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 intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

For "a human being, the question 'to be or not to be,' is the question 'to think or not to think.'" Ayn Rand

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 no 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.