Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Global Meltdown

Reflections on a Video on the melting of Greenland ice on the website Vice.

That video is one of the least scientific and most misleading reports I have ever read.  The interviewer has an agenda and the scientist was no help.  Their goal seems to be  to hype the situation to promote fear which sells ad space and generates study contracts.  The sea level rise is in fact not up to global scientists'  predictions.  Extreme weather events are less frequent over the last years not more frequent, hurricanes, tornados, fires, typhoons - all less frequent.  A few have been particularly violent, but if the energy is about the same, less frequent might mean more violent. 
 Temperatures haven't changed over the last 20 years.  The only thing which indicates future problems are the computer programs and they are increasingly in error.  More and more data point toward natural causes for the small heating we have experienced (<0.5ÂșC in 100 years).  Their is no direct evidence that humans have caused any warming.  The suggestion that humans are involved is derived by subtracting two computer calculations both of which are demonstrably wrong. The contribution of CO2 is minimal.  The idea is that the very small CO2 effect is amplified by the important greenhouse gas which is water vapor, even harder to model.  
Now more sophisticated scientists who are really trying to analyze the process are suggesting the the feed back is negative (reducing the effect) rather than positive (increasing the effect).  The amount of ice in Greenland is increasing even subtracting the separated ice which is in the water and won't cause sea rise.  Note that the scientist would not specify the probability that Greenland would completely melt, but he would give you a map of every city that might be effected if it did.  Since CO2 is not the real villain, reducing it by 80% will do nothing but run a number of energy producers out of business and raise the gasoline prices by an unknown amount. 
 Talking about energy, the supply of oil may never reach a maximum and start down as was expected years ago.  If you want to think about something, consider the fact that we don't know where oil comes from.  Really, we don't. It probably is being replenished by high pressure transformations of carbonate rocks deep underground.  It certainly isn't buried dinosaurs and trees. There are nowhere near enough. We may be rediscovering new sources for centuries. 
 And that doesn't include nuclear fission for which there is enough uranium fuel just in the ocean for 50,000 years.  And that doesn't include nuclear fusion which will probably be delivering essentially inexhaustible amounts of energy sometime in the future, in plenty of time.
The name alternative energy is a misnomer.  It should be called boutique energy.  It can never replace fossil fuels and nuclear.  For some applications it can be convenient, but not the main ones.
It is extremely scary to think that we might be drifting into a time of political correct energy or scientific theory.  Some people have already started talking of climate science skeptics as a sort of holocaust deniers, a sort of McCarthyism. 
The US is essentially energy independent and black lung is in the history books.  Does that sound like a problem? The climate has changed and will change.  Let's just find a way to keep our greedy, poor, common senseless and inflexible people from choosing to live where they might get in trouble.  A few years back, our insurance companies paid people on the Russian River in California to rebuild on the same spot 3 or 4 floods in a row before the insurers (subsidized by the government, i.e. you and me) finally said,"either build somewhere else or build differently). Humans do contribute to misery, their own.  And it's got nothing to do with breathing out CO2.  Remember: You can't be green without CO2.