Gaining a Perspective on Magnitude

When I read the latest tripe on Global Warming* the new weasel argument is to talk about numbers out of context.  For example, people talk about “adding three Hiroshima bombs per second of extra energy” to the ocean as a result of the CO2 levels in the atmosphere.  Wow.  That sounds scary.  Three extra bombs.  Per second.

Out of Context

So, how much energy is that exactly?  I mean, how many “Hiroshima” bombs per second NORMALLY go into the ocean per day from sunlight?  Energy is typically measured in Joules.  That Hiroshima bomb, for example, measured in at 63 Terajoules (63 trillion joules).  According to wikipedia, the earth receives approximately 174 petawatts from the sun, of which approximately 70% is not reflected, making for 121.8 petawatts.  121.8 petawatts = 121.8 petajoules / second.  121.8 petajoules = 121,800 terajoules.  So the earth receives about 1933.3 Hiroshima Bombs per second of energy.  Let that sink in while I check my math.  121.8e15 / 63e12 = 1933.3.  Yep.

So we’re worried about an extra 0.15 % power change.  Of course, while they deny using the metaphor to “scare” people, nothing is scarier than atomic bombs!  Now, if they said “we’ve detected what we believe to be an extra 0.15% change in energy in the atmospheric system, and we have to radically change our world energy structure at a cost of TRILLIONS of dollars…”  that would be scary!

How Big a Temperature Increase?

So, as the “heat content” of the Ocean rises by “3 Hiroshima Bombs” a day, what is the actual temperature increase caused by all that energy?  Well, it must be massive!  It’s hiding, you know, waiting to jump out at us without warning and say “gotcha!”  And it’s massive – I mean, it’s 3 Hiroshima Bombs a second EVERY DAY!  HUGE!

Well, again, luckily, someone has done some calculations, and it turns out that adding 3 Hiroshima Bombs to the ocean every second for 10 years produces a…wait for it…. point 1 degree Centigrade (0.1 C ) rise!  That’s right, people – we’re all going to die now!  This is why people state the numbers in Terajoules and Hiroshima Bombs.  You tell people about BIG NUMBERS and dangerous BOMBS, and you can get them to panic and beg you to save them.  You tell people numbers they understand, and all of a sudden it’s not quite the scary bogeyman you need to extract their money from their wallets.

Never mind that we have only 150 years TOTAL data measured with any scientifically accurate instruments, or that we have less than 100 years of world wide coverage, or less than 50 years of satellite data, so making comparisons to the past is impossible.  Oh yeah, ignore the fact that they keep massaging the data (torturing it) to get it to show warming.  It’s all “settled science.”

Apocalypse Never

So, as hurricanes continue to miss the US Coast, and tornado activity in the Midwest continues to be less than “extreme,” as CO2 gets pumped into the atmosphere by India and China at rates that will dwarf the US’s paltry and declining contribution to “greenhouse” gasses, I’m not going to be all that concerned.  You see, there’s LOTS of room in the oceans, and there’s lots of room in the atmosphere, and every year of increasing CO2 results in LESS warming (CO2’s effects are logarithmic – something I’m going to make you look up on your own), and things are generally getting better meteorologicaly.  Life likes warmth – always has, probably always will, and more people die from cold events in winter than heat waves in summer.

CO2 Causes Warming, NOT “Climate Change”

Because the world has not warmed for 17 years, econuts and warmunists have taken to calling the condition whereby man burns CO2 and affects the weather “Climate Change.” Don’t let them do it.

CO2 Can Only Warm

The only effect that CO2 can have on our atmosphere is to warm it.  CO2 does not cause any other atmospheric disturbance.  Therefore, when people claim that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses (GHGs) cause “Climate Change,” correct them.  Don’t let them bait and switch the conversation.  Climate always changes, and research had not proven yet that some “radical state change” in the climate at the end of the 20th century, or pending in the 21st century, has in any way affected the overall climate on the planet.

Climate Deniers

Do we (being humans) affect the climate?  Yes.  It’s hard to change overall land use on the massive scales that we have without affecting the climate.  We’ve added massive amounts of humidity to the American Southwest.  We’ve changed dense forests to farmland.  We’ve built huge metropolises that no longer have the same warming and cooling characteristics as the forest and plains they replaced.  It’s called adaptation.  We change our environment to suit us – kinda what makes us human, you know?  Nobody with any sense at all denies man has an influence on the climate.  For good or for bad, climate changes and we change with it and sometimes change it.

“Climate Deniers” is a term invented by warming alarmists, however, to set up a straw man.  It’s summarizing opposition as being in “denial,” like Holocaust deniers.  Don’t let them do that either.  It’s simplistic, and is a tactic used by the weak of mind.

Climate Models Don’t Predict

No matter how hard they try, 97% of all climate models are WRONG.  They’ve completely missed the “pause” in global warming.  Does that mean they’re completely wrong?  No.  They are useful models for teaching us what we know, and more importantly, what we don’t know about climate.  But I wouldn’t wager $10 on any one of their 10 year “simulation” runs.  Why we want to bet TRILLIONS on those runs is beyond me.

In summary – don’t be a “Climate Change Denier,” it’s a silly position.  But don’t let someone else declare it’s about “Climate Change.”  If it’s not WARMING, CO2 is not the problem!

We Could Put a Man on the Moon….but not anymore!

America’s NEW solution to getting men into space!

Something happened on July 14, 2012 that’s hard to explain. A Russian Soyuz rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying a crew bound for the International Space Station that included an American Astronaut.  It’s not that America chose to use the Russian rocket after weighing the pros and cons on a cost-balance sheet and deciding it was cheaper to ride with the Russians than to launch ourselves.  It was that we have no choice.

We Can Put A Man On The Moon….

When I was young, growing up in the heady days of Appollo and Neil Armstrong’s (RIP Neil – 8/25/2012)  first baby steps into the oceans of the cosmos, a common advertising theme was “We can put a man on the moon but….”  The “buts” ranged from “can’t make a good cup of coffee” to “can’t seem to solve world hunger.”  I never realized, until now, how much hope, and pride, and enthusiasm were tied up in the first part of the phrase.  We – America – at the time COULD put a man on the moon!  We had done it!  If we can do that, we can do anything!

Now, Apollo is  a distant memory.  The Shuttle Fleet is retired.  NASA languishes from lack of vision, and we quietly and almost meekly accept a ride from the Russians, like some inter-stellar hitchhikers with our collective thumb out.   “Hey buddy, you going into orbit?  Can I grab a ride?  We’ll split gas….”

In the Wilderness, Again….

We’ve been here before.  In the late 70s, NASA seemed to languish.  The manned space program had all but come to an end with the joint “Soyuz-Apollo” flight in 1975.  For 6 years, there were no manned space flights launched by the United States.  The shuttle – that workhorse of NASA that most of today’s Americans grew up taking for granted – was over budget, behind schedule, and starting to look as if it would never get off the ground.  The public had lost interest in space – the thrill was gone, and we had more important things to do – like ending that pesky world hunger.

People have always questioned the wisdom of spending billions on a space program.  The dangers inherent in a manned spaceflight effort, the extra costs associated, and the abject failure of many proponents to expound on the advantages gained make the public apathetic or even belligerent to the expense.  It’s hard to measure the benefits of the technologies developed, the knowledge gained, or even the pride and national morale that comes from being able to put a man on the moon, or even into orbit!

Where’s Moses When You Need Him?

What we need now is a leader willing to articulate the dream.  No, NASA isn’t going to solve world hunger, or reduce the crime rate, or even show a profit – ever.  What NASA will do – what a manned space program does – is give America a sense of pride.  A morale boost.  A sense of wonder and accomplishment all at the same time.  We CAN put a man on the moon.  We CAN cure cancer.  We CAN make a good cup of coffee!  We just need to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

Our current leadership in Washington seems content to be the guys who USED to do these things.  We’re not exceptional anymore.  We’re not “in a position” to take risks, spend money, be in charge of our own space destiny.  We might as well get used to having our thumb out.

It may be a while, but I believe that a politician who grabs hold of this concept – that America is still the place that can put a man on the moon – will win the hearts and minds of the people.  That politician will lead America back to where it belongs – the driver’s seat.  Not riding shotgun in a borrowed ride….