invisible to anyone who was unfit for their office or unpardonably stupid.
The Emperor gave larges sum of money to the swindlers out of the Treasury, (in advance), so that they could set to work without any down time. They set up a couple of looms, and pretended to be very hard at work. They then asked for the finest silk and the most precious gold-cloth and worked at the empty looms till late at night. Very Impressive.
By this time, through a massive public service campaign, everybody was talking about the precious Carbon Cloth. As a savvy politician, the Emperor set up a Photo-Op to see it himself, while it was still on the loom. With a number of courtiers in tow, he went to see the clever swindlers, hard at work.
What the hell is this? thought the Emperor in his private inside voice, I don’t see bugger all. Am I stupid? That revelation would indeed be a Breaking Bad type news story if CNN or FOX find out.
The Teachable Moment
The rest, as they say (well, me anyway), is history. The masses get indoctrinated to the trending Emperor’s New CO2 Clothes, and the big celebratory parade is scheduled to take place in Paris.
When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, everyone in the streets said, “Oh, Wow.. The Emperor’s new Carbon clothes! They’ll fit the Legislative CO2 Bill perfectly going forward!
The social masses dared not tweet that they didn’t see any suit of clothes until an enlightened child shouts out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” The subsequent hashtag trends quickly. “But he hasn’t got anything on!”… the whole twitter-verse goes gaga and re-tweets the revelation across the entire universe in minutes.
At some point, the Emperor suspects they were possibly right. But then he thought, “The show has got to go on. We need the sunk cost Tax Revenue to cover off the massive Weaver’s debt.” So he walked more determined than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn’t there at all. It never left the station.
A Short Rant
At this point I was going to expand and profoundly compare the fundamental gaps and spin problems with the Climate Change political science chaos/mess, the deterministic and purpose CO2 directed modelling used for the ‘might-could-possibly happen’ prediction game, the Chicken Little fear mongering and hate welling up like Methane from the Tundra, the publically funded supporting money flows and the sketchy and selective data manipulation aimed at effectively cultivating and re-directing the minds of the masses.
But in going back thru the parable to set up the bullets, I don’t think I need to. It occurs to me that the readers who typically come here aren’t at all stupid.
There is no Mega Infrastructure End to End Reset Plan to get us to Zero Carbon over the next decades on any political table, other than to grab the money. Why, you ask? Because if they actually tried to draw it up, it would be full of holes.
Quite simply, The Emperor has no clothes.
In Danish, we sometimes say stuff like this:
The Froth Line – Walking the Planck
There comes a point where clear, logical and pure scientific exploration for fundamental truth arrives at a Venn intersection with metaphysics and produces insight that simply surpasses all mathematical understanding.
The law of unintended consequences
In the 1970’s, when computers were getting cheaper and more powerful (Compared to my Curta), along came Benoit Mandelbrot who said that things typically considered to be a mess or chaotic, like clouds or shorelines, actually had a degree of order. My interest was purely selfish at the time, and that was to figure out how to develop a stock trading application centered on his and other concepts around Fractals and Chaos to make money.
While I was writing the trading application, the meme I used for development was to look at the boundary of the Fractal set as a Froth line – the chaotic place where land and sand mix, where all bets are off for any given element in transition. Questions like “will a chip in the froth end up on shore, or back in the sea after ‘n’ cycles”, “will it hang around in the froth line forever or not”, and “is there a ‘why’ that we can quantify and count on”. You get the idea.
So here we are, Forty years later, with more time and less self; the graphics and logic that Benoit used to create and display his Fractal Mandelbrot set are old friends, but no longer attached to money. We are now free to explore without agenda or purpose – a holiday from education, the science is settled, and must haves. Unintended consequences. Who knew?
The Fractal Froth Line
Metaphorically, the froth line separates the sand from the sea as the interface where the waves lap or crash along the shoreline intersection. Up on the beach, there is no doubt that it’s sand. Out in the water, it’s clear that’s the sea.
The Lawyer in you will hate this next part related to scale: At the intersection, where does the sea end and the sand start? To test your definition, how long is the shoreline? You may well answer that it depends on your legal definition of scale and the elemental unit of dimension.
For the Fractal Froth line, you’ll have a problem. Scale is meaningless. Every piece of shoreline is infinite at every scale. No matter how far you zoom in, it’s still shoreline in full detail, and its DNA still looks familiar and recognizable. You have no idea if you are at Mile 0 or Mile 10 million, and the shoreline is just as complex to infinity. An Ant and an elephant walking the same shoreline on their own relative scale will tell similar stories to their offspring about the scenery and mapping of the bays and inlets along the way.
Walking the Planck
No, that’s not a typo. Read on.
To recap, driven by recursion, fractals are images of dynamic systems – the pictures of Chaos. There are things about the universe we inherently know that seem a bit strange. It is essentially chaotic, full of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. Without the Chaos and (strange and otherwise) attractors, it can’t evolve. At the same time, Fractal patterns are extremely familiar, since nature is full of fractals. For instance: coastlines, mountains, rivers, clouds, trees, plants, Climate, and so on. Geometrically and mathematically they co-exist in between our familiar dimensions.
The Fractal Recursion loop in space logically sets up the concept of time. You need to wait for the output from the underlying algorithm to feed into the next iteration at the lowest quantum level in order to build the next step. So, is there a limit in our universe as to how fast any Fractal system can propagate to the next iteration in time?
To think on that, take a moment to look at Planck’s constant on this side of the quantum limit of our understanding at the frontier of the known universe, where quantum uncertainty begins.
In physics, the Planck time is the unit of time in the system of natural units known as Planck units. It is the time required for light to travel, in a vacuum, a distance of 1 Planck length. Within that Planck timeframe and distance, we as observers can’t be sure what’s happened in the gap, or what the Master Magician is pulling off behind the scene.
Werner Heisenberg figured that out in 1927 and published the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Thus, our Fractal Natural Universe is essentially in a quantum stop-frame space-time movie, one Planck frame behind the unfolding now which gets pre-set in the Planck-width bow wave gap running in front of the universe, engaging and collapsing the endless quantum possibilities that unfold as the realized next recursive block of our particular fractal universe.
If you think this is nuts, (which well you might) know that the current search for the laws of physics, valid at the Planck length is a part of the search for The Theory of Everything. It seems possible that that the Planck gap has enough room for it all, recursively setting the hard limits of our physical space-time universe to this side of the gap, one step behind the now. So close logically, yet eternally out of touch to the mind’s eye. The Science is never settled
-the old man
There is a crack, a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in – Leonard (Planck) Cohen 🙂
“The Science is Settled” – A look back 400 years.
It was February 1616 that it was officially decreed as such. In objective hindsight, let’s take a look and celebrate how well that worked out on this 400th year anniversary.
Basically, the tenants of the 1616 argument centered on the known “settled” science of the day that the earth was fixed, and the rest moved around it.
Then this guy Galileo Galilei showed up at the party and created quite a controversy as a skeptic supporting the opinion that the sun stands still at the center of the world and the earth moves.
The (shall we say) establishment AG’s of the world set off to shut him up for disturbing the popular fixed view, and organized an Inquisition under the urging of Pope Paul V to make sure. Galileo was ordered by law to “… to abandon the opinion that the sun stands still at the center of the world and the earth moves, and henceforth not to hold, teach, or defend it in any way whatever, either orally or in writing.”
The sentence of the Inquisition was delivered on 22 June. It was in three essential parts:
“Finally!”, they must have thought, the matter of skeptics has been put to rest. In modern 21st Century terms we say, “The Science is settled”….
Ah, the arrogance of the tiny human ego knows no bounds. We’ve been on this earth for a Nano Second of its 4.5 Billion year evolution.
As a perfectly elegant feedback system, Earth has managed to self-correct its various mega-disasters to get it to a point where humans can do their walkabouts.
Sadly, in our brief Nano Second, we actually believe we know better, how Earth got to here and what needs fixing. We superficially skip the tops of the waves in oceans that are (for humans) infinitely deep and still make Pollyanna Pronouncements on the whole as if it urgently matters in the grand scheme of things.
The Laws of unintended consequences never enter into the analysis, and we ping pong our disconnected logic from pillar to post, layering more trivial fixes on things that didn’t need fixing from the outset.
So in looking back, how did that last cycle of “The Science is Settled” work out? I like the French wording best:
we are the hollow men…. headpiece filled with straw (TS Eliot)
Although I’ve never personally met Patrick Moore, we do share a common humble beginning, being born in tiny villages in Rural Canada.
I also started out in a one room “school” which was actually a converted confectionary store, and quickly developed a keen interest in all things taught in that little room, including science, math, language, logic and how elegantly complex things are seamlessly connected in the flow of life.
From the beginning, my familiar world was the Restigouche River surrounded by forests that provided the ideal environment for developing a finely honed set of skills to directly know nature, fish salmon and hunt to help supplement the food for our extended family’s meagre means while we grew up.
So I confess to having some bias toward Patrick’s eloquence, and although we have never crossed paths, he is a fellow traveler on the journey.
Here is a link to his talk at the Annual GWPF Lecture in London in October 2015.
Me, circa 1952.. What would I tell the little guy about the journey he was about to embark upon… (hint: there are no words that would work)
A Word on Enlightenment
Anyone who tells you they are enlightened is not even close. The first part of the problem is that to attempt do so requires the DNA of language; – A Subject acting on a separate Object linked with a Verb. Language exists in, and can only be understood in, the separation it defines and reinforces. In that sense, Enlightened as a described idea is not of the moment, nor can it be.
Enlightenment (remember that is just a word pointer trying to describe <“”>), is outside language and description, and can never be translated as a concept or place in our physical separation.
<“”> is of the infinite undifferentiated whole, unreachable to the I/Me/Self longing to go there as a place of inner peace. If you think you have been there, you haven’t. There is nothing to remember or bring back from the undifferentiated whole, nor could it ever make sense to anything remotely connected to the separate You/I/Me stuck in our space-time machinery.
<“”> will never show up if you desire it, meditate for it, or demand it. In fact, any emotion will bolt you down to Space-Time and keep you on this side of the curtain.
<“”> comes uninvited when you least expect it. You won’t know it in the moment, but when you drift back to thought, language and the daily grind, you will inwardly carry a profound calm and direct understanding about the connected universe that is always unfolding as it should .
Regardless of why and where you have left to travel on this earth you will know this:
Nothing is wrong; – nothing ever can be wrong.
It’s the singular truth that passes through the filters of our earthly understanding – Live your life to the fullest without fear or regret, with the wind beneath your wings. That’s why you are here.
-the old man and one of his young man toys
When Academics under the Umbrella of Politics disguise as Science for Climate.
This link is just so sad. Any future fact based “what were they thinking “ documentary on the politically motivated short selling by small minds with even smaller minds cheering them on will seem so obviously flawed in the downstream big picture of historical hindsight.
Really, grow up children. Peer Review the Calculus and Physics of the issues. Resorting to silly little protein side-agendas in an attempt to clutter and subtract from the real truth simply amplifies the real weakness in your arguments.
Vencore Weather (a provider of information solutions, engineering and analytics for government and commercial customers worldwide) – just posted this article on 28 April:
“Atlantic Ocean showing signs of a significant long-term shift in temperatures from warm-to-cold. “
In addition to solar cycles, temperature cycles in the planet’s oceans play critical roles in our ever changing climate and also on the extent of global sea ice. Oceanic temperature cycles are often quite long-lasting and a warm or cold phase can persist for two or three decades at a time. In general, the Atlantic Ocean experienced a cold phase from the early 1960’s to the mid 1990’s at which time it flipped to a warm phase and that has continued for the most part ever since. The current warm phase; however, is now showing signs of a possible long-term shift back to colder-than-normal sea surface temperatures (SST) and this could have serious implications on US climate and sea ice areal extent in the Northern Hemisphere.
Down Memory Lane
You may have clicked on this post thinking yet another Old Man was about to reminisce about the “Good Old Days”. But you’d be wrong. Hang on to that thought as you read this.
Memory + Thinking team up as Ego to create separation from the unfolding ‘Now’ so that you can practically function, navigate and compare notes in the Physical Space-Time Universe that you and Einstein see as real. Without that module, you can’t effectively operate here. And, as it is said, you can’t get there from here. ‘Here’ is all about separation; ‘There’ is undivided all beyond thought.
So, you start earth-life at the umbilical cord connected to the blissful Now, but quickly build up enough memory and processing power to become self-aware. You fortify the concept of ‘Me and Mine’ by continuously creating custom distances between everything that Ego catalogues under the Action- Reaction Library Banner Module. (I made that up.. don’t Google it).
From this process emanates your Reality. Could be Success, Failure, Love, Hate, Banker, Bank Robber, Bank Teller, and so on. To the undivided universe it’s just the ever unfolding Now. To you, it all depends on how it’s catalogued. The separation / pain / anxiety / joy / judgement that you continuously feel is rooted in your manufactured reality; – Not even close to the actual connected universe of ‘What Is’.
On the down side, Memory Lane is one of the major filters that can keep you locked into a specific life frequency, for good or bad, in a ditch or a castle. For example, if someone did wrong or right to you and you carry that into the meet and greet for every new individual you run across, you don’t actually see the truth or potential of any new experience as it could evolve, but rather thru the filter of your memory .
There are a million other subtle biases that you bring to the table when you try to carry your past into the ‘Now’ with the associated memory baggage. You keep circling the same old drain as long as you choose to stay tied to that particular leash. It’s why you sometimes make very bad decisions by ignoring “What Is” and depend on the sketchy Memory Module to be your guide.
So what to do, what to do . . . .
What to do, you ask? …. Let go.
-the old man
I found this recent 17th April 2016 ‘Climate news from Germany in English’ article posted on NoTricksZone.com re: the coming La Nina to be worth a review. The relevant discussion points:
• From earlier ENSO models, the La Niña originally was not very evident, but the NOAA has since drastically corrected its projections and the CFSv2 is now anticipating “unusual cold sea surface temperatures in the El Niño region of 3.4,”
• Based on an array of data, Schneefan tells readers to expect a La Niña already early in the second half of this year and that there are signs it may turn into a Super La Nina – one that could persist until part way into 2018.
• The consequence, he writes: “With a delay of 4 to 5 months, global temperatures will retreat over many years and fall below the long-term climate mean.”
Here’s the link to that translated article from German on NoTricksZone by Pierre Gosselin.
The takeaway from 70 years of wear and tear in wandering around the planet distills into three words: Less is more. The kids say that it’s easy for me to say that now, having had a pretty good ride, all in all. Perhaps they have a point, but maybe not. It doesn’t matter for the purpose of this note.
From 20 on into the 40’s it was all about the money dream. When that didn’t quench the fire and bring on Nirvana, it was about upping the game which included chasing power in its varied forms ranging from respect to influence to being the top dog in the penthouse suite.
Chasing the dream is one of those things that are guaranteed to keep your finely tuned earth-ego separated from what is. “What is” is never right or wrong, good or bad, yin or yang, or in fact, anything you can comprehend with your earth mind. It can never be part of your familiarity with Einstein’s Space-Time physics limited by the speed of light. It’s simply Now, totally connected and unfolding without you or your thoughts on the matter.
In fact, every thought that arises as a “Me/Them/It-thing” is the very act that separates your world of disparate ideas from the holistic Now. The distance between your desire/regret for/of a particular outcome and “What is” will always be a measure of your emotional pain or joy. As long as there is a ‘You’ at the scene, there will be that pain, joy or separation which can be measured as the gulf between your desire and the “What is”. You can never know “What is” in your busy life of separation; all you know is always looking back with joy or regret, and forward with expectation, anxiety or fear. So the takeaway tip for this navigation-free note is simply :
-the old man
In attempting to arrive at an enlightened understanding of Climate Change DNA, I have come to the sad realization that the loudest Climate Pop-Science as embraced is far more political and social in its approach than empirical.
For that reason, this article (link) below resonated with an appropriate chord near middle C that reverberated down that winding rabbit hole to where the Mad Hatters must live.
Dr. Tom Hartsfield holds a PhD in physics from the University of Texas at Austin.
Here is the link to his article:
This well written article by Dr. S. Fred Singer caught my attention, and I thought it worthy of including in the ongoing Climate Discussion Section here on Not on My Watch.
In particular, the section below stands out:
Surviving a coming climate cooling
I am much more concerned by a cooling climate — as predicted by many climate scientists — with its adverse effects on ecology and severe consequences for humanity.
Singer and Avery in “Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 years” have described one form of observed cyclical climate change. It was first seen during the past glaciation. Loehle and Singer claim evidence for these cycles to extend into the present.
In particular, historical records identify the recent cycle of a (beneficial) Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the (destructive) Little Ice Age (LIA) with its failed harvests, starvation, disease, and mass deaths. Many solar experts predict another LIA cooling within decades.
Dr. S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and a founding director of the Science & Environmental Policy Project; in 2014, after 25 years, he stepped down as president of SEPP. His specialty is atmospheric and space physics. An expert in remote sensing and satellites, he served as the founding director of the US Weather Satellite Service and, more recently, as vice chair of the US National Advisory Committee on Oceans & Atmosphere. He is an elected Fellow of several scientific societies and a Senior Fellow of the Heartland Institute and the Independent Institute. He co-authored the NY Times best-seller Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 years.
I ran across this CO2 ‘Executive’ Summary of Science checklist. It deserves a read as part of your search for the middle ground of reason. Click the link below to get to his article.
Trend calculated precisely for the first time (2012)
An international team including scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in 2012 published a reconstruction of the climate in northern Europe over the last 2,000 years based on the information provided by tree-rings.
Professor Dr. Jan Esper’s group at the Institute of Geography at JGU used tree-ring density measurements from sub-fossil pine trees originating from Finnish Lapland to produce a reconstruction reaching back to 138 BC. In so doing, the researchers were able for the first time to precisely demonstrate that the long-term trend over the past two millennia has been towards climatic cooling. The researchers were from Germany, Finland, Scotland, and Switzerland.
Here is a link to their article, and the high-resolution representation of the Temperature trends attached to it.
The Contact listed is Professor Dr. Jan Esper, Institute of Geography, Johannes Gutenberg University D 55099 Mainz, Germany.
Since digging into this Climate Change discussion, and attempting to see various sides of the arguments and postulations, the recurring point is that there are a number of divergent datasets and ideas to be vetted and cross checked.
Sometimes it seems that a narrow information vertical is cited in order to demonstrate a particular Climate point hypothesis that may or may not be based on actual collected raw data. Further, data collected may be localized, filtered, dumbed down, narrowed or extrapolated via various computer models until it reinforces or curve fits a particular hypothesis in order to support some predetermined conclusion.
However, there is also some aggregating out there which seems to strike an appropriate balance in the quest for answers. The following article from Global Research represents such an alternative view and analysis of global climate change, which challenges the dominant Global Warming Consensus.
I don’t personally know Global Research or this gentleman, but thought his article was worth a read, with the attached caveat:
Evidence for Predicting Global Cooling for the Next Three Decades– Don Easterbrook
Global Research does not necessarily endorse the proposition of “Global Cooling”, nor does it accept at face value the Consensus on Global Warming. Our purpose is to encourage a more balanced debate on the topic of global climate change.
Don J. Easterbrook is Professor Emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University. Bellingham, WA. He has published extensively on issues pertaining to global climate change.
Little David and Big Al – who’s doing what in North America
On the basis of land area, Canada and the US are pretty much 50-50 size wise, so global comparison on an Earth land mass basis seems like a good place to start. On the world stage, let’s look at who is doing better in terms of minimizing the percentage of Thermal Carbon based power for the same footprint at this juncture in the 21st Century.
As a starting point, using data published by Statistics Canada (2010), DOE/EIA-0035(2015-03), the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Department of Energy, here’s how it rolls up:
The first thing that hits you is that Canada, in spite of having an Earth stewardship footprint that equals the USA, gets along with only 5% as much Electrical Energy production, in spite of the fact that it is on the cold North Face of the 49th Parallel. Having mostly CO2 swallowing wilderness, forest cover, cultivated land, and one tenth the population of the US spread out along the 49th parallel for warmth also helps. Below are the pie charts expressing the above energy production by type as percent for each country.
Big Al’s elephant in the room at home in the USA is the towering CO2 thermal production numbers @ 67% of the Big Total that have been immune to efforts re: emission reduction. For little David Canada, he’s fortunate that between Hydro and Nuclear, 76% of Canada’s total electrical production are already (CO2) emission free. That leaves only 23% as CO2 thermal power emission float to be considered for tailoring. I use CO2 as the common yardstick only because both David and Al seem to agree on that as their major objective. Al has 3 times as much work to do to catch up to David on the CO2 front, footprint wise.
Take Away … (Canada Biased – friends from the US can do their own summary for their turf)
This is a high level look at North America Electrical Power generation in the context of CO2 emissions, and the reality of the Canadian flea on the US Elephant’s back. This article makes no determination on the merits of the CO2 Emission arguments. There is also much more to the story than these high level numbers show. For example, Solar PV above the 49th parallel delivers only low annual energy density and is not really viable as a solution in Canada, so the US has the advantage there. ( Drill down here )
Raw local wind has a similar annual energy density problem unless it gets aggregated by geological considerations (making it very site specific). Places like PEI already take full advantage of their location to make the best use of wind in Canada at virtually 100% wind renewable, helped by their tiny population, footprint and geography. It won’t work like that everywhere.
However, in spite of our northern latitude, parts of Canada are able to make excellent use of aggregated solar through nature’s weather cycles and the Canadian (vertical potential) geography via renewable Hydro Generation. Clearly, Canada has already done well in that department, and the graphs show it, thanks to those past political leaders who had the vision and character to follow through. BC is nearly 90% renewable Hydro, Yukon is 94% ,Quebec does 97% and Manitoba is nearly 100%.
Many smaller locations in the High Arctic and rural Canada have no choice but to use CO2 thermal. Applying a carbon tax to any Canadian citizen without first providing an economically survivable alternative infrastructure would be borderline heartless and not thoughtful governance. It would be very un-Canadian. There is definitely not a one size Federal approach that fits all. Not even close.
In Closing …
Finally, where social politics intersect thoughtful Science, don’t take what anyone says regarding Climate Change (including this) as an axiom without personally cross checking the premises via your own logical and math / fact checking skills. Otherwise, you might unwittingly become a vector amplifying some Gullible Travels mantra, for some nefarious agenda that may not quite be true.
This is a link to a blog by Tom Moriarty that works for me.
In particular, his summary on Solar PV and Wind from a Practical Project point of view underlines the fact that raw solar and wind are low density forms of energy:
What would be the consequences of covering 6 million square kilometers of land with PV? This would be like completely covering an area the combined size of Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Washington, Georgia, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, New York, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Maine, South Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Hawaii, Connecticut, Puerto Rico, Delaware, Rhode Island with solar panels. Of course, this would be spread out over the about 100 million square kilometers of land at latitudes lower than about 50 degrees.
This plan would also require a distribution system that could move energy from daytime areas to nighttime areas, or at least a few days of storage for every person on the planet. Such a distribution system is not feasible at this time, and the massive amount of storage is prohibitively expensive.
Two days of storage would be 200 kilowatt hours of stored energy per person. Probably the best mass storage option today (2015) is with Tesla’s Powerwall, which stores 7 kilowatt hours, costs $3,000, and weights 220 pounds. So we would need about $90,000 and about 6,600 pounds of storage for each of the 7 billion people. That adds another $630 trillion to the cost.
These calculations serve simply to give a feel for what could be done with solar photovoltaics and what the limitations might be. I am not suggesting that the world should be powered solely with PV. With other energy sources in the mix less money and land would need to be devoted to PV (but more to those other sources). For example, if you did the same calculations for wind, then you would find that about twice as much area (about 12 million square kilometers) would have to be covered by wind farms to get the same amount of energy. But at least you can grow corn are graze cattle below the turbines in a wind farm.
I have led you to water. It is up to you to drink up your own conclusions about the viability of using solar energy to bring the world up to a reasonable level of energy consumption.
This Article by Gregory Fegel is worth a read. It does look at one of the questions pondered in the Climate Change Discussion about how the derivative of temperature over time always inflects from positive (interglacial sequence) through 0 to negative (glacial sequence) in such a dramatic fashion .
From his article, this counter intuitive paragraph stands out:
“The next Ice Age will be precipitated by — quite literally — an upward trend in summer temperatures and summer warming of the oceans in the Northern Hemisphere, which will increase oceanic evaporation and cause an increase in precipitation, some of which will fall as snow that will feed the growth of glaciers at high elevations and at high latitudes.”
There is a lot of material available to the unwashed with time on their hands (like me) on this subject. Spending half a year online, looking at, integrating the vast amounts of information immediately at one’s disposal is the equivalent of multiple years of researching a problem back in the day. Simply amazing, and efficient.
The caveat to making best use of this vast information store is that it still requires a modicum of street smarts, a pause to ask “Is this reasonable?” and to use individual intellect to try and sort fact from fiction. The internet of people and things seems to have no shortage of ego, which is not really surprising. It’s hard to navigate a planet steeped in physical separation without it. Just don’t let it drive the vessel. Otherwise, truth as Truth may get bent to conform to some subtle idea posing as reality.
The Climate Change discussion seems to be one of those issues.
The Big Picture
Make no mistake, it is a big picture compared to the tiny human scale of understanding as relatable to big time. For the purpose of this discussion, let’s use the graphs sourced from EPA’s Climate Change Indicators (2014) and Petit et al. (2001). They are based on the Vostok ice core from Antarctica.
I’ve taken the overlay and scaled it in a CAD program to add the markup to make the job simpler.
Source: EPA’s Climate Change Indicators (2014) and Petit et al. (2001)
They are based on the Vostok ice core from Antarctica.
The graphs cover a period of 425,000 Years to the present.
Right Click and “save as” for full size graphs.
• In spite of all the possible external earth disturbing climate events of the last 400,000 years, there is a recognizable, stable repeating period temperature pattern between the glacial and interglacial peaks, not unlike tides, seasons and other earth cycles. That’s pretty resilient in itself, especially if you figure in wild disruptions such as things like the Mount Toba Volcano (apparently spewed out 2,800 cubic kilometers of magma / ash etc approximately 75,000 years ago).
• There is quite a bit online that attempts to connect the pattern period to changes in Earth’s orbital mechanics, called Milankovitch cycles. There are also detractors.
• A meaningful statistical climate trend sample size needs to be more than a few centuries. Look at the scale width of 2,000 years at the top of the chart, and then look at the temperature noise over the same 2000 years. It would be pretty hard to confidently stake one’s career (political or scientific) based on such a tiny time sampling to proclaim an enduring scientific trend against the powerful backdrop of historical oscillations which are still not well understood either in magnitude or direction.
• The CO2 graph generally follows the temperature trend, but does not lead the temperature. There is considerable discussion online that says the CO2 lags the temperature by approximately 6-800 years, which could mean the temperature is the initial driver and CO2 follows as an ‘also ran’. A possible mechanism to explain the lag assumes the release of huge quantities of sequestered Methane in the earth and sea at the initial temperature rise which over a period of time, gets processed into CO2 and water. Initially, the release of the Methane is a potent GHG like water vapor (much more than CO2), all of which contribute to the rocket temperature rise. By the time the loose Methane in the atmosphere shows up as converted to CO2 and water, it’s mostly over, the damage is already done.
• Once the temperature system starts to feed forward (for whatever reason), it essentially rises so fast that it creates a near vertical step input disruption to the overall system. Note that in the last 5 cycles, the temperature rise occurs in a short 9,000 +/- years. That is a very powerful thermal excursion rate compared to everything else on the chart, implying that once initiated, it will run its course. We are currently around one of those peaks. For the past 425,000 years, each cycle seems to hit a wall around 3 to 5+ F above the current temperature. At that point it abruptly (really abruptly.. like a switch) goes into feedback, putting the brakes on in an equally spectacular fashion. The feedback loop takes over then exponentially levels out and (unfortunately) lasts about 10 times as long as the temperature spike, and includes an extended glacial period. Freezing to death is a measurable possibility.
• Curiously, I can’t find an answer as to why the very fast feed forward mechanism is abruptly reversed every time, nor how those screeching brakes are fully applied, but it is clear that it happens. Further, our current temperature cycle top has not peaked any higher / differently than the previous four cycles, and it looks like it’s simply oscillating in some noise around the current temperature. You’d think that would be a very interesting question to explore, as the current temperature cycle is clearly not in synch with the CO2 pattern when you add in the calculated human contribution.
• On the Graph, the previous peak from around 100,000 BC indicates a point where we had a 15,000 year diversion between Temperature and CO2 (for whatever reason). If you follow the lines to both axes, a -9F delta in Temperature corresponds to a small Delta in CO2 of approximately -8 ppm. Now, look at the 300,000 BC peak. For the same -9F delta in Temperature, there is a corresponding Delta in CO2 of -34 ppm, or over 4 times as much. The point here is that the cause and effect part of the CO2 argument seems much less binding / less important verses temperature in actual practice.
• If the climate change cycle could be regulated going forward – that is, if the earth held the climate in a steady state over the 425,000 years, the mean temperature based on integrating the areas along the current temperature curve would permanently settle out at a chilly -8.7F below the current temperature. This would put our climate permanently in a near ice age. Fortunately, the recurring temperature rise we get every 100,000 +/- years does a perfect job of stirring the climate pot and gives our earthlings a brief respite of warm climate between ice ages. (It works out to 3% of the time at / or a bit above the current temperature, and 97% of the time below the current temperature.) The point on this one is to tell your kids to enjoy the brief tropical earth holiday while it lasts.
• The story that the Graph tells over 425,000 years indicates that there are a myriad of interacting major forces at play in Climate change. In spite of that, the climate system spends most of its time in negative feedback except for the brief and powerful near vertical temperature spikes that dramatically recur on a regular basis. Regardless, there is a wall of resistance at the top for temperature that it doesn’t ever cross, and a switch around 5F above our current temperature that shuts it down in a dramatic and rapid 180 degree reversal. What are the mechanics of that gatekeeper? Do we know?
On the Smart Scientist side of this discussion:
Someone in the climate loop with the appropriate toolset needs to refine what is really going on at the top. By top, I don’t mean that in the Political Science sense, but in the New York minute where the rapid temperature rise suddenly inverts and heads back down for the next long and drawn out glacial period. Nothing I’ve seen in the cause and effect department (so far) adequately explains why the wall exists, and why the temperature consistently bounces off at 5F +/- from where we are now, even considering the better precision in the near term data than that gathered for 400,000 BC.
Starter questions for the scientists from the regular unwashed:
• Is it at all possible that the greenhouse effect for the rapid temperature rise is accelerated by the vast quantity of stored methane/ hydrocarbons being rapidly released from the oceans and earth’s crust as the temperature rises, feeding forward and simply stopping when the tank is empty, much like a forest fire eventually runs out of fuel ? (Reference to recent NASA Arctic Methane Work )
• Why do the glacial periods last so long verses the interglacial periods? Would each ice age period reset the population back because of the inability of the planet to support / feed more than the 5 Million we had hanging around the end of the last glacial period? Humans, plants and the supporting carbon based protein seem to have thrived and multiplied well at the top of the current interglacial cycle, going from a paltry 5 Million seven thousand years ago to well over 7 Billion at the top of the cycle today.
• What is the role that the three phases of water play in this cycle end to end? Considering the accommodating temperature window in the process, water exists as a solid, liquid and vapor. At one end, it’s on the earth’s surface as extended glaciers, ice cover and snow reflecting energy back to space. At the other end it shows up as ever increasing vapor and a powerful greenhouse blanket trapping the solar energy. As it transitions from solid to liquid and liquid to gas and back again, it stores and releases huge amounts of energy to the system. Water covers over 70% of the planet, making it hard to ignore.
• Since the cycles are so regular, would that mean the net available water and hydrocarbon flux to the system is more or less constant across the chemistry and physical interchanges over numerous cycles, regardless of how they are delivered to the atmosphere?
• Just asking. What else might it be?
And so to wrap up:
For the regular folk reading this, please pass this along. It’s meant to be a work in progress for everyone, and we the regular people are open to be shown where the logic needs improving / adjusting or where it’s wrong. After all, we share the same planet, and share the same big sky objectives.
But be careful out there. There are clearly Agenda’s in the mix on both sides of Climate Change designed to be retirement plans for a few and exacerbated and reinforced by lazy reporting and politics in the middle. There is currently a lack of unbiased genuine Scientific leadership around willing to actually deliver a clear, end to end unified climate theory that fits the long haul data to the world; – not one motivated by Big Money, Big Ego or Big Politics cherry picking at the edges of the problem for whatever selfish biased reasons that suit a particular agenda.
Regardless, enjoy the temperature tropics for now. It’s a great time to be human, considering the 97% odds of being born on the downside of a glacial period.
That Reminds me: I’m off to buy a lotto ticket.