Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

13 November 2015

An Ignorant Petition to Further Impoverish the Poor

With the international conference on Man-Induced Global Warming coming up soon in Paris, there is a petition circulating to support government efforts to suppress the use of inexpensive and reliable fossil fuels.  Here is the petition with my comments in blue added to it:

World leaders are coming together this year for climate talks in Paris. Their decisions affect all of us.  Darned, pesky nuisances these interfering world leaders are.  With most of the nations of the world having weak economies and too little respect for individual rights, these leaders are looking for ways to divert our attention from the many ways they get in our way, by getting in our way in the name of a scare based on a failed catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis.
Climate change is dramatically changing the world we love. It’s putting our homes, our land and our food at risk. For nearly a billion people in poverty, more extreme weather and more disasters mean more hunger.  Climate has always changed.  Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.  But, the world climate has actually been relatively stable for the last 10,000 years and there is evidence that that has yet changed.  Man minimizes the consequences of climate change by using such resources as fossil fuels to make his home comfortable, manufacture products, and travel about to do productive work and transport his production to markets where people live better because of those products.  These private sector activities help us all to cope with the ancient vagaries of weather and climate.

Make 2015 the year leaders put the world’s most vulnerable people first in the battle against climate change.  So let them have the least expensive energy for transportation, light, and heat.  They will only become more vulnerable with skyrocketing energy prices, such as those advocated by Obama, his chief science advisor Holdren, and his Secr. of Energy.

If governments and big businesses are serious about fighting poverty, we need heads of state to make decisions in Paris that show support for the people whose lives and livelihoods are most at risk. These leaders have the power to start taking bold action on emissions, and to start to fix the damage that’s already been done.  Only there is no evidence that any damage has been done.  Rising CO2 concentrations do seem to be making plants grow better, which is only bad to these people because they think there are too many people on Earth and some of these Progressive Elitists want to see many of the poor die, because they believe man is the enemy of nature.  Their war to save nature is their war against man.

Millions of people across the world are already doing incredible things to protect the world we love. The fight against climate change won’t end this year but together we can win some important battles.  People in the most advanced societies that use the most fossil fuels are the ones who do the most to protect the world we love.

Show our governments and big business that they’ve got to take urgent action to tackle climate change, and stand with those hit first and worst by extreme weather and disasters.  Yes, tell them to leave private companies alone, so they can concentration on delivering inexpensive energy which is available when people need it.
 Make 2015 the year leaders stand with those hardest hit by climate change.  Yes, convince these leaders to stop meddling with our energy.

World leaders are playing mercilessly on the ignorance of the people with their tireless media, education, and political campaigns to convince them that any weather change is a fundamental threat to their existence and well-being caused by those bad human beings.  What I see are bad politicians, bad educators, and misleading and wrongheaded media.

03 November 2015

Helium-Pressurized Homebrew Beer at AME Featured in C&EN Article

Our own Anderson Materials Evaluation (AME) chemist Dr. Kevin Wepasnick guided a Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) investigation of the properties of a helium-pressurized beer in an article entitled Helium Beer, From Prank to Tank in its 2 November 2015 issue written by Craig Bettenhausen.  C&EN is a publication of the American Chemical Society.  Kevin brewed a 5-gallon batch of a cream stout beer for C&EN over a two-week fermentation period at Anderson Materials Evaluation, Inc. with writers from C&EN visiting our laboratory at the start and the end of the process.  He used a kegging process, but instead of pressurizing the keg with carbon dioxide, he pressurized it with helium.  The experiment was set up to test the claims that drinking a helium-pressurized beer would cause the drinker to speak with a high-pitched voice, as demonstrated in some on-line videos.

Scientifically, issues are to be expected.  Foremost is the difference between a polar molecule with excellent solvent properties such as carbon dioxide and the inert gas helium.  Carbon dioxide has a solubility in water of 1.7 g/kg, while helium has a solubility of merely 0.0015 g/kg in water!  It would be a challenge to dissolve enough helium in a beer to turn a drinker's voice squeaky!  Kevin pressurized the keg at 50 psi in a chilled keg, which is a much higher pressure than is used with carbon dioxide, and he held it at this pressure for five days.

The resulting beer had an excellent head of very fine bubbles, which it maintained as the visiting three writers from C&EN and the scientists of Anderson Materials Evaluation, Lorrie, Kevin, and Charles, sampled the beer at our laboratory.  Because the beer had little carbonic acid in it, it was a mellow beer.  The alcohol by volume was measured to be 6.2%, so it had a kick.  Yet, the beer was definitely flat and no one developed a high-pitched voice.  The Internet videos claiming such a result are fabricated!  Can you imagine that?

Well, yes, thinking as a scientist, the more than a thousand times lower solubility of inert helium in water compared to the highly polar carbon dioxide molecule, told us those videos were faked prior to doing the experiment.  Nonetheless, the experiment was fun for all, which is more the natural state of science than is the gloom and doom associated with much environmental science of our times.

01 November 2015

NASA Finally Agrees that Antarctic Ice has Long been Increasing

A NASA paper published in the Journal of Glaciology found that Antarctic ice has long been increasing in agreement with many other studies, but in disagreement with the UN IPCC report of 2013.  Its main conclusions are:
  • The Antarctic ice sheet had net gains in ice of 112 billion tons per year from 1992 to 2001.
  • Antarctic ice from 2003 to 2008 had a net gain of 82 billion tons per year.
  • Extra snowfall in East Antarctica began about 10,000 years ago as the Earth warmed after the last Ice Age and this snowfall thickened the East Antarctic and the interior regions of the West Antarctic by 1.7 cm/year.  This accumulation over vast expanses more than offsets the melting of ice on the West Antarctic peninsula which gets so much publicity.
  • The increased ice in Antarctica is now acting to reduce sea levels by 0.23 mm/year.
One of the more interesting observations on this data is that the global warming due to the end of the last Ice Age caused more snowfall in Antarctica, which serves to counterbalance the rise in sea level due to the thermal expansion of water in a warmer world.  This is one of many ways in which the Earth moderates climate changes.

The findings of this study were the result of more accurate measurements of the small thickening of the ice in most of Antarctica from satellite measurements, with the exception of the ice core investigations by others that indicated the increase in snowfall beginning 10,000 years ago.  It would not be surprising if the application of these satellite analysis methods to Greenland were to find that previous claims of large ice losses there were also wrong.  It is easy to observe large glaciers calving into the ocean while missing the slow increases of ice thickness over much larger areas.

31 October 2015

Obama NOAA Refused to Provide Research Documents to House Science Committee

Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican and chairman of the House Science Committee subpoenaed NOAA for research documents related to their adjustments of the temperature record.  These adjustments were recently used to remove all evidence of the pause in surface temperatures from 1998 to 2013 and replace that pause with a temperature surge.  NOAA refused to hand the documents on the adjustments over, in direct violation of law. Smith's committee wants to know why.

According to Rep. Smith: 
The American people have every right to be suspicious when NOAA alters data to get the politically correct results they want and then refuses to reveal how those decisions were made.
As a recent editorial in Investors Business Daily says:
Taxpayers pay for this research, which is being used to justify massive new federal spending and regulation. They deserve to know what NOAA and other federal agencies are doing — and whether they're being honest or serving an unspoken extreme political agenda.
Indeed, it is way past time that the Obama administration should be stopped from exaggerating claims of catastrophic man-made global warming simply by manipulating the data to systematically lower past temperatures and to raise recent temperatures.  NOAA and NASA GISS have both long been engaged in this fraud and have not been held responsible for their corruption of science and their lawless activities.  These activities have then fed the data mill that the Obama EPA has used to claim that CO2 is a terrible pollutant.  It is no such thing.  It is in fact absolutely necessary for life on Earth by virtue of the need of plants for it and our need of plants.  It is the use of CO2 by plants that produces the oxygen in the atmosphere that animals, including man, require.  Yet the Obama EPA has the gall to call this life-essential molecule a pollutant based on the fudging of data by NOAA and NASA GISS!

Impeaching the Crooked Obama IRS Head

Thanks primarily to government e-mails and information obtained by Judicial Watch, House Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced a resolution this week to impeach the IRS commissioner for "high crimes and misdemeanors."  IRS Commissioner Koskinen has obstructed justice while protecting the criminal actions of Lois Lerner, whom the Obama Justice Department has just refused to prosecute even as the investigation into her and other IRS managers' activities is still underway.  

Representative Chaffetz has based his call for impeachment of the IRS Commissioner on these points:

• He failed to comply with a subpoena resulting in destruction of key evidence. Commissioner Koskinen failed to locate and preserve IRS records in accordance with a congressional subpoena and an internal preservation order. The IRS erased 422 backup tapes containing as many as 24,000 of Lois Lerner's emails - key pieces of evidence that were destroyed on Koskinen's watch.

• He failed to testify truthfully and provided false and misleading information. Commissioner Koskinen testified the IRS turned over all emails relevant to the congressional investigation, including all of Ms. Lerner's emails. When the agency determined Ms. Lerner's emails were missing, Commissioner Koskinen testified the emails were unrecoverable. These statements were false.

• He failed to notify Congress that key evidence was missing. The IRS knew Lois Lerner's emails were missing in February 2014. In fact, they were not missing; the IRS destroyed the emails on March 4, 2014. The IRS did not notify Congress the emails were missing until June 2014 - four months later, and well after the White House and the Treasury Department were notified. 

Meanwhile, Obama claims that there is not a smidgen of evidence of wrong-doing in his IRS or his Department of Justice.

17 October 2015

Can 400 ppm CO2 Provide the Heating Required by the AGW Hypothesis?

This is a thought experiment.  The idea is to make a simple test of the plausibility or even possibility of the claim of the catastrophic man-made or anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis that the increase from about 300 ppm (parts per million) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over the last 120 years or so has caused a surface temperature increase of 1°C or 1K.

Now I know that this is a concept very much ignored by the advocates of catastrophic man-made global warming, but I am going to assume that the Law of Conservation of Energy, which they have not explicitly refuted, still holds.  I have a high level of confidence in this law of physics.

Let us start out with the simplifying assumption that every air molecule has the same heat capacity at constant pressure.  This means that the same amount of heat is required to raise the temperature of each kind of molecule by 1K.  We will discuss the correction for this below.  I will also make the simplifying assumption that the carbon dioxide molecules are heated fully to the necessary temperature and then dumped into the air whose temperature is raised by 1 K upon reaching equilibrium.  The limitations on this assumption will also be examined later.

If the addition of 100 molecules of CO2 to the prior 300 molecules/ 1 million air molecules has caused all air molecules near the surface of the Earth to have a 1K temperature increase, then given Conservation of Energy, each of the CO2 molecules has to gain an additional temperature of Ta which is transferred by collisions to all the other gas molecules until they are all at an equilibrium temperature 1K higher than the air had previously been.  Ta is given by:

1,000,000 (1K) = 400 Ta

Ta = 2500 K,

because of the proportional relationship of heat, a form of energy, to the temperature of the gas molecules.

Now let us allow for the fact that the heat capacities per mole at constant pressure of the molecules in air are not equal.  We want the values per mole because that gives them for equal numbers of molecules, while the per gram values of heat capacity do not.  We have for each gas heat capacity values of:

N2, 29.12 J/K mol.
O2, 29.38 J/K mol.
Ar, 20.79 J/K mol.
H2O, 28.03 J/K mol.
CO2, 36.94 J/K mol.
Air, 29.07 J/K mol.

We discover now that a 1 K increase in the temperature of a molecule of CO2 gives it more additional energy than the average air molecule needs to raise its temperature by 1K.  So, the temperature per CO2 molecule that we calculated above will not need to be quite so large.  The required temperature Ta will only be:
Ta = (2500 K) / (36.94 / 29.07)

Ta = 1967 K

Now, recall that this is only the additional temperature of each CO2 molecule required to cause a 1K temperature increase spread evenly over every air molecule in equilibrium at the Earth’s surface.

The same infra-red absorbing properties claimed to give CO2 molecules this amazing power, would also be acting in an atmosphere with a mere 100 ppm of CO2.  In fact, each additional 100 ppm of CO2 has a diminishing effect on heating other gases according to the proposed mechanism for such heating.  The mean free path length for each infra-red absorption event by a molecule of CO2 becomes exponentially shorter and shorter as more CO2 molecules are added.  The size of the effect for additional molecules becomes less and less.  Consequently, the first 100 ppm of CO2 molecules would heat the air by more than 1K given that 400 ppm of CO2 molecules heat it by 1K upon the increase in concentration from 300 ppm to 400 ppm.  Note that this means that the first 100 ppm of molecules of CO2 would have to achieve a temperature more than four times 1976 K or 7868 K.

The further increase in the temperature upon going from 100 ppm to 200 ppm would also be greater than that for going from 300 ppm to 400 ppm, as would be the temperature increase on going from 200 ppm to 300 ppm.  Each concentration increase of 100 ppm would cause a smaller temperature increase than the previous one did.  But upon arriving at 200 ppm concentration of carbon dioxide, there are half as many molecules of it as one has upon arriving at 400 ppm of CO2, so each molecule has to be twice as hot.  Upon arriving at 300 ppm from 200 ppm, each molecule has to be 4/3rds as hot as it did at 400 ppm.

So let us put together the effect that the wonder molecule of CO2 has had on heating the Earth's surface temperature to date, we calculate the additional minimal temperature each CO2 molecule must have to be to be consistent with the catastrophic AGW claim:

0 to 100 ppm:   Ta > 4(1976 K) = 7868 K

100 to 200 ppm:  Ta > 2(1976 K) = 3952 K

200 to 300 ppm:  Ta > (4/3)(1976 K) = 2635 K

300 to 400 ppm:  Ta = 1976 K

We can now calculate the cumulative effect of  CO2 molecules given that we have very conservative lower limit values for the heating of the atmosphere provided by CO2 molecules above.  The heating due to the miracle molecule at lower concentrations has not gone away.  The energy being dumped into the atmosphere is still there, though it is now shared by a larger number of CO2 molecules.  Let Tt be the cumulative necessary temperature of our present 400 ppm of carbon dioxide to provide this total base of energy.  Invoking Energy Conservation once again, we must conservatively have:

400 Tt > 100 (7868 K) + 200 (3952 K) + 300 (2635 K) + 400 (1976 K)

Tt > 7895 K

Consequently, the temperature required per CO2 molecule to be transferred to all air molecules by collisions to establish an equilibrium temperature based on the claims of the advocates of the catastrophic AGW hypothesis is substantially greater than 7895 K.

This required temperature per CO2 molecule is then substantially greater than 7895 K or 7622°C.  The sun is the source of this energy and its surface temperature is only 5778K or 5505°C.  A cooler body cannot heat another body to a temperature greater than its own temperature.  The highest temperature anything could be raised to on Earth by solar radiation is further diminished by the distance of the Earth from the sun and the fact that radiation emitted by the Earth is mostly directed at temperatures in space of about 4K.

There is, of course, another problem.  The carbon dioxide molecules would cease to be molecules long before they could reach these hypothetical temperatures.  The very collisions that spread the heat from the infra-red active molecules to nitrogen and oxygen molecules would be so energetic that carbon dioxide molecules upon collision would be ionized and destroyed.  The unfortunate molecules struck so violently would be ionized.  You cannot imagine how bad the ozone problem would be as a result of the ionization of the oxygen molecules in the air!

If the claimed CO2 heating effect were even a small fraction of what is being claimed, then there might be a large fraction of carbon dioxide, water, and methane molecules flying about in the air at velocities much greater than those of the Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution.  However, that distribution is a fairly accurate description of actual air molecule velocity distributions and it has been tested for many decades. So why do we see no substantial such violation of the Maxwell-Boltzmann equation for the velocity of gas molecules?

It might be due to a combination of a minimal temperature increase in the molecule for each absorption event and a rapid collision rate preventing the accumulation of energy from more than one such absorption event in the molecule.  Almost every time a carbon dioxide molecule absorbs an infra-red photon emitted by the Earth's surface, that molecule might commonly have several collisions with other air molecules, losing that absorbed energy.  There is very good reason to believe this is the case that the energy gained by one absorption event is quickly lost in large part by collisions with other molecules.  Only occasionally does the absorbed infra-red energy get re-emitted as an infra-red photon before it has a collision.  So most infra-red active gas molecules are in equilibrium or nearly so with the other gases in the air surrounding them.  In other words, the number of absorption events is actually rather small for a given molecule and it does not build up very great amounts of energy to transfer to the non-infra-red active gas molecules of the air.

The primary infra-red wavelength emitted by the surface of the Earth which is absorbed by carbon dioxide molecules is the 15 micron wavelength.  This is the equivalent of a photon with an energy of 0.0827 eV or 1.325 x 10-20 J.   Recall that the heat capacity of carbon dioxide at constant pressure is 36.94 J/K mol.  There are 6.023 x 1023 (Avogadro's Number) carbon dioxide molecules in a mole, so we can divide the heat capacity per mole by Avogadro's number to find the heat capacity of a single molecule of carbon dioxide.  The heat capacity of a single molecule is then 6.135 x 10-23 J/K.  The absorption of one 15 micron infra-red photon by one carbon dioxide atom would then raise its temperature by

(1.325 x 10-20 J) / (6.135 x 10-23 J/K) = 216.0 K

So while the frequency of collisions with other molecules may prevent the accumulation of energy in the carbon dioxide molecule at multiples of the single absorption event energy increase, even a single energy absorption event does raise the velocity of a carbon dioxide molecule a great deal.  The scale of the claimed catastrophic AGW effect requires each carbon dioxide molecule to transfer the heat equivalent of at least a 7895 K molecule to the air around it.  This is 36.55 absorptions of a 15 micron photon per molecule to be transferred by collisions.  Somewhat more absorption events are required to accommodate the lower probability that the energy will be given up in the emission of another photon.

The Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution curve is well-known for an ideal gas and it has been well confirmed by experiment.  The number of higher velocity carbon dioxide molecules due to the absorption of infra-red radiation emitted from the Earth's surface and their time duration in the excited state should be a measurable parameter that can be used to test the claims of the catastrophic AGW hypothesis.  If the advocates of that hypothesis, foremost being the U.S. government, were serious about determining its validity, these measurements would have been performed.  What is more, those measurements would be known and discussed as a function of altitude.  The fact that little attention has been devoted to such issues is a warning flag that the U.S. government and other advocates of this hypothesis are not serious about wanting it to be tested.

So, we have performed a simple thought experiment based on what we are told is the central fact of the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis and found that the hypothesis does not require an impossible effect from this point of view, however a hoot it at first appeared by the first part of the argument above.  However, the basic parameters that would define the effect should have long since been measured to define the basic physics.  Discussions of the mean free path of infra-red radiation in the atmosphere at various altitudes should be common.  It should be common knowledge what fraction of the carbon dioxide molecules are in an excited state at any given moment.

I have made several other arguments that do explain why the physics behind catastrophic AGW is wrong.  It is in fact very wrong, but one has to develop other arguments than the one above to show that to be the case using readily available data.  It is a shame that the data discussed above is not readily available.

Substantial re-writes were made on 18 and 19 October 2015 of this post.  A serious error due to an unreliable energy converter on-line existed in the 18 October version and is corrected in the 19 October version.

11 October 2015

President Thomas Jefferson Slashed Government Spending -- We Need a Jeffersonian Slasher

I am reading Six Frigates -- The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy by Ian W. Toll.  After the War of Independence, the United States had no navy until the Quasi War with the French under the John Adams administration caused the government to re-establish the U.S. Navy.  In the Quasi War with the French, the revolutionary government in France was raiding American ships at sea and confiscating them and their cargoes.  The French were trying to do this on the sly, because the Americans traded with their enemies, especially Great Britain.  This confiscation of American ships was a rather profitable business for French privateers and even the French navy.

Congress authorized the building of six naval frigates of a size larger than those of the common British plan for naval frigates.  Four were to be 44-gun frigates and two were 36-gun frigates.  This was viewed as a very expensive venture, but shipping losses at sea were very high.  Not only were the French preying on the thousands of American ships involved in international trade, but so were the Barbary Pirates of Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco.  These original U.S. Navy frigates were the United States, President, Congress, Constitution, Constellation, and Chesapeake.  The USS Constellation fought and captured the French frigate L'Insurgente in the Caribbean on 9 February 1799 which had earlier captured American ships.  Napoleon took over the French government in a coup and decided to end the conflict with the United States shortly before Jefferson became President in 1801.  Jefferson would very soon find it necessary to deal with the Barbary Pirates.

While this is interesting history, especially for me since my father was a career naval officer, this paragraph about Jefferson's commitment to frugal and limited government caught my attention:
In his first inaugural, Jefferson promised "a wise and frugal Government, which ... shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned."  In private letters, he made the point more sharply: the Republicans would "reform the waste of public money, and thus drive away the vultures who prey on it."  Using presidential authority whenever congressional authorization was not needed, Jefferson and his cabinet simply dismissed federal officeholders they considered superfluous.  The State Department closed all foreign embassies except those in Madrid, Paris, and London.  The Treasury Department's internal revenue inspectors were fired en masse.  "We are hunting out and abolishing multitudes of useless offices," Jefferson told his son-in-law in June; "striking off jobs, etc., etc."  The magnitude of federal waste they were finding, he told James Monroe, was even greater than the Republicans had expected: "agencies upon agencies in every part of the earth, and for the most useless or mischievous purposes, and all of these opening doors for fraud and embezzlement far beyond the ostensible profits of the agency.  These are things of the existence of which no man dreamt, and we are lopping them down silently to make as little noise as possible."
Firing government employees en masse, driving away vultures by spending less, abolishing whole useless offices and agencies dedicated to useless or mischievous purposes with doors open to fraud and embezzlement, and lopping them down silently were Jefferson's purpose to provide a wise and frugal government.  Yet today, we are faced with such problems of overblown government as would surely cause Jefferson apoplexy.  We very much need a President with a Jeffersonian commitment to wise and frugal government.  But anyone with but a fraction of such a commitment today is considered far to radical, an extremist of the right, no matter how wise such a commitment to frugal and limited government is and no matter how federal spending lures special interests to mischievous purposes and fraudulent claims of public benefit.

27 September 2015

Our Watery Earth Responds to Warming with Increased Water Cooling -- Water is the Enemy of AGW

The claim that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to catastrophic warming is based on the UN IPCC claim that back-radiation from carbon dioxide absorption of infra-red radiation warms the Earth's surface.  This results in increased water vapor in the atmosphere and that causes an even greater increase in the temperature than did the increased carbon dioxide.  Even the gigantically exaggerated warming by the carbon dioxide back-radiation effect (see here and here) requires the proponents of this alarmist hypothesis to conjure up a much stronger positive feedback warming due to increased water vapor in order to create anything even remotely "catastrophic."

It has very long been known that higher humidity causes a reduction in the atmospheric lapse rate (the temperature gradient) and therefore a reduction in the surface temperature.  There is also a strong cooling of surfaces when water evaporates due to the very high latent heat of evaporation of water.  These are facts that have long been well-known, but which are greatly played down by the proponents of the wild and woolly scare story of catastrophic man-made global warming or AGW.  These are certainly very strong negative feedbacks to any warming of the Earth's surface due to any cause, whether increased solar radiation or a hypothetical increase in back-radiation due to increased carbon dioxide.

But what is the effect of clouds formed by increased water vapor due to a hypothetical warming of the surface due to increased carbon dioxide or due to any actual warming?  Magnus Cederlof examined the CERES satellite cloud cover data to see how it correlates with the yearly variation in global irradiance.  He also examined the separate data sets for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.  The data he presents is very informative, though he presents it in an article with a number of serious errors in it.  One of the more serious errors is his claim that his data provides strong evidence that the Svensmark theory of solar effects on the cosmic ray nucleation of clouds is correct.  These errors aside, his plots of cloud cover versus solar radiation are extremely useful.

The data generally shown on cloud cover for the entire globe seems to provide a difficult to interpret effect, but one that implies there is no simple correlation between solar radiation and cloud cover.

The data for the entire globe, with the solar insolation given in blue [the units are W/m2, not kWh/m2] and the percentage of cloud cover averaged from 2000 to 2014 given in red, is:

Note that solar irradiance is actually greatest in the winter, with January being the month of maximum irradiance.  This is because the Earth's orbit is elliptical and the Earth is closest to the sun on about 3 January (orbital perihelion) and furthest on about 4 July (orbital aphelion).  If the Earth's axis of daily rotation were parallel to the axis of its orbit about the sun, January would be summer for the entire Earth.  But in January, the axis of the daily rotation of the Earth in the Northern Hemisphere is tilted to point away from the sun.  This reduces the fraction of the total Earth-incident solar radiation which is incident on the Northern Hemisphere.  Because the tilt of the Earth's axis of daily rotation has such a large effect, it should be interesting to plot the cloud cover versus solar insolation data for each hemisphere separately.  This is just what Magnus Cederlof did.  The data for the Northern Hemisphere [correcting the radiation units to W/m2] is:

The greater the solar irradiance of the Northern Hemisphere in the plot above, the greater the cloud cover.

The data plotted by Magnus Cederlof for the Southern Hemisphere correcting the irradiance units to W/m2]:

It is now clear that as the Earth warms in either hemisphere, there is a reaction by water to that warming to cause an increase in hemispherical cloud cover.

Magnus Cederlof then correctly makes the critical point that one feedback response of water to an increase in Earth temperature is an increase in cloud cover, which cools the surface.  Thus, increased temperature is counteracted by a negative feedback by clouds and not the positive feedback proclaimed with great certainty by the falsely claimed "settled science of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming."

So there we have it.  When the Earth's surface temperature rises, water causes three powerful negative feedbacks to reduce that temperature rise.  These are:
  • Cooling by the evaporation of water, which increases water vapor in the atmosphere.
  • Increased water vapor reduces the lapse rate in the troposphere, dropping temperatures in the lower atmosphere.
  • Cloud cover increases, preventing solar radiation from reaching the Earth's surface and warming it.
In conclusion, as I have shown over and over, the warming effects of carbon dioxide were always exaggerated hugely.  The cooling effects of carbon dioxide have been ignored, though those are now the dominant effects.  Even if one bought the argument made by the UN IPCC, the greatly exaggerated warming effect of carbon dioxide had to be supplemented by a much larger claimed warming feedback by water vapor to be even remotely scary.  Much of that claim has been well-known to be false for a long time and now we see very clearly that each of the principal effects of water in response to any surface temperature increase is a cooling effect.  Water is a powerful stabilizer for the surface temperature of the Earth.  It moderates night to day variations, seasonal variations, solar irradiance variations, and would moderate any hypothetical temperature increase caused by atmospheric CO2.

It is mind-boggling that the U.S. government has spent about $100 billion on climate and climate effect research and development in the name of such incredibly wrongheaded science.  The United Nations and most of the European nations have also acted on this "science" house of cards in a similar manner.  The cost of doing business and the cost of living for hundreds of millions have been sadly boosted in the name of this nonsense.  Millions of people have either lost their jobs or were prevented from getting the jobs that might have been created.  Terrible wrongs and harms have been perpetrated on billions of human beings both by preventing them from enjoying their individual freedoms and by decreasing their material living conditions.  The benefits to humans throughout the world that would have accrued had millions of people used their time more productively and had capital been more rationally invested have been trashed.  Instead, governments enjoyed exercising more power over individuals.  Dishonest politicians, some dishonest businessmen, and some dishonest scientists enriched themselves by taking advantage of this baseless scare.  The vast majority of mankind has nothing to show for it but losses.

21 August 2015

Should Children of Illegal Aliens Born in the US be Automatic Citizens?

Robert Tracinski, who is usually a very astute thinker, has written on this subject in the Federalist.  This is a case where I believe he has used too broad a brush in making his argument in favor of the idea that literally anyone born in the U.S. is a citizen.  One may say it is a classic case of failing to understand context.

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." 14th Amendment

First, in the present context of massive illegal immigration, it appears that the US and the states are not acting as though they have jurisdiction over the illegal immigrants. So the idea that this statement implies that every person born in the US is a citizen may be questioned on this basis. It is certainly true that the children of foreign staff of embassies and consulates born in the US are not included.

More importantly, Article I, Section 8 provides Congress the power "To establish an uniform rule of Naturalization...". This means that the 14th Amendment has as its context an established uniform rule of Naturalization and assumes that all persons within the US are there legally, albeit some as visitors and some as residents not yet citizens. This being the case, the 14th Amendment confers citizenship on the children of those legally in the United States who are born in the US, provided their parents and the child are subject to the jurisdiction of the US. This certainly included the one-time slaves of the south, almost all immigrants until relatively recent times, and the people of the conquered or annexed territories such as those of Alaska, Hawaii, the Mexican War, the Oregon Territory, the Louisiana Purchase, the Western Reserve, etc.  Robert Tracinski says that the denial of citizenship to the children of illegal aliens implies its denial to both the former slaves and to all immigrants.  This is not the case at all.

What is not at all clear is that the children of illegal visitors or immigrants to the US should be considered citizens of the US. In my opinion, it is not wise policy to grant them automatic citizenship, because it encourages illegal immigration.

Of course, some will claim that I do not like immigrants because I have made this point. That is not at all so. I favor a much more welcoming legal immigration policy than the one we have now in the law. But I do believe we should have an enforced, liberal immigration policy, which the Constitution implies was needed and desirable.

I have worked hard to promote the legal immigration or visitation rights of a number of very good scientists, who are also very good people. I have also observed that most of our illegal immigrants are in fact hardworking and good people. There is a need to have such people here under legal conditions, while we exclude or imprison felons.

All of my ancestors were legal immigrants of the second half of the 1800s, some of whom were of nationalities sufficiently discriminated against that they were named as examples in the immigration law of 1866 as people not to be discriminated against.

I almost always agree with Robert Tracinski, but not in this case.  It is not at all the case that one is throwing out the Constitution if one does not believe that every child born in the United States is automatically a citizen.

19 August 2015

You Would Not Believe How Busy Santa's Elves Are in March - The World's Top CO2 Emitters

NASA has a program called Eyes on the Earth that allows one to download a program to examine satellite images and measurements around the world.  I decided to examine some month-long results for the AIRS satellite measurements for CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.  The more red the color, the higher the carbon dioxide concentration.  Of course one expects to see higher concentrations of CO2 over areas with high populations, much industrial activity, and areas with many coal-fired power plants.  At least this is what one expects given the hype that man is causing catastrophic man-made global warming with his use of fossil fuels.

Let us examine how those darned Americans polluted the Earth with their CO2 emissions in the month of March 2015:

Oops, we were outdone by Santa's elves, those very industrious little guys so hard at work using fossil fuel energy to make the gifts for this coming Christmas!  Who else could be responsible for this huge outpouring of CO2 in northeastern unsettled Canada, in Greenland, over the Arctic waters, and northernmost Siberia?  I thought the elves used magic rather than coal-fired power plants to make toys, but I must have been wrong.

Now we know that those Chinese are smothered in pollution from their huge number of coal-fired power plants, so if the examine the CO2 concentration map over China, we have to see a huge CO2 concentration.  Right?  So here is the March 2015 CO2 concentration map over Asia:

No, it seems even the Chinese cannot compete with those incredible elves.  Iran and Pakistan look to be at least as busy with coal-fired power plants as the Chinese are.  Western Russia is also more than competitive.

Well, perhaps I have chosen an odd month.  How about December 2014:

OK, now we see that the U.S. midwest and northeast are showing some signs of life.  Just not as much life as northern Greenland or parts of the Arctic Ocean, or parts of the northern Pacific Ocean, all of which must have some belching coal-fired power plants we knew nothing about.  My how ignorant we must be to have not observed those fired-up energy polluters.

But China must have been a hot spot in December 2014.  They were all just taking vacations in March 2015.

Yes, at last.  At least the people in northeast China were having some effect with their coal-fired power plants in December 2014.  But not much more than those very industrious Iranians and Pakistanis.  And look what those fishermen in the Timor Sea and the Arafura Sea just north of Australia were doing!

Am I just cherry-picking data?  Well let us look at July 2015 then:

OK, now we have it.  Those American who live in the coastal states of the southeast are the culprits of all the fabled CO2 pollution!  Yes sir, now we can see why people in the Southeast are less interested in fighting man-made global warming than the high concentration of Northeastern Progressive Elitists are.  It would be harder for them to change their ways.  Even though the population density is less there, at least in July of 2015, they used more fossil fuel and polluted the atmosphere more than other Americans.  Now we have the smoking gun!

But even those American rednecks of the Southeast have competition.  Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, and Siberia were just as active CO2 emitters as those Southeastern Americans.  Obviously they are really big fossil fuel energy users.

The 3 months of Dec 2014, Mar 2014, and Jul 2015 were the only individual months I tried.  You can choose a range of months and the program will display the results for each month one after the other.  I did this for the months from January 2013 to July 2015.  The results were fairly random outside the Arctic and near Arctic.  The brightest red conditions were always over the Arctic and near Arctic.  The brightest green conditions, a lower than average CO2 concentration, were also over the Arctic and near Arctic, though green was less dominant overall than red was.

So, it is rather hard to pin the increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere on man's burning fossil fuels.  Sorry, but that claim just is not working.  It appears very certain that natural effects are highly dominant and they are not well understood.  Scientists who are real scientists should be studying those natural causes of CO2 emission.

12 August 2015

The EPA -- Once Again Incompetent

I have shown that the EPA rulings on harm done by mercury from coal fired power plants make no sense at all.  There is absolutely no epidemiological evidence of increased mercury sickness or of asthma downwind of major clusters of coal-fired power plants.  Indeed, maps of mercury concentrations precipitated from the air show no such correlation with coal-fired power plants.  The EPA also cherry-picks studies of the health effects of mercury from fish on some islanders, while ignoring other studies of other islanders which show no mercury effects.  They then extrapolate from the cherry-picked exaggerated effect to predict an effect at levels microscopic to the natural mercury levels found in many areas of the United States.  The reckless ruling against coal-fired power plants based on the mercury argument is incompetent and highly unethical.

The EPA has also claimed that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, even though it is necessary to plant growth and humans exhale it.  The EPA falsely claims increased CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use will cause catastrophic man-made global warming.  On the basis of this foolish claim, it is putting out a Clean Power Plan which will require the closing of many coal-fired power plants and some gas-fired power plants and the very inefficient use of many of the remaining gas-fired power plants.  The use of a global warming model with hugely exaggerated warming effects says that the new, highly disruptive and expensive ruling will lower temperatures by 0.02 Kelvin, even as vast new coal-fired power plants will produce far more CO2 than the U.S. reduction.  Wind and solar energy are to be greatly increased to replace them on the electric grid.  Yet wind and solar energy are very expensive and very unreliable.  Once again the EPA is mired in incompetence and arrogantly insists on doing great harm to energy users, investors, and workers.

Recently, the EPA demonstrated its incompetence and its unethical behavior by dramatically releasing incredible amounts of gold mining waste water laden with lead, cadmium, and arsenic into the Animas River of the San Juan River Basin.  This water flows into the Colorado River and Lake Powell.  The EPA was slow in announcing the disaster and will not take the level of responsibility it expects of businesses that it goes after vigorously when they have such disasters.  This is the government and the government is never guilty of immoral activity.  Just ask the government if you do not believe this.

There is always a double standard for business relative to government.  The standards to which businesses are held are much, much higher.

03 August 2015

Most Okies are Better Off than Most New Yorkers

When discussing the impact of the current New York state minimum wage of $9.00/hour and the law requiring that the minimum wage for fast food workers will rise in stages to $15/hour, I discovered how surprisingly bad off compared to the national household median income most New York residents were.  Because I have family in Oklahoma and it is considered to be backward, poor, and only worth flying over by New York Progressive Elitists, I have decided to do a comparable comparison of Oklahoma to New York.  After all, Oklahoma is the home of many poor Native Americans and a land of people who should have fled the dust bowl in the 1930s in abject poverty, right?  This should be an easy contest for New York.

So once again I will find the cost of living in Oklahoma cities and towns and use that to adjust the median household income of each city or town.  This recognizes that income goes much further when the cost of living is low than when it is very high, as tends to happen in areas with a big government mentality.  Or at least this happens until the costs cause so many business failures that housing values collapse as people flee the area for jobs in areas with more limited government.

Now the total population of the state of Oklahoma is about 0.2 times that of New York state.  So, the size of the cities and towns in this list will be smaller.  I chose all of the bigger cities and towns and a few to represent low population areas of the state.  The results in the table below for Oklahoma should be compared to those for New York in my previous post.

City or Town
Cost of Living % Compared to National Average
Median Household Income (National = $53,046)
Effective Median Household Income
% National Effective Median Household Income
Broken Arrow
Ponca City
Oklahoma City

Whereas, the residents of New York City had effective median household incomes of only 80% of the national average and those of Buffalo had such incomes of only 78% of the national average, most of the residents of Oklahoma have higher incomes.  Most of the population in Oklahoma enjoys median effective household incomes which are 90% or more of the national average.  For most Oklahomans, the cost of living is below 90% of the national average.

Only three towns were found with effective median household incomes below 76% of the national average.  One of these, Hugo, has a population of only 5,325 and is in the table only to represent the low population southeast area of the state.  Its effective median household income is better than that of larger Ithaca, NY, population 30,016 and home of Cornell University.  Another, Sallisaw, has only 8,779 residents, of whom most are Native Americans.  Stillwater, home of Oklahoma State University, has a population of 45,584.  None of the other towns are worse off than Buffalo.

The biggest city in the state, Oklahoma City, has an effective median household income of 97% of the national median.  The other colossus in the state is Tulsa with an effective median household income of 90% of the national median.  The third largest city, Norman, home of the University of Oklahoma, has an effective median household income of 103% the national value.  Broken Arrow, number 4 in size, is at 131%, #5 Lawton is 93%, and #6 Edmond is at 123% of the national median household income.  There is no contest between Oklahoma and New York.

The Progressive Elitists of New York are famous for telling the rest of the country how to manage the finances of the country and about how concerned they are about income inequality.  They assure us that the big government model is best for reducing income inequality and will generally make most people better off.  Now, there are many very wealthy and high income people in New York.  But the median household income tells us that income point at which half the households make more and half make less.  Thus there can be a minority of people who are have very high incomes who do little to shift the median income level up when most households are making far less than they are.  New York state is famous for its income inequality in fact.  Not withstanding the preaching of its controlling Progressive Elitists.

The minimum wage in Oklahoma is the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour.  According to the advice now being given to us by many Progressive Elitists, it should be $15/hour.  They claim this would give so many more purchasing power that they would spend their local economies to a condition in which everyone would have higher incomes.  But, the people of Oklahoma have managed to do far better than New Yorkers for the most part by ignoring this advice.  They have also ignored advice on the advantages of big government to a considerable degree.  It appears that the experiment has been done here.  The people who inherited the land of the dust bowl and a large Native American population are better off economically than New Yorkers, who have the national financial and business center of the nation.

There is far less income inequality in Oklahoma than in New York.   Most households have higher effective median incomes.  Wow!  The people of fly-over country are beating the pants off of those New Yorkers guided by the all-knowing Progressive Elitists.  Now who would have thought that Okies could win this contest so handily?

So, hi Mom, Betsy, Scott, Peggy, and my nieces and nephews in Oklahoma.  Congratulations on beating those New Yorkers economically and for not following their advice on matters of politics.  It is a very good idea to keep the cost of living low and the cost of doing business low by keeping government smaller.  Keep on trucking!  Keep electing those smaller government Republicans and leave those Big Government Democrats to the New Yorkers, who are killing themselves.