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Tag Archives: Global Warming

Green Energy Storage: We Can’t Get There with Batteries (Why Systems Analysis is Essential for Making Good Decisions)

wind farmThe Catch-22 of Energy Storage” by John Morgan is quite an article. It exemplifies proper systems analysis, which requires one to stand back and look at the overall Big Picture — examine all of the important variables — in order to improve the odds of arriving at a proper solution.

In brief, the point of the article is that using batteries for energy storage actually results in negative energy savings, when one properly considers the energy required to build and maintain the batteries.

It is quite amazing that — because of the lack of a proper systems analysis — enormous sums have been spent on what strongly appears to be a Quixotic attempt at achieving “green energy savings” based primarily on wishful thinking about batteries.

This is not a criticism of those who like wind or solar power, because those who do have been taught to favor those approaches by a media which is largely incompetent with regard to scientific matters, and corrupt with regard to political policy. This deadly brew has resulted in a culture which embraces emotionally-laden “feel good” pseudoscience at the expense of hard-nosed but effective solutions, solutions that may actually help the environment, as well as ease the pain of our overburdened taxpayers.

Related post: “Look the the Big Picture

-Ed Walker

 

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5 Big Reasons Why “Global Warming Is A Fact” Is A Lie

burningearthIs man-made global warming occurring? Despite what you may read or hear from the media, man-made global warming has not been established beyond a reasonable doubt. Here are five big reasons why:

1. Many experienced and credible scientists with good character do not believe that man-made global warming has been proved.

2. Proponents of man-made global warming claim that warming is a fact because of “consensus”; i.e they say that a majority of scientists agree that man-made global warming is happening. But consensus is a logical fallacy, and a sign of junk science. There have been numerous instances where a minority of scientists have ultimately been proven correct, regardless of the prevailing consensus of the day. Science is based on fact, not on a vote of scientists.

3. Proponents of man-made global warming, if they truly believed in their research and analysis, would welcome the views of skeptics, because only by such challenges does science eventually converge on the truth. Instead, many proponents of man-made global warming do not welcome criticism or skeptical inquiry, and instead wage personal attacks on the skeptics. (Personal attacks are an example of the “ad hominem” logical fallacy.)

4. Proponents of man-made global warming base their beliefs on data that cannot be replicated by other scientists.

5. Proponents of man-made global warming are continually adjusting the “models” they previously created and used for predicting today’s weather, when today’s weather is not what was predicted by their earlier models. And rather than admit failure, the proponents try to obscure that fact by making up excuses and continually tinkering with their models.

A couple of interesting and thorough overviews of the junk science underlying the proponents of global warming can be found here (both by Robert Wagner):

Global Warming ‘Science’; What Investors Need To Know, Don’t Just Trust The “Experts

Climate ‘Science’ Bombshell May Be Getting Ready To Burst

The following recent article is also of interest:

The game is up for climate change believers” by Charles Moore.

(Be sure to check the comments at the end of the article by Exton, “Word of the Environmentalist.”)

p.s. I’m finding less time to compose in-depth posts, so am trying to provide brief updates of interesting news bites through twitter, which you can follow here: http://twitter.com/engthinking

-Ed Walker

 

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Global Warming: Consensus Is Not Science

Proponents of the idea of human-induced global warming often claim that there is an overwhelming consensus among scientists that such warming is a fact. For example, consider this recent article:

Consensus Confirmed: 97 Percent of Climate Papers Agree on Manmade Global Warming
by Brendan DeMelle, 22 June 2013 Huff Post Green

burningearth“A new survey conducted by a team of volunteers at Skeptical Science has definitively confirmed the scientific consensus in climate science literature — 97 percent of peer-reviewed papers agree that global warming is happening and human activities are responsible.

“It does not get any clearer than this. It should finally put to rest the claims of climate deniers that there is a scientific debate about global warming. Of course, this bunch isn’t known for being reasonable or susceptible to facts. But maybe the mainstream media outlets that have given deniers a megaphone will finally stop…”

The problem with grandiose statements such as the one above is that consensus is simply a collection of opinions, it is not scientific proof. In fact, when “consensus” is presented as “proof” then you can be sure that the presenters do not actually have verifiable proof. Instead they are merely practicing junk science.

And what about the opinions of those scientists who hold a minority view? Should their opinions be ignored because they have less votes than the majority? No, of course not. The role of true science is to determine which group is correct.

Science converges on the truth by requiring that scientists provide verifiable
evidence of a hypothesis, not by counting scientists’ votes for or against the hypothesis

Still not convinced? I agree that it may seem intuitive that scientists’ beliefs, as confirmed by a consensus of their peers, should be used to guide us when proof is not available. But this is just gambling; there have been numerous times throughout scientific history when the consensus of scientists has been completely wrong. For example, at one time the near-unanimous consensus of doctors was that it was perfectly fine to perform their work without first washing their hands: see “Advice From Professionals: Who Do You Trust? (Part 2).” (For other reasons to be cautious about allowing intuition to be our guide, see “Why Not Go With The Gut?“)

Bottom line: Those who promote “consensus” as being equivalent to a scientific proof do not understand how science works, and should be ignored.

-Ed Walker

 

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Feedback and Global Warming

An excellent summary of how the the science of feedback refutes the claims of the global warming alarmists: “The Skeptic’s Case” by David M.W. Evans in the 24 Feb Mises Daily.

Excerpts:

“…the skeptics agree with the government climate scientists about the direct effect of CO2; they just disagree about the feedbacks. The climate debate is all about the feedbacks; everything else is merely a sideshow.”

“The data presented here is impeccably sourced, very relevant, publicly available, and from our best instruments. Yet it never appears in the mainstream media — have you ever seen anything like any of the figures here in the mainstream media? That alone tells you that the ‘debate’ is about politics and power, and not about science or truth.”

 

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ET EXTRA UPDATE: Man-Made Global Warming? Apparently Not

Scientists at the CERN particle-physics laboratory in Geneva have recently presented results that tend to confirm that the Big Gorilla affecting the earth’s temperature is — the sun. The results appear to be based on good science, and accordingly have created a commotion amongst the “man is causing global warming” crowd that appears to be motivated more by a lust for government money than the search for the truth. (Also see the earlier ET post, “Globaloney Warming,” and “Global Warming” in the 3rd Quarter 2008 DACI Newsletter).

A nice summary of the reactions to the CERN results can be found here: “Sun Causes Climate Change Shock” by James Delingpole, 27 Aug 2011, The Telegraph

-Ed Walker

 

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Man-Made Global Warming A Scientific Fact? Not So Fast

Excerpts from “Update: 59 Additional Scientists Join Senate Report…More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims“:

“Fifty-nine additional scientists from around the world have been added to the U.S. Senate Minority Report of dissenting scientists, pushing the total to over 700 skeptical international scientists – a dramatic increase from the original 650 scientists featured in the initial December 11, 2008 release. The 59 additional scientists added to the 255-page Senate Minority report since the initial release 13 ½ weeks ago represents an average of over four skeptical scientists a week.  This updated report – which includes yet another former UN IPCC scientist – represents an additional 300 (and growing) scientists and climate researchers since the initial report’s release in December 2007.

“The over 700 dissenting scientists are now more than 13 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. The 59 additional scientists hail from all over the world, including Japan, Italy, UK, Czech Republic, Canada, Netherlands, the U.S. and many are affiliated with prestigious institutions including, NASA, U.S. Navy, U.S. Defense Department, Energy Department, U.S. Air Force, the Philosophical Society of Washington (the oldest scientific society in Washington), Princeton University, Tulane University, American University, Oregon State University, U.S. Naval Academy and EPA.”

Science and the public are not well-served when scientists succumb to the financial rewards offered by the government in return for touting politically correct views, rather than true science. Fortunately — as indicated by the uncorruptable scientists mentioned above — science has a correcting mechanism, albeit a lagging one, which tends to elevate the truth over the self-serving interests of scientists that are corrupted by government grants.

-Ed Walker

 

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Hunt The Big Gorillas

Climate Change, Birthers, and Chocolate

Engineering Thinking includes some key concepts, or sub-principles, that engineers use to improve the chance of making a good decision. One of these is called sensitivity analysis. This is simply a methodical way of separating the wheat from the chaff, or a way of detecting what is truly important and allowing trivial distractions to be dismissed.

Sensitivity analysis can be described as the hunt for the Big Gorillas. A Big Gorilla is a dominant factor that swamps out all other factors. If you are trying to make an important decision — for example, the purchase of a car — you have many things to consider, such as cost, gas mileage, reliability, warranty, styling, etc. If you examine all these factors, or variables, and happen to spot one that is so large that all the other factors become negligible by comparison, you have found a Big Gorilla, and can use it to quickly arrive at a good decision.

For example, a quick household budget review may tell you that you simply can’t afford a car, new or used. This budgetary Big Gorilla is telling you there’s no point in worrying about all the other variables; why waste your time?

But perhaps you can afford a used auto, and are tempted by the price sticker on a sleek sports car offered by a certain dealership. You do some research and find that the dealer can’t be trusted. The Big Gorilla — lack of trustworthiness — tells you that you had better have an independent mechanic check out the car before you buy, and also to review the contract very carefully. Or better yet, walk away and take your business to a reputable merchant.

In issues involving human behavior, the Big Gorilla is often a major motivation that someone tries to hide from view. Therefore it’s a good idea to be skeptical of surface factors when dealing with glib humans.

Remember those times when, after listening to someone’s complaints, assertions, or boasts, you had the uncomfortable feeling that the comments didn’t ring true? That’s your cue to look for a hidden Big Gorilla.

Dig Deep Enough,
And You Will Find A Compelling Reason

For example, the “climate change” debate is not at all settled science; there are huge numbers of highly qualified skeptics. Yet proponents claim that the science is settled, and have made many efforts to silence or discredit the skeptics. This should raise an alarm, and prompt a hunt for hidden Big Gorillas. A little research indicates that climate change proponents, by and large, tend to be governmental employees, or employees of firms that are funded by the government. Financial motivation is a major Big Gorilla, and may explain why some proponents try so hard to silence the skeptics: their salaries and status are threatened if their views on climate change are undermined. Another factor: scientists that are not corrupted by a hidden agenda do not try to silence fellow scientists, but instead welcome them to a hearty debate.

On a smaller matter, consider the issue concerning President Obama’s birth certificate, where some folks (the “birthers”) claim that the president is not a U.S. citizen. This seems like a ridiculous notion, and most evidence indicates that it is indeed ridiculous.  However, one fairly unpublicized factor strikes me as a perplexing Big Gorilla: the president has apparently expended hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal efforts to deny access to his original birth records. Why? Big Gorillas always point to a significant truth. In this case, it may not be related to citizenship, but there must be some significant reason for those large legal fees.

A Big Gorilla can exhibit itself in amusing ways. Some years ago, my then small daughter April bought her Dad a birthday gift of a small box of chocolates. This was at first puzzling, since I didn’t eat chocolates. In fact, being health-conscious, we usually had no candy in the house. The hidden Big Gorilla, of course, was a child’s self-interest.  My little daughter had found a clever way around the candy embargo, by purchasing a “gift for Dad” that she promptly consumed.

Next post: More Engineering Thinking Concepts

-Ed Walker

 

 

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