Allan Takes Aim Blog

Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

My latest blog is always available at: https://donallan.wordpress.com. To make direct contact e-mail me at: dca@netspeed.com.au

This article has been written in response to a request from a Florida reader who, unlike me, believes Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is the driver of climate change.

Man’s  innovation will save the world, not a carbon tax

The International Panel on Climate Change heads in the clouds, say a carbon tax would not be necessary if countries stopped using fossil fuels to produce, energy, heat, food and many other things considered essential for life. To achieve their ends they would stop the use of fossil fuels because they cause CO2, a greenhouse gas that they say contributes to global warming and cause cataclysmic and catastrophic events that will make much of the world uninhabitable. Speaking plainly, they are prophets of doom.

As prophets of doom they scorn the views of people who don’t agree with them cast them as deniers of climate science. Like zealots they would deny to others the right to express their opinions while saying anything they liked, true and false, about those opinions.

This is the tactic religious zealots used against two famous sceptics, Copernicus and Galileo, whose scepticism was later shown to be right.  In the process of not even considering their ideas the zealots of the purported correct science caused harm to a great many people and also held back the cause of science and reason.

In my view the fears generated by the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) zealots are similar to the fears generated in the public by the advice dished out by unscrupulous religious at the time of Copernicus and Galileo. If you don’t follow our advice you will be doomed to a fate worse than death. The AGW movement make the same predictions.

Indeed AGW has become religion with a hierarchy of climate scientist who pay obeisance to The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This organisation, which is part of the International Church of Bureaucracy known as the United Nations, headed by international bureaucrat, Rajendra K. Pachauri, has a carbon tax as one of its commandments.

Unfortunately, the IPCC, despite it being a UN subsidiary, seems to have little control over the various plans of members for a carbon tax. It also seems to have little control over its published material so much so that it has had to admit that some recent reports it published on Global Warming were inaccurate.

That apart the reader’s request came at an opportune time as Australia is in the middle of a pre-election campaign much of which much is centred round a carbon tax which, in a sense, puts Climate Change into its proper place. Carbon taxes are also in the political spectrum of other countries which should be a warning to voters everywhere that they should examine very carefully any policy relating to carbon tax. Indeed before the last Australian election the Prime Minister at the time said there would be no such thing as a carbon tax then went on to impose what would be the highest carbon tax in the world.

With an election already scheduled following the PM’s deposing as leader by the former PM whom she deposed, the rebadged PM announced, in a statement that can only be described as a political damascene conversion on the way to polls, a reduction would be made in the carbon tax. The reason: to reduce the burden on families.

Speaking personally, I think these statements were made in an effort to keep his personal high popularity rating in the opinion polls as he strives to remain PM.

Shortly after the announcement of the carbon tax reduction the PM then announced a series of ‘efficiency’ measures, a kind of what I’ve lost on the roundabout I’ll gain on the swings action, to recover budget money lost by the carbon tax reduction. Not that the carbon tax will disappear altogether. A carbon tax in another style, an emissions trading scheme, is to be introduced in 2014.

Finally, let me disabuse everybody of the idea that I don’t believe in global warming: I do! What I don’t believe in, are the predictions of global warming alarmists. I subscribe to the view that fear is a poor system of getting people to believe in anything apart from which I believe that if there is to be such an event as doomsday I think it will arrive without warning.

I also think it likely that our descendants, if we are lucky enough to have any will be living elsewhere in the universe on another planet far from earth.

Comment welcome.

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Posted on: 28 June 2013

My latest blog is always available at: https://donallan.wordpress.com. To make direct contact e-mail me at: dca@netspeed.com.au

Fusion energy is the real climate changer

The following article is addressed to young people who, claim climate change alarmists, are very worried about the future of the planet.  The only reply I can give to that is: when I was a young man one of my main worries was the disappearance of young women from my usual haunts. So if the young today are worried about the planet’s future I’d like to know from them where they get the information that worries them, from other than that put out by alarmists.

Another question: when the alarmists talk about the young what do they mean by young? Do they mean 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 0r 26 or is young only in comparison to themselves? That apart, what do the alarmists mean when they say the science of climate change is settled? Does it mean that no further examination of their proposition is needed?

I can only say that these people are strange scientists; science is never settled. Indeed, if over the ages people had taken the view that science could be settled, some of the greatest innovations in the world today would have some of the world’s greatest legendary engineering, medical, astronomical and myriad other scientists – think Copernicus, Galileo, Newton – gasping in amazement.

That these scientists became legends is due to the fact that like all great scientists, they were always sceptical about claims from alchemists and other so called scientists that they had discovered the elixir of life or how to transmute base metals into gold.

Not a physicist, or engineer or scientist but just an ‘ordinary (whatever that means) member of the community it is unlikely that at my late stage in life, and much as I am a sceptic it is unlikely that I will invent or discover something that will put me into the legendary category.

But I have made it my business to read as much history as I can about how the weather has changed over millenniums – apart from personal experience of variable weather over my lifetime. From my reading I have come to the conclusion that mother-nature has always determined, and still does, without recourse to advice from the IPCC or the Australian Climate Commission, when and climate change will occur.

I have concluded also that climate change has been a constant in the life of planet earth, and that AGW (anthropogenic global warming) has had little to do with it.

But the strangest thing of all is that the very people who see themselves as being the ‘experts’ at the summit of climate change science have done little else except promote the cure of AGW as a range of equipment that will produce the very thing they say they want to cure. If they wanted to walk in the footsteps of the legendary scientists, they would be spending their efforts bringing to fruition as soon as possible, commercial nuclear fusion plants that will generate clean and limitless power not only in Australia but across the world.

Like many others, however, I suspect many of them are so ambitious to be seen as saviours of the planet that they put their own overweening ambitions before the saving of the planet and its various communities.

The problem of course is as usual, that some of the IPCC scientists and Climate Change Commission suckle on the money teats of various Government funding bodies because their vanity will not allow them to be seen as less than best.

But the strangest thing to me is the absence of any mainstream media reports about how the Particle Physicists at the ANU are helping fusion stride towards being one of the main cures for global warming. Rarely, indeed, are they ever interviewed.

On the other hand economists and non-scientists members of green and environmental groups are often interviewed with the latter talking about the danger of nuclear energy. They are perpetrating a fraud, because the dangerous nuclear energy is fission not fusion- let me say it again: FUSION!

Their alternative argument is that fusion will not be available until the year 2100 – if ever. I shall be polite and say Balderdash. Clearly they do not keep up with fusion development or they would never say fusion energy is nothing but a dream.

Comment welcome.

If you would like to receive these Articles automatically you can RSS them or become a follower by using the ‘follow’ connection at the bottom right of the published page.

 

 

My latest blog is always available at: https://donallan.wordpress.com. To make direct contact e-mail me at: dca@netspeed.com.au

Why waste energy on a second rate solution?

More people waste energy in rushing about trying to persuade Australians other than those who, like me, don’t think global warming and climate change is anthropogenic. Instead, they say we should stop using fossil fuels and produce energy using alternatives.

Unfortunately their proposed alternatives, solar panels, wave barrages, wind turbines et al, are incapable of producing the base load power necessary to supply electricity to meet the demands of industry and domestic markets.

This is not to say that these alternative sources of electricity should not be developed even if they cannot produce the necessary amount of base load power. They could be used to supply electricity to some places where it might be impractical to build power stations to supply the industrial and domestic market.

No doubt over time, their power output would be improved but it will never improve to the extent that it will be able to meet the base load power needs of expanding communities. That apart, the replacement cost of new equipment would be high.

All of these facts are known, yet across the world some people are constantly engaged in trying to persuade governments to legislate for the reduction in the use of fossil fuels and also offer industry incentives to manufacture this alternative energy equipment. It seems to escape their notice that manufacturers will need fossil fuels to manufacture this equipment.

In Australia, a country that prides itself on looking over the horizon at the future, this seems strange thinking. It is the kind of thinking indulged in by people with a preference for the past; people who think we should be satisfied with what we’ve got; and people who use their children and grandchildren as excuses to keep the future at bay.

Not for them the use of nuclear energy. They become carbon copies of Canute stemming the ocean’s tide; they become modern Canutes stemming the tide of progress. They are people who do not seem to understand the past they long for can never return; that the world will keep changing; and that soon they will be part of the past.

With regard to global warming and climate change, these same people say the science is settled yet at the same time refuse to accept that science says nuclear energy, in the shape of nuclear fusion, is the energy of the future. Their attitude would be understandable if it was likely they were going to be part of that future.

Sadly, most of them won’t. Indeed most of them are still locked into the scenes of death and destruction caused by caused accidents to nuclear fission plants at Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima and Windscale. They use these scenes as a shield in the same way as scoundrels use patriotism.

At the same time, in their efforts to keep the aura of fear with which they have surrounded nuclear energy, they have focussed on nuclear fission: they rarely if ever mention fusion. And yet fusion, once developed will provide them with what they value most: cheap, waste free, clean and limitless safe energy.

Many scientists working in the field of global warming and climate change, plus people in the Green movement are sceptical about fusion. The former should know better because science, a sceptical discipline, has produced some of the world’s greatest benefits.

That said, it is pleasing to know that in the Cadarache forest in Provence, France, a group comprising some of the world’s greatest science sceptics are gathered together to prove through Iter (the way in Latin) a $13 billion reactor, that fusion is both feasible and practical. Contrary to the predictions of the doomsayers, they are confident of proving their point.

Building the reactor is already under way but after completion it will take at least a further five years of testing before the reactor will be seeded with plasma, a mix of the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium that will drive the nuclear fusion reaction.

They say that once proved, a realistic time span to develop commercial reactors would be post 2050. Perhaps if the people determined to foist second rate alternative energy on the world started lobbying government to push for speedier development of fusion, that time could be reduced.

Comment welcome.

If you would like to receive these Articles automatically you can RSS it or become a follower by using the ‘follow’ connection at bottom right of the published page.

My latest blog is always available at: https://donallan.wordpress.com. To make direct contact e-mail me at: dca@netspeed.com.au

Are we on the road to Morocco or extinction?

I know many of you, like me, probably have a long list of the type of people we’d like to become extinct. Unfortunately, short of killing them with a gun or other such method, the Law of Opportunity Cost puts the price of taking such action so high that as we think about it we realise we’ll have to keep putting up with them.

So what types of people would you like to become extinct? Want to think about it? Well while you’re thinking let me say the people I think should become extinct are people who, in the course of telephone calls and e-mails seemed to me people whose extinction would make the world a better place.

You would be surprised at who they are. Most are people who think highly of themselves and delude themselves that everyone else also thinks highly of them. Let me be kind to them by saying they live in a permanent and incurable state of self – delusion.

Both the intellectually pretentious among them see themselves at the top of the social ladder as do those who suffer from a dearth of intelligence. But whatever their mental capacity they have something in common: both think themselves better than everyone else. With their egos they make me think of the long ago emperors, empresses as well as kings and queens who thought themselves divine.
Now if you think that because the 21st century has only just got under way, any talk about humans becoming extinct is a bit silly. I would have agreed with you but for reading an article “How are humans going to become extinct” on the BBC World service website. The article can be accessed at http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk

The article is about the thoughts of a team of scientists, mathematicians and philosophers at Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute, investigating the possibility of human extinction. And while normally I would hesitate to argue with such a formidable team, I doubt humans will ever become extinct.

Nonetheless I think humans will disappear from the earth. On the other hand I do not think they will disappear from the universe. In my view as Man’s scientific knowledge grows and as the earth becomes less and less habitable his natural instinct to explore will take him beyond the earth’s limiting boundaries. And though it might be a long time into the future, I believe Man will evacuate earth and live on new satellite worlds of his own. He will also use these satellite worlds as staging posts from which he will explore the universe for other planets on which to settle. Effectively, Man will create a new universe.

By the time this happens Man might also have evolved into something different from his present form. In fact I see an ever expanding universe peopled by ever developing types of humans. The fact that the sun will eventually disappear will be of little import to earth as it too will disappear..

Of course what I suggest is a long way into the future, a future that, as the millenniums pass, even the best scientists, mathematicians and philosophers can only guess at. And so, just as they can only guess at what that future will be so, too, can you.
For example, millenniums into the future I think the various worlds that man goes on to create, or find, will be peopled by the use of sperm banks. Naturally as Man has changed over past millenniums so too, will sperm’s structure.

The result: just as earth is populated by people with different facial features and skin colour, so will the worlds of the future. And while I might hope that as Man’s current propensity to conquer and acquire will disappear, optimistic as I am, it seems unlikely.
However, my opinions differ from the Institute in a number of ways. While Dr Nick Bostrom the Swedish born Director of the Institute says “Pandemics and natural disasters might cause colossal and catastrophic loss of life” he believes humanity likely to survive. Such an assertion is less than positive. I contend that as Man continues to evolve, any thought of pandemics and catastrophes causing his demise grows less and less.

Dr Bostrom believes Man has entered a new kind of technological era with the capacity to threaten our future as never before. I think Dr Bostrom’s statement, these are “threats we have no track record of surviving” is wrong. Man has survived many catastrophes caused by what, at the time, was advanced technology even if today we don’t think of it as advanced technology. Indeed in the future what we today, think advanced technology will have our descendants thinking how simple we were, if ever they think of us at all.

Comments welcome

My latest blog is always available at: https://donallan.wordpress.com. To make direct contact e-mail me at: dca@netspeed.com.au

Changing one’s mind

 Do you change your mind very often? While I change my mind often about things of little consequence I hastily agreed to, I rarely change my mind on serious matters that I have given a great deal of thought. Even though I do change my mind on some of these issues some churls go as far as to say I don’t change it often enough to suit them. What they really mean is: how can I ever disagree with them?

In today’s society, some serious matters, about which I cannot imagine ever changing my mind, become subject to public relations campaigns that make issues so popular that people accept it without actually devoting any time to thinking about the issue. Creating popularity about issues can be a lot easier than people think particularly if some of the people involved are leaders in Politics, Business, The Arts, Science or one of the myriad other sections of society in which people are often thought to be greater thinkers and/or more knowledgeable about them than the common herd.

I defer to no one in my thinking but will change my mind when persuaded by logical not emotional argument that I should. Deferring to no one has often caused me problems but, accepting arguments merely because it will make life easier, is not for me.

While it is not my intention to opinion extensively on these issues in this blog, I will give a few examples. I am still a sceptic about the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) global warming and climate change warnings. Instead of sparking rational debate between its scientists who predict that if nations continue to use fossil fuels, planet earth will warm to such a level as to become unliveable, and respected scientists who disagree with them, both groups of scientists now stand facing each other from either side of the climate chasm.

Naturally the IPCC public relations team have co-opted politicians, bureaucrats and people in media to support the IPCC position. This disturbs me because the development of fusion as the clean energy source that will replace fossil fuels and halt whatever global warning there is in its tracks, is already under way. This raises the question in my mind that the IPCC scientists in particular are more interested in the continuance of their funding than in solving the global warming problem.

I am also in favour of the Universities of the Third Age creating diplomas for graduates who have successfully completed training studies in Aged Care, Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Wellness. Who better than third age people to train for this discipline? I say that because science is in the process of creating the Fourth Age. Indeed some people have already entered that age.

The following may be a foolish idea but I would rather be accused of promoting a foolish idea than having a mind devoid of ideas.

Education is what drives society and I think the time has come to establish Second Tier Universities (STUs) with a limited curriculum that will allow access to a higher level of education for many, including those who failed to gain entry to University in the first place.

I say that because it seems ridiculous that a substantial number of young people who value higher education are being consigned to the education dustbin. I firmly believe that graduates of STU’s will be in demand as the world becomes even more technologically sophisticated and requires more and more people to service society’s needs.

People of course are of different mind about what are serious issues. Generally speaking however, I find most issues that attract popularity are fleeting and of little substance.

My final issue and an issue I think minority driven, is legalisation of same sex marriage. The fact that 13 countries (7.29% of the 192 countries listed by the UN) support same sex marriage is not a statistic that one hears from this minority’s PR team.  Because US President Obama supports the idea as does David Cameron and John Key, respectively the Prime Ministers of Britain and New Zealand, plus parliaments of assorted other countries, is not a persuasive argument. As for me, I will start to give the matter consideration when at least 50% of countries say they support it.

Comments welcome. 

My latest blog is always available at: https://donallan.wordpress.com. To make direct contact e-mail me at: dca@netspeed.com.au

Population control: next comes mind control

As the economies in different countries grow, the shaky arguments about whether or not populations should grow become even shakier. It is odd also that the name Thomas Malthus keeps cropping up as proponent of the idea that catastrophe faced human kind if population isn’t controlled. And though he propounded this theory in his 1798 book ‘An essay on the Principle of Population,’ he believed that nature controlled population growth when growth exceeded the resources needed to sustain it.

I’m pleased this Malthusian theory did not gain general acceptance. Had it done so, it is possible I might not have been born.

On the other hand the idea of Ester Boserup, the Danish agricultural economist who died in 1999, is more to my taste. Ester wrote that population levels determined agricultural methods not the opposite and also believed that necessity was the mother of invention.

Ester was not the only person who thought this way. Julian Simon, a Professor of Economics at Maryland University, whose work in the economic, resource and immigration is well known, thought Malthus wrong as did Henry George and Friedrich Engels.

Engels in particular thought Malthus wrong because he did not take science into account. Unlike Malthus, Engels thought scientific “progress is as unlimited and at least as rapid as that of population.” I am in tune with Engels although I will go further and say the progress of science is even more rapid than that of population and that science will prevent anything like the Malthusian effect ever happening.

But that’s in the future. What of today?

This morning I heard Dick Smith, a prominent Australian being interviewed on the Ross Solly show, ABC local radio, Canberra. Mr Smith was postulating on the need for controlling population a strange idea from a man who profited well from a growing population. Like disciples of Malthusian theory he also said it was now necessary to stabilise it. But why and what is, sustainability? With changes coming thick and fast what might be considered unsustainable today might be made sustainable tomorrow by science.

That apart I find it odd that someone who accumulated substantial wealth by competing with others trying to sell more and more of the same items as him to an ever growing population, now wants to limit people from doing the same. This suggests to me that like some other Australians who exhibit similar messianic traits that only they know how to make Australia and the world better. On that basis I have to say they are in competition with many other messiahs around the world.

At the same time  and as much as Mr Smith and members of groups cry population control, I hear few of them suggesting how it can be done. And so I ask myself: will they demand the size of families be limited? And on the question of sustainability will they suggest that the number of people allowed to live in a village, town or city be controlled?
Perhaps the answer to the first question will be that after the birth quota has been achieved mothers will be subjected to a medical procedure that will ensure they cannot give birth again. And as to the question of sustainability, who will decide how many people should be allowed to stay behind the bureaucratic walls of the village, town or city and what resources they will need.

Such notions of course are ludicrous and not to be taken seriously. Population control could never be enforced in Australia? Or could it? I suspect that if members of an Australian Government attempted to impose such controls in hope of achieving such a result would risk being sent permanently to Coventry.

A last word: might the poulation control messiahs suggest copying the Chinese system? Unfortunately for population controllers, even in a non-democratic country like China population control has proved a failure. Indeed, indications are that the population control system now in place in China will fade into obscurity within the next decade because instead of it being a great leap forward it has been a great leap backward.

Comments welcome

 Man is part of the environment

 As I am part of the environment I know some readers don’t share my scepticism about global warming.  Butt share it or not, whilst I believe anthropogeniic activity plays a mall role in increased levels of CO2. it is not the role that some scientists and others without an appropriate scientific background say it does.

This article is sourced from a paper titled: “Fluctuating environment may have driven human evolution” written by a research team – funded by the National Science Foundation- from Penn State and Rutgers University in the USA and published December 24th, 2012, working In the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, spells out some of my reasons.  While not a comprehensive rebuttal or total debunking of the science is settled argument about global warming, it helps bring it into question.

Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Clayton Magill (a double PhD graduate student, one of the team of researchers that produced the paper said: “The landscape early humans were inhabiting transitioned rapidly back and forth between about five to six times during a period of 200,000 years. “These changes happened very abruptly, with each transition occurring over hundreds to just a few thousand years.” These findings appear to contradict previous theories which suggest evolutionary changes were gradual, and in response to either long and steady climate change or one drastic change.”

Another member of the team Penn State Professor of Geosciences Katherine Freeman says: “A series of rapid environmental changes in East Africa roughly 2 million years ago may be responsible for driving human evolution. There is a view this time in Africa was the ‘Great Drying,’ when the environment slowly dried out over 3 million years,” adding, “But our data show that it was not a grand progression towards dry; the environment was highly variable.”

The research team used gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to determine the relative abundances of different leaf waxes and the abundance of carbon isotopes for different leaf waxes. The data enabled them to reconstruct the types of vegetation present in the Olduvai Gorge area at very specific time intervals.

The results showed that the environment transitioned rapidly back and forth between a closed woodland and open grassland. To find out what caused this rapid transitioning, the researchers used statistical and mathematical models to correlate the changes they saw in the environment with other things that may have been happening at the time, including changes in the Earth’s movement and changes in sea-surface temperatures.

“The orbit of the Earth around the sun slowly changes with time,” said Freeman. “These changes were tied to the local climate at Olduvai Gorge through changes in the monsoon system in Africa. Slight changes in the amount of sunshine changed the intensity of atmospheric circulation and the supply of water. The rain patterns that drive the plant patterns follow this monsoon circulation. We found a correlation between changes in the environment and planetary movement.” The team also found a correlation between changes in the environment and sea-surface temperature in the tropics.

“We find complementary forcing mechanisms: one is the way Earth orbits, and the other is variation in ocean temperatures surrounding Africa,” Freeman said.

It seems to me that what Magill, Freeman and other respected scientists and members of the research team said, illuminates deficiencies in IPCC models based on information produced by a select group of similarly minded climate scientists for  soi –disant environmental groups that separate man from the environment.

The fact that man has managed to survive the various environmental catastrophes suggests to me they will survive the catastrophes predicted by global warming alarmists

Blog: Allan Takes Aim; https://donallan.wordpress.com; dca@netspeed.com.au 

 



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