Monday, 13 December 2010

SUSTAINABILITY PRIMER


What started as an invited lecture in 2010, I have now published under the title

                         SUSTAINABILITY – A Primer
ADDENDUM 13 JLY 2016:    updated and retitled:  SUSTAINABILITY - THE FULL MONTY
A resulting essay:  Buckminster Fuller and the Octopus  is at
http://altenergymag.com/emagazine.php?art_id=1673

A statesman sans pareille gives his view of the responsibility of scientific research in the 21st Century:

read Helmut Schmidt's  address to the Max Planck Institute:
Mike

Appendix:
ADDITIONAL SOURCES AND RESOURCES #1 
In Section 16: Autonomy vs Autocracy, as further items 16.2.1.1 http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/abdication.pdf

In Section 8: Range of Varieties, as 8.1.1 Climate discussion resources http://www.thegwpf.org/

Monday, 18 October 2010

IN MEMORIAM HERMANN SCHEER - HIS RIBA LECTURE OF 22 APRIL 2008



With many thanks to GLEEDS I'm delighted to publicise the links to Hermann Scheer's talk at the Royal Institute of British Architects, given 22 April 2008, below:

"Hi Mike,

In regard to your enquiry about the RIBA Hermann Scheer talk.

I have put the clip on the home page of the www.gleeds.tv website. The full lecture is available to watch online or download:


Part 1:
http://www.gleeds.tv/index.cfm?video=191

Part 2:
http://www.gleeds.tv/index.cfm?video=192

Part 3:
http://www.gleeds.tv/index.cfm?video=193

Part 4:
http://www.gleeds.tv/index.cfm?video=787


You are more than welcome to link to the videos. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance

Kind regards
Desley
Communications Officer
Gleeds Corporate Services"


ADDENDUM 18 SEP 2016:
Well  --  it was good while it lasted since 2008, thanks Gleeds!  But these links now no longer work, obviously withdrawn from their server.
Best I can do is refer you Hermann Scheer's book, as posted four years ago:
http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/at-risk-of-boring-you-i-must-quote.html 

See also 
http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/civic-energy-musings.html 

as a reminder of Hermann Scheer's continuing relevance.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

OIL GIANT GAVE £1 MILLION TO FUND CLIMATE SCEPTICS…

…cries a banner headline on the front page of The Times on 19 July 2010. “One of the world’s largest oil companies has broken its pledge (why and to whom one wonders) to stop funding groups that promote scepticism about man-made climate change”. Only a few days earlier, in the Economist of 10 July 2010, I found again the litany that the only climate scientists that seem to matter are those 'behind closed doors' by order of the IPCC. As noted before, there are, of course, many other scientists outside these confines, as well as thousands of scientists who have signed petitions pleading 'audiatur et altera pars' instead of relying exclusively on the IPCC's Lysenkoism.


So …… HOORAY!

to Exxon for deciding to get out of the climate cabal’s coercion and giving a few pennies to organisations that promote scepticism about man-made climate change, i.e. about anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Pennies? – Yes when compared to the AGW cabal’s propaganda machine having spent an alleged 100 billion dollars (10 billion dollars annually in the US alone) to promote the AGW fable. Fable? To wit: consider published estimates of annual global carbon dioxide emissions in Gt C/year (Gigatonnes of carbon per year):

Gt C/year; average; %

Respiration (humans, animals, phytoplankton) 43.5-52, avge 47.75, = 22.96%

Ocean outgassing (tropics) 90-100, avge 95, = 45.68%

Soil bacteria, decomposition 50-60, avge 55, = 26.45%

Volcanoes, soil degassing 0.5-2, avge 1.25, = 0.60%

Forest cutting, forest fires 0.6-2.6, avge 1.6, = 0.77%

Anthropogenic emissions (2005) 7.2-7.5, avge 7.35, = 3.53%

TOTAL 192-224, avge 207.95, = 100.00%  [1]



I find it hard to believe that about 7 Gt C/year out of total global emissions amounting to some 200 Gt C/year should alone and exclusively be responsible for affecting ‘global climate’, no less - let alone the unresolved question whether even the total of annual CO2 emissions does. Is scepticism not the only possible rational response in the light of these figures? Anthropopathetic is a word that springs to mind. Those sponsors of AGW fables should perhaps take a lesson from the Brothers' Grimm ‘Die Sonne bringt es an den Tag’, i.e. 'Truth Will Out'. And only sceptics will ever find it.

Meanwhile, don't lose your focus on the Clean Energy challenge - nothing else really matters if you take sustainability serious.

[1] Robert M Carter: ‘Climate: the Counter Consensus — a Palaeoclimatologist Speaks’, Stacey International, London 2010

[PS:  for my full story start with Blog (1) 2009]

Monday, 5 July 2010

BURT RUTAN: NEW PRESENTATION


This announcement just received from Burt Rutan:

"Lessons learned by a long debate with a Climate Scientist/Professor prompted me to update my CAGW slides. The update, Version 4 is now posted for download at:

A version of this presentation will be given by me at the world's largest... convention at 11:15 am, July 31st, Pavilion 7

Burt"

The Climate Scientist referred to is Professor Robert M Carter whose latest book CLIMATE: THE COUNTER CONSENSUS has just been published by Stacey International, London.

As Burt says about his presentation: read the evidence and make up your own mind.
Can't ask for more.


Saturday, 1 May 2010

PROLOGUE - DEAD HORSE TRADING

PROLOGUE

Young Chuck wants to get rich with his own ranch. To start with he buys a horse from a farmer. He gives him 100 dollars -- all his money -- who promises to deliver the horse next day. Next day the farmer visits Chuck and gives him the bad news: "Sorry, son, but the horse dropped dead during the night." "No problem", says Chuck, "just give me back my money." "Can't be done!, replies the farmer, "I already spent it all on fertiliser yesterday."
Chuck thinks for a moment. "Well, I'll take the dead horse anyway." "What for?" asks the farmer. "I want to auction it," declares Chuck. "But you can't auction a dead horse, surely!" says the amazed farmer. But Chuck replies: "No problem, I just don't tell anyone it's already dead..."
Months later Chuck -- in a smart suit and stylish shoes -- bumps into the farmer in town. Asks the farmer; "Chuck! How did it go with the cadaver auction?" "First class", says Chuck. "I sold over 500 lottery tickets at 2 dollars each and made my first 1000 dollar profit."
"Weren't there any complaints?" "Oh yes, from the winner" says Chuck, "but I simply returned his 2 dollar stake to him."
Today Chuck sells structured financial products at a large investment bank.

(Found in Forum Finanzcrash from an unknown author, as quoted by Franz Alt & Peter Spiegel: Gute Geschaefte, Aufbauverlag GmbH & Co.KG, Berlin, 2009)


THE GLOBAL CHALLENGE
Buckminster Fuller proposed the World Design Science Decade 1965-1975 to the International Union of Architects for adoption by world architectural schools[6],[7] stating the most inspirational reasoning of what still remains doing :

".... to render the total chemical and energy resources of the world, which are now exclusively preoccupied in serving only 44% of humanity, adequate to the service of 100% of humanity, at higher standards of living and total enjoyment than any man has yet experienced."
That such a task is not beyond the realm of human achievement is illustrated by a similar scale project actually accomplished during the same period - the Apollo Program 1963-1972 which put man on the moon - and back.

THE SIZE OF TASK
Fuller's challenge does, of course, not go away even if all the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) theory turns out to be not quite what it's made out to be. Following Thomas L Friedman's calculations in his book "Hot, Flat and Crowded" (p.214) I reckon that the world in 2100 at, say 10 billion people, would need to have access to at least four times the current electricity consumption of 13 terawatts. A nuclear power plant producing on average one gigawatt, the world would need about 50,000 nuclear plants - needing to be built at a rate of 1.5 plants every day from now on till 2100. Try your own numbers. At least read that book. [see earlier posts for reasons why only solar energy can possible meet that challenge]
THE LITMUS TEST FOR MEETING THE GLOBAL CHALLENGE **************


Given the nature and size of Fuller's Global Challenge and as far as energy is concerned (there are myriad other concerns but energy is a fundamental one), there appears to be only one physical unit with which to measure progress to meet that challenge -- while avoiding being sold 'dead horses' or accepting the wooden nickels of carbon- and carbondioxide-measured endeavours: kWh of Clean Energy. Everything that is sold as 'green', 'sustainable', 'renewable' or similar not producing any kWhCE -- exportable beyond selfconsumption -- belongs to a realm other than facing up to this energy part of Fuller's Global Challenge.

*********** AND RECOGNIZING DEAD HORSE TRADING

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

2009 YEAR END MUSINGS

Celebrating walls that have fallen (Berlin = Iron Curtain) was an important event of 2009 as I realized when I attended the Genisis conference at the Free University of Berlin on 08 NOV 09; arranged in support of Muhammad Yunus of Grameen banking fame, to make other walls fall: the wall of poverty and the wall of climate change. His success with microcredit to alleviate poverty is well known. Less well known may be his success against energy poverty: Bangladesh has the highest number of PV installations of any country - and where it matters: empowering rural individuals, families and communities. CleanEnergy at its best. And 'climate-change' has nothing to do with it, though this weasel-word confuses and abuses the whole energy poverty issue.

An earlier one of my 'solstice' cards may explain how I began to take the climate conundrum seriously:









Here is what I wrote in reply to being 'educated' in green responsibility at an international 'climate' [Salzburg Global] seminar in 2008:

"There is nothing as convincing as seeing the effects of global warming at first hand, as here in a photograph I took from the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse in Austria during the Salzburg Global Seminar 60-year-anniversary Summer Festival of 2007, seeing the mile-long retreat of glaciers up two visible valleys of the Hohe Tauern massif. But mentioning CO2 as the cause to our guide produced only derision when pointing out to us that such glacier behaviour is nothing new – the current melting retreat only revealing the old entrances to gold mines driven into the mountains centuries ago and worked until the 16th century.

Looking for confirmation of this conversational information I could only find one published reference, in the German newspaper Die Welt of 27 March 2007 under the heading In Rauris vollziehen sich Quantenspr├╝nge: ‘Quantum leaps are happening in Rauris: Up here the world appears still intact. Instead of digging for gold – until the 16th century this valley high up in the mountains owed its wealth to mining – it is now the breeding of tourists that is cultivated. To the delight of the native population tourists multiply like rabbits from year to year. And because the glaciers are melting, the long hidden entrances to the mining galleries are revealed again. No loss without profit, not least without the realization: it has obviously once before been even warmer than today’. [my translation of the opening sentences of the longer article reporting on a literature festival in Rauris].

Two messages imprinted themselves on my mind:

• Without shadow of doubt there is global warming now: these glaciers are melting extensively.
• CO2 cannot be the only cause for global warming because around the 16th century and for many centuries before (to allow miles of underground mining) there is to my knowledge no recorded surge of man-made CO2 (or of other greenhouse gases) that could account for it.
No rocket science required to reach this conclusion.

Hockey sticks my foot, I thought, what is going on here which could solve this riddle? The most convincing explanation I found at the time was in “THE CHILLING STARS – A Cosmic View of Climate Change” [Icon Books Ltd, UK 2008] by Henrik Svensmark & Nigel Calder. Nigel Calder will be remembered as a former editor of the New Scientist magazine."

Meanwhile other accounts of climate changes and fossil fuel creation have found their way onto my bookshelves, among them Robert W Felix: "Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps - The True Origin of Species" and Thomas Gold: "The Deep Hot Biosphere - The Myth of Fossil Fuels". The recently reported near 60% of voters refusing to atone in sack and ashes for the manifest untruth that man-made CO2 can ever have been the sole cause of 'global warming' since thousands of years, have good reason for their stance: Peter Taylor in his book 'CHILL - A reassessment of global warming theory - does climate change mean the world is cooling, and if so what should we do about it?' [Clearview 2009] provides enough food for thought to elicit this comment from W. Jackson Davis, professor emeritus, University of California, and author of the first draft of the Kyoto Protocol:

'Do you believe the earth is warming? Think again, says Peter Taylor, a committed environmental analyst with the unusual gift of following scientific evidence ruthlessly wherever it may lead. Taylor has done groundbreaking work on issues ranging from ocean pollution and biodiversity through renewable energy. Now he turns his relentless searchlight on climate change. His work has the ring of passion and the clarity of intellectual honesty. We can be certain his conclusions are the product of a fearless, unbiased, and intelligent intellectual journey by a remarkable mind, all the marks of genuine science. Taylor challenges us to look beyond our biases to whatever conclusions the evidence may justify. Believers in global warming such as myself may not find comfort here, but they will without question find a clear challenge to examine all the evidence objectively. At the very least, Taylor raises issues and questions that must be addressed conclusively before global warming can be genuinely regarded as "truth ", inconvenient or otherwise. This book is a mustread for everyone on all sides of the climate change issue. '
Interesting to see also that The Economist is pointing to the possibly impending Maunder Minimum ("Where have all the sunspots gone?", The World in 2010 p.153). A sign of 'global warming' beginning to melt the frozen climate Gleichschaltung?

The recent Climategate revelations were nothing new to anyone who could (or would want to) read - from Nigel Lawson's "Appeal to Reason" to Chris Horner's "Red Hot Lies", or these Google-found summaries of the 'Hockey Stick Fraud' and history of climate change:


"In 1995 the UN's International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the following chart of
temperature history, showing that climate is always changing:
"

"A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an
astonishing email that said: 'We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period'. This individual happens to be a UN IPCC lead author, and very soon that very same body did just that, with the now-exposed "Hockey Stick." This supposed awakening of knowledge to reverse 1,000 years of accumulated knowledge from observations, and even the UN's own prior assertion of climate history affirming it, came through a computer program interpreting more modern proxy data reconstructions."












the "Hockey Stick"

"The following chart represents the corrected reconstruction of Mann et al's own data by M&M"






"A HISTORY LESSON as posted by Paul Johnson at http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/04/023312.php?format=print 01/05/2009 [Power Line Blog: John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, Paul Mirengoff http://www.powerlineblog.com]

April 12, 2009 Posted by John at 7:47 PM
When people fall for the global warming scam, it's usually because they lack a basic understanding of the Earth's modern climate history. Writing for Pajamas Media, Matt Patterson provides a succinct history lesson:
"Make no mistake --the earth has warmed. Unfortunately for the climate-change catastrophists, warming periods have occurred throughout recorded history, long before the Industrial Revolution and SUVs began spitting man-made carbon into the atmosphere. And as might be expected, these warm periods have invariably proven a blessing for humanity. Consider:
Around the 3rd century B.C., the planet emerged from a long cold spell. The warm period which followed lasted about 700 years, and since it coincided with the rise of Pax Romana, it is known as the Roman Warming.
In the 5th century A.D., the earth's climate became cooler. Cold and drought pushed the tribes of northern Europe south against the Roman frontier. Rome was sacked, and the Dark Ages commenced. And it was a dark age, both metaphorically and literally --the sun's light dimmed and gave little warmth; harvest seasons grew shorter and yielded less. Life expectancy and literacy plummeted. The plague appeared and decimated whole populations.
Then, inexplicably, about 900 A.D. things began to warm. This warming trend would last almost 400 years, a well documented era known as the Medieval Warm Period. Once again, as temperatures rose harvests and populations grew. Vineyards made their way into Northern Europe, including Britain. Art and science flourished in what we now know as the Renaissance.
Then around 1300 A.D. things cooled drastically. This cold spell would last almost 500 years, a severe climate event known as the Little Ice Age. Millions died in famine as glaciers advanced all over the world. The plague returned. In Greenland, the Norse colony that had been established during the Medieval Warming froze and starved. Arctic pack ice descended south, pushing Inuit peoples to the shores of Scotland. People ice skated on the Thames; they walked from Staten Island to Manhattan over a frozen New York Harbour. The year 1816 was remembered as the year without a summer, with some portions of the Northern Hemisphere seeing snowfall in June.
But around 1850 the planet began to warm up yet again. Glaciers retreated. Temperatures rose. This is the warming period which we are still enjoying today. And once again, the warmth brought bounty: The last 150 years have seen an explosion in life expectancy, population, and scientific progress like never before.
Of course, even before the appearance of humans, the earth alternated throughout its history between extremes of heat and cold: 700 million years ago the planet was covered entirely in ice; 55 million years ago, a swampy greenhouse.
Why? What drives these ancient cycles? There are a lot of theories. The waxing and waning of solar output; cosmic rays and their role in cloud formation; the earth moving through plumes of galactic dust as it travels up and down through the arm of the Milky Way; plate tectonics redirecting the ocean currents; vulcanism. Perhaps it is a combination of all of these things. Perhaps it is something as yet undiscovered. One thing for sure that it's not: SUVs.
Why, then, do otherwise sensible people believe that we are both causing the current warming and that the warmth is a bad thing? To me it seems some grotesque combination of narcissism and self-loathing, a mentality that says at once "I am so important that my behaviour is causing this" and "I am so inherently tainted that it must be bad."
For these self-hating humans who want us to cut our carbs (carbons, not carbohydrates), I say relax and enjoy the warmth while it lasts.
Because it won't. No matter what we do, the ice and the cold and the dark will come again. That should be our worry. "

Then there is H Bachmann's "Die L├╝ge der Klimakatastrophe" (the "Lie of the Climate Catastrophe", Frieling, Berlin, 5th edition 2008) where I find quoted (p.28) Prof. Dr.H Schneider, Lead Author in Working Group II of the IPPC, to have said in 1989: "....In order to get attention we need dramatic statements leaving no doubt about what is said. Each one of us researchers has to decide in how far he would prefer to be honest rather than effective."

Or finding The Global Warming Petition Project where 31,486 American scientists have signed this appeal to reason, including 9,029 with PhDs [ http://www.petitionproject.org/ ]. Consensus?

Or in Scientific American of November 2009:
'STILL HOTTER THAN EVER' - that may be believed by some - but again a thousand year old straight hockey stick handle of global temperature? And that in Scientific American? Such attempts to overwrite recorded history could make a respected title an oxymoron. Ironically, the last sentence in the immediately preceding article reads "It's always difficult to predict, but if we could predict it, it wouldn't be science." Even more true if simulations cannot retrodict recorded history correctly.

One further aspect is arousing my curiosity more recently -- again, no rocket science required:









The whole of Dubai and its new multi-trillion dollar developments rest on ground no higher above sea level than the Maldives or Tuvalu, yet I heard no pleas from among the Copenhagen rent-a-crowd and rent-a-politician shows (costing GBP 130 million and emitting 41,000 tonnes of CO2), that the developed world should reimburse the Emirs for damages from rising sea levels.
Are the Emirs totally reckless with their [our?] money, or do they know something?

I am beginning to think that the whole of the IPCC engendered AGW dogma is the biggest political and intellectual fraud of all times. But before I appear to suffer from severe delusions of grandeur with my modest New Year's musings I had better refer you, in addition to the reading matter quoted above, to some further heavyweights in the discussion: Freeman J Dyson's "A Many -Colored Glass" (notably Chapter 3) and Christopher Booker's "The Real Global Warming Disaster". Read - and make up your own mind.

I would also like to post and share some pointers I received since starting this blog. The first was a reminder to read President Eisenhower's Farewell Address of 17 January 1961. As I once (Summer of 1953) had the privilege of meeting him in the Oval Office (as one of a small group of American Field Service exchange students - anyone remember Stephen Galatti?) nostalgia took hold and I thought I better read it. http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/dwightdeisenhowerfarewell.html

Two warnings struck a chord:
" ..... threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. Of these, I mention two only.....
• A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment..... In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. ...We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
• In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity".
What foresight and how apposite to the current climate discussion, I thought, and was then reminded:

"Thanks, Michael, for forwarding President Eisenhower’s farewell address. You highlighted two paragraphs; but perhaps the third paragraph thereafter should also have been highlighted:

• “Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we—you and I, and our government—must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow……”
Thanks again and Happy New Year to one and all.
Dr. Kofi B. Bota
Huggins Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry,
Clark Atlanta University"

Thank you, Kofi!

So let everyone on the globe peer into society's future and put themselves into the shoes of their grandchildren in C22+ by which time we should have seriously worked to reach our goal (as stated by Buckminster Fuller) ".... to render the total chemical and energy resources of the world, which are now exclusively preoccupied in serving only 44% of humanity, adequate to the service of 100% of humanity, at higher standards of living and total enjoyment than any man has yet experienced" . There appears no doubt that the huge energy resources required by then and beyond for ever after (OK, for 4.5 billion years with luck) can only come from the only income energy source (when all the capital energy sources are exhausted) that can be plundered without punishment: solar energy (1) . If chlorophyll can manage to support all life on the surface of the earth at an efficiency of less than 1% to convert photons into starches and sugars while current commercial PV achieves 15% efficiency and rising (while cheapening), already up to 45% in the lab to convert photons into electrons to power humanity's development, then the direction of effort - intellectual, technical, scientific, entrepreneurial, industrial, financial, spiritual, philosophical, informational and educational - appears given to ensure the continuance of world society in security and liberty: employing the ubiquity and abundance of solar energy (2) .

Buckminster Fuller already proposed a global energy grid over 30 years ago to smoothen variable outputs from renewable energy sources (which Senator Al Gore found making 'eminent sense' - see top left quote).

















One other, though welcome, slight rebuke I received reminding me that taking just the energy conundrum too seriously can blind us to the myriad other things that need 'designing' for a better world, pointing me to

MASSIVE CHANGE
by Bruce Mau and the Institute Without Boundaries (Phaidon 2005)

"Massive Change is not about the world of design; it's about the design of the world."

Another mustread, and musthave for reference.


H A P P Y N E W Y E A R !
(1) Following Thomas L Friedman's calculations in his book "Hot, Flat and Crowded" (p.214) I reckon that the world in 2100 at, say 10 billion people, would need to have access to about four times current electricity consumption of 13 terawatts. A nuclear power plant producing on average one gigawatt, the world would need about 50,000 nuclear plants - needing to be built at a rate of 1.5 plants every day from now on till 2100. Try your own numbers. At least read that book.

(2) Following such leads as provided by E F Schumacher, Muhammad Yunus, Hermann Scheer, Freeman Dyson (Open Source Biology), Frank Lloyd Wright (Broadacres), Popper, Buckminster Fuller, etc.........