"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's The Sun, Stupid

Back in about the mid 1980s the crap was starting about CFCs or chlorofluorocarbons destroying the ozone.  In spite of my incredibly boring high school classes, I was fascinated by chemistry and physics and biology, so I had done a lot of self-study in those areas.  At that time I still believed in evolution as well, but that's another story.  The point is, I sought out good sources that really made clear in my mind how these things worked and why they were important. Pretty much the opposite of what went on in the government school, memorizing a lot of abstract facts and formulas long enough to pass a test so you can forget about it the following week or semester.  BTW, it was in my high school years in the late 70s I think, that we were being warned in the papers and magazines about a coming ice age.  I seem to recall a TIME magazine cover to that effect.

Then came that period where I learned to be a mechanic, learning all I could about everything from brakes to engine rebuild, electrical systems and air conditioning. In order to understand and diagnose HVAC systems, you need to understand at least some basics of chemistry and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.  A thorough understanding of the 2nd Law will seriously mess up any belief in evolution, unless you can fool yourself into thinking that the two things can somehow exist in the same universe.  But I digress.  Let me just insert this quote from the British media that I found via BMEWS, and then I'll explain what I'm getting at.
Throughout the 20th century the sun was unusually active, peaking in the 1950s and the late 1980s. Recently sunspot activity has all but disappeared.
Gavin said: “It is the sun’s energy which keeps the earth warm and the amount of energy the earth receives isn’t always the same. I’ve looked at the evidence for global warming and while I understand and agree with a lot of it, there has been a lot missed out. A major factor is the activity of the sun.”
There is also solar wind – streams of particles from the sun – which are at their weakest since records began. In addition, the Sun’s magnetic axis is tilted at an unusual degree. This is not just a scientific curiosity. It could affect everyone on earth and force what for many is unthinkable – a reappraisal of the science behind global warming.
It was thought that carbon dioxide emissions rather than the sun was the bigger effect on climate change. Now a major re-think is taking place.
The upshot is that Gavin is not alone in predicting we face another 30 frozen years, each getting progressively colder than the last.
You can read more about it here.

What first got me questioning the "management by crisis" stuff going on in the world, was that I had learned about earth science in general.  I was working on my private pilot license when I was sixteen, and you have to really learn about weather and navigation.  In navigation you discover that the earth wobbles on its axis. That magnetic North doesn't stay in the same spot from year to year.  You discover that solar activity can play havoc with radio equipment.  You learn all kinds of things that you just won't learn to be a cog in the average labor force.  So when I first heard the nonsense about CFCs destroying the ozone layer, I said, "You have got to be kidding."  First of all, the little ozone layer is but a small part of protecting us from various forms of cosmic radiation.  The magnetic field and water vapor play a much greater role.  Secondly, CFCs are complex and denser molecules that are heavier than air.  In order to successfully find a freon leak in an air conditioning system, you had to keep the sensing probe below any possible slow seeping leaks or you would miss them, so how in the world could CFC be finding it's way up to the upper atmosphere where the ozone is?  I smelled a rat.  Then I find out that the patent that DuPont had on standard R12 and R22 freon was running out.  We must invent a new formula to patent on the premise that "something's gotta be done."   Anybody want to guess who funded studies to show that CFCs are harmful to the environment?  Anyone?  Beuller?

What really irritates me is how many people, and a lot of them with college degrees can be so foolish.  Let's just take this one statement:

“It is the sun’s energy which keeps the earth warm and the amount of energy the earth receives isn’t always the same. I’ve looked at the evidence for global warming and while I understand and agree with a lot of it, there has been a lot missed out.
First question:  What evidence?  Computer models that have failed dramatically?  Mitigating evidence that has purposely been suppressed by East Anglia University and others who have a vested interest in not looking stupid, or worse, deceptive?  Second: You understand and agree with it, and then you say that a lot  -- not a little, not a piece or two -- has been missed out.  Wow.  In the scientific world, I mean the real scientific world as opposed to the one of consensus, where people with Ph.D.s vote on what they want to believe is true, it only takes one piece of evidence to falsify a theory and cause it to be thrown out.  Tell me again WHY I should take anything you say seriously?

I suppose the unwashed masses just need to understand that critical thinking has become as extinct as the dodo bird in the halls of academe.  Thou shalt not question the keepers of the faith in "science."  To do so makes you a, a, **GASP**  "DENIER."  You shall be cast down with the xenophobes, homophobes, racists, bigots, and all manner of subhuman life forms.  "Evidence?  We don't need no stinking evidence!"

Sorry, dude, but it really is the sun.  And because of the fact that we know the sun is shrinking, and because of the laws of physics, and especially the 2nd law of thermodynamics.  It is a lot more likely that we are going to experience more cold.  We should be hoping that solar flares start kicking in again.

Here's a little experiment that you can do at home.  Get yourself a couple of mason jars, quart or half gallon size, with lids.  The bigger the better.  Get a little dry ice; sold at many grocery stores.  You'll need a couple of small non-electronic thermometers, alcohol or mercury type.  In the first one, put in one thermometer and put in the dry ice and put on the lid LOOSELY enough that the sublimating gas can escape as it expands until you don't see any more solid dry ice.  The expanding CO2 should displace most all of the standard air in the jar.  You can then tighten the lid.  In the other jar, put a thermometer and about a teaspoon or tablespoon of water. Screw the lid on tight.  Set both jars out in the sun in the morning.  By about 3:PM local time, check the temperature in the jars.  Then write to me and tell me how much you think that carbon dioxide can contribute to "global warming."

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