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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 19,496

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Theodore von Kármán

"Science is the study of what Is,
Engineering builds what Will Be...

...The scientist merely explores
that which exists,
while the engineer creates
what has never existed before.''

4/10/16: Mauna Loa week to week annual data shows the 2nd highest increase in CO2 ever observed...

...over the same week of the previous year.

I've spent much of the last year reporting on the extraordinary data on the on going collapse of the atmosphere that is being observed in 2016.

One of the more recent of the several such posts I've had the displeasure of posting this year is here: The unprecedented 2016 measurement of large increases in CO2 concentrations over 2015 continues...

In this one of March 29, I quoted my similar post of February 21st of this year, which I repeat again:

At the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory website, they have a data page which compares the averages for each week of the year with the same week of the previous year.

The data goes back to 1974, and comprises 2,090 data points.

I import this data into a spreadsheet I maintain each week, and calculate the weekly increases over the previous year. I rank the data for the increases from worst to best, the worst data point being 4.67 ppm over the previous year, which was recorded during the week ending September 6, 1998, when much of the rain forest of Southeast Asia was burning when fires set to clear the forests for palm oil plantations got out of control during unusually dry weather. Six of the worst data points ever recorded occurred in 1998 during this event, another was recorded in the January following that event.

The data now comprises 2098 data points, and it's getting worse, not better.

The increase in the dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide on April 10 this year reported at Mauna Loa over the week ending April 12 of 2015 - 2015 being the worst year ever observed in annual increases at 3.05 ppm over 2014 - was 4.59 ppm.

This graph shows the data from this week:

Of the 2098 such data points recorded going back to 1974, this is the second worst such point ever observed, exceeded only by the 4.67 ppm recorded on September 6, 1998, when much of the Southeast Asian rain forest was burning or had burned.

Of the 25 highest such points recorded, 13 have occurred in the last ten years, and 8 in the last five years. Of the 8 in the last five years, 6 have occurred in 2016.

All efforts currently being employed by humanity to address climate change are obviously failing dramatically, clearly in an accelerating fashion.

If any of this bothers you, don't worry, be happy: It's reported that rich people are lining up to buy swell Tesla electric cars, and, of course, investments in so called "renewable energy" are at an all time high.

Even if these things are useless, it's the thought that counts, not practical results.

Enjoy the remainder of the weekend.

Over the years, significant...

... theories and models under certainty have been quite successfully advanced through the use of classical mathematics. Probability and stochastic processes have further extended our abilities in analyzing behavior under randomness (Haugen 1968, 1980, Siddall 1982, 1984, Keeney and Raiffa, 1976). Though our achievements have been gratifying in terms of formalism, we are still quite remote from an adequate description in terms of realism.

In our quest for objectivity, simplicity, and precision, we customarily fit behavior to rigid mathematical models which make no provision for systems complexity and the imprecision in our cognition, perception, evaluation, and decisionmaking processes. Human subjectivity and imprecision have conventionally been regarded as absurd in scientific investigations. Being precise has been a virtue of science. Valuation is almost a forbidden word in formal models. Our unabating effort in achieving higher levels of precision has been the instrument of spectacular advancements in the physical sciences.''

Following the path of the physical sciences, have come to believe that systems are also precise in nature and can be efficiently analyzed by classical mathematics. To be precise, we have attempted to force artificial precision on imprecise phenomena and processes, and in so doing have lost the intrinsic imprecision in human systems in search of precision as a goal. In addition, we have failed to realize that our ability to be precise diminishes as the system becomes more complex. In cases of extreme complexity precision is usually an impossibility. models which neglect these intrinsic characteristics tend to be over-simplified, too mechanical, and too inflexible to give an adequate description of the complex and elastic real world.''

To have a closer approximation to and control of our systems, it is essential to restore human values and to treat imprecision with rigor in theory and model constructions...

Among existing methods fuzzy set theory appears to be a mathematical system which is instrumental in constructing formal models of imprecise behavior. It allows us to restate the importance of treating human subjectivity, albeit imprecise, in model formulations. It can also provide a bridge between verbal and formal models...''

-Professor Yee Leung of the Department of Geography at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in the preface of his book entitled: Spatial Analysis and Planning under Imprecision (North Holland, 1988, pages vii, viii).

A thought for the day...

I attended an interesting lecture by a sociology type today on the history of Soviet nuclear reactor design which made me think of this quote.

March 2016 blows away the record for annual CO2 increases over previous March readings: 3.31 ppm.

The monthly figures for March 2016 are in at the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory. The March average for 2016 was 404.83 ppm. The March 2015 average was 401.52.

For those fond of arithmetic, the difference was 3.31 ppm.

For all data recorded in Marches of any year, this is a new record, the previous worst March, that of March 2013 (increased over March 2012) being 2.89 ppm. Thus the change in the change on these two data points, the second derivative if you will, was 0.42 ppm.

Rather remarkable.

The worst annual figure for increases over a previous year was observed in 2015, at 3.05 ppm.

February 2016, was the worst monthly figure recorded for any month of any year at Mauna Loa, 3.76 ppm over February 2015.

If any of this disturbs you, don't worry be happy. They're building a solar roadway in France, and Scotland is just brimming with so called "renewable" electricity generation. I heard all that wonderful news right here at Democratic Underground, right here at the "Energy and Environment" page.

In the case of our climate policy on this planet, the means far more important than the ends the ends. We don't give a rat's ass about the concentration of carbon dioxide on this planet so long as we build more and more and more and more so called "renewable energy" facilities. We spent two trillion dollars on this stuff in the last ten years, and we're doing just great, 3.76 ppm, followed by 3.31 ppm. By the way, this stuff is neither renewable nor is it sustainable, but again, don't worry, be happy.

It doesn't matter if stuff works, so long as we think it's cool stuff. We're bourgeois to the point of mindless; this data is a function of the West's continuing view that poor people on this planet don't exist.

If I sound bitter, I am.

Have a nice day tomorrow.

New record for atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations established: 405.61 ppm.

On March 20 of this year, which is clearly shaping up to be the worst year ever observed for increases in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, as measured at the Mauna Loa observatory, and may well exceed the previous worst year ever observed, which would be, um, um, um, 2015.

The value observed was 405.61 for the week ending May 20.

2015 was the first year in which the increase in carbon dioxide concentrations exceeded 3.00 ppm in a single year, the exact number being 3.05 ppm.

If one follows this data closely - as I do - one will recognize that the data represents a sinusoidal curve superimposed on a straight line axis that is steadily increasing at an alarming rate. Generally the annual peak is observed in May.

Mauna Loa weekly data. If one looks at the data, one will observe from the graph that there is a certain amount of noise in the readings, and the week of March 29 was slightly lower than March 20.

Nevertheless many more appalling records will be established this year, that is clear.

At this point, I'd like to congratulate all of the people who railed mindlessly against what still remains the world's largest, by far, source of climate change gas free energy, nuclear energy.

Their rhetoric, based on their fetid imaginations, consists entirely of disaster movie scripts for bad movies.

Unfortunately for all of humanity, a real disaster is taking place, on an unimaginable scale.

Have a wonderful week.


It's amazing how people who know nothing about science, nothing at all, show up regularly in response to my posts to attack science - this while claiming to be able to define it - in terms that generally issuing mindless platitudes.


These people are exceedingly stupid, and exceedingly noxious, but at this point in my life, I've come to realize that nothing can be done about them. They will continue to whine about abstractions that they don't understand (having clearly had weak educations) and the probability that they will ever understand exactly how mindless they are is zero.

I've personally come to the conclusion that these people are generally annoying and a waste of time. It's clear they've never had a useful thought in their lives, and while they are causing great harm, one can always hope that eventually, like um, so many equally toxic people throughout the ages, will fade into the obscurity they deserve.

I no longer regard it as my ethical duty to confront them.

With these reflections in mind, I now have a policy of dealing with these intellectual and moral gnats or flies by utilizing the wonderful "ignore" button that has long been available at DU, but which I have regrettably under utilized.

As much as I hate ignorance, and have labored under a feeling of a responsibility to confront it, there is no need to continuously suffer being exposed to it; it only raises my blood pressure and depresses me and clearly I can do nothing about it myself.

I have just expanded the list of people I have on ignore to three.

Have a nice life.

The unprecedented 2016 measurement of large increases in CO2 concentrations over 2015 continues...

On February 21 of this year, to describe my practice of monitoring the situation at the Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide observatory I posted the following:

At the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory website, they have a data page which compares the averages for each week of the year with the same week of the previous year.

The data goes back to 1974, and comprises 2,090 data points.

I import this data into a spreadsheet I maintain each week, and calculate the weekly increases over the previous year. I rank the data for the increases from worst to best, the worst data point being 4.67 ppm over the previous year, which was recorded during the week ending September 6, 1998, when much of the rain forest of Southeast Asia was burning when fires set to clear the forests for palm oil plantations got out of control during unusually dry weather. Six of the worst data points ever recorded occurred in 1998 during this event, another was recorded in the January following that event.

It's looking very bad these last few weeks at the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory.

There are now 2,094 data points as opposed to 2,090. Of these 2,094 data points, only 9 recorded a value exceeding 4.00 ppm over the previous year. Two of these nine have occurred in the last two months.

The most recent released data point, for March 20, 2016 came in at 4.19 ppm over the same week in 2015. (2015 was the first year to have exceeded an increase of over 3.00 ppm over the previous year.)

Of the top 25 such values ever recorded, 5 were recorded in 2016.

As I noted previously, the worst monthly increase ever observed was that of February 2016.

February 2016 recorded as the worst February ever, by far, for carbon dioxide increases over the...

In several years of watching this data, I have never been as disturbed by it as I am right now. It would seem that something is spiraling out of control.

The average data for all weekly data points for increases over the same week of the previous year since 1974 is 1.74 ppm; for the 20th century, 1.54 ppm, for the 21st century, 2.05 ppm; for 2015, 2.25 ppm; for 2016, 3.24 ppm. Since the Fukushima event caused Japan to shut (temporarily) its largest, by far, source of climate change gas free energy, nuclear energy (but not its coastal cities, even though living in coastal cities was far more dangerous than nuclear plants) the increase has been 2.25 ppm.

Don't worry though...be happy. They're building a solar roadway in France, and even if it gets covered by sand, grease, skid marks, and tire wear, it's the thought that counts.

Have a nice day tomorrow.

Life? or Theater?

Charlotte Salomon (b. 1917, Berlin Germany - d. 1943, Auschwitz, Poland)

Joods Historiche Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The painting is one of a series of Gouache works with the same title.

Between 2004 and 2014, the world spent $875.5B on solar energy; $711B on wind...

...$137.5B on biofuels, and 2015, from preliminary projections was even worse for all three forms of so called "renewable energy."

When small hydro, geothermal, and tidal energy is added the grand total spent on so called "renewable energy" amounted between 2004 and 2014 to 1.804 trillion dollars.

This is the claim registered by the so called "Frankfurt School UNEP Collaborating Center for Climate and the Environment".

Their data may be found at their website: Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015

The amount of money spent on so called "renewable energy" exceeds the individual gross domestic product of countries like Russia, Canada, and Australia.

The amount spent on wind and solar alone exceeds the gross national product of Indonesia, a nation with more than 250 million people living in it.

The result of all this spending in the last ten years is that 2015 was the worst year ever recorded for increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the first year whose average value was more than 3.00 ppm over the previous year. For all of 2016, the weekly rates of comparison with the same week of the previous year are averaging 3.15 ppm.

The figures all represent an enormous failure. Of course this is an unpopular thing to say, and one can get in a lot of trouble and hear infinite amounts of whining that amounts to denial for saying it, as I have learned, but it is nonetheless, irrespective of whose hair it singes, the truth.

So called "renewable energy" is not sustainable because of its intense demand for metals and other materials, many of which are fairly exotic. The low energy to mass ratio - which by the way is made even worse by the thermodynamically absurd plan to "store" energy - means that there is not enough material on the entire planet to sustain it very much longer.

Solar and wind energy, combined, do not provide even 5 of the 560 exajoules humanity consumes each year. Their entire annual output assembled over half a century or relentless cheering for them does not exceed the single year increase in dangerous natural gas use.

Continuing this vast extremely expensive experiment and expecting a different result is not going to change a damned thing.

The world built close to 450 nuclear plants in a period of about 25 years, with the world's largest producer of nuclear energy, the United States, with roughly 100 such plants built, enjoying some of the lowest electricity prices in the world, although prices are rising nationally because of our desire to run down the so called "renewable energy" rabbit hole.

Worldwide, nuclear power plants produce about 28 exajoules of primary energy, and easily outstrip all the world's forms of so called "renewable energy" combined.

Now we hear that "nuclear energy is too expensive" and "nuclear energy is too slow."

These are announcements that what has already happened is impossible.

There is no reason that nuclear power plants should cost $10 billion dollars each, other than the fact that ignorant people - like arsonists complaining about forest fires - have done everything in their power to destroy nuclear intellectual and physical infrastructure by continuous specious appeals to fear and ignorance. This results in practically every nuclear plant built in modern times being a "FOAKE" case, "first of a kind engineering."

Suppose though that we spent $10B on each reactor, each designed, unlike wind turbines or solar panels, to run for 60 years, more than half a century. For the money squandered on solar and wind alone in the last ten years, we could have built 85 nuclear plants in the last ten years. The thermal output of a large scale nuclear plant is roughly 3000 MW(th), plus or minus a few hundred MW, registered as primary energy, which translates to an average annual energy yield of 95 petajoules. Eighty-five plants would yield thus close to 8 exajoules, and do so, without replacement, for 60 years. Each plant built would represent a gift made by our generation to the future generations.

That's not how we live today, of course; we place no value on the future, and couldn't care less about future generations but if we did...

I oppose spending another dime on so called "renewable energy." We have a technology that is far superior, more sustainable, and far cleaner. No amount of money will make so called "renewable energy" work, and, I note, with more than passing disgust, that since the wind does not always blow, and the sun doesn't always shine, it makes the "need" for dangerous natural gas (or worse, batteries) permanent.

I'm sorry if that offends anyone, but I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't state clearly what I have found out. I often feel like the mythical Cassandra, who always told the truth but was never believed, but that is what it is.

Have a nice day tomorrow.

What "unique risks" are you talking about?

All of the nuclear operations, including Chernoybl and Fukushima - events which people who know very little science burn coal & gas to generate electricity to complain about endlessly - for the last half a century won't kill as many people as will die today and tomorrow from air pollution.

That would be 38,000 people, more or less, half of whom will be under the age of 5 when they die.

The experimental risk of nuclear power is vanishingly small, which is not to say that people who don't know anything about the topic don't keep inventing imaginary events that they value over the real event: More people dying every seven years than died from all causes, genocide, civilian bombing, combat deaths, and starvation, in World War II.

Your fear of "unique risks" trumps 50 million deaths every seven years how, exactly?

The paper was scientific not political. It's point is that nuclear energy saves lives.

My attachment to Bernie Sanders campaign - which has nothing to do with science, since for all intensive purposes Sanders is uninterested in science, as are, apparently most of his supporters - can be found on the Senator's "Energy" page, with which I'm sure his supporters, with their questionable views on climate change, are familiar.

Nuclear has prevented 1.8 million deaths, and potentially could have saved millions more, were it not for "nuclear exceptionalism," the notion that all other forms of energy can kill at will unless nuclear energy is perfect.

Nuclear energy need not be perfect, to be vastly superior to everything else. It merely needs to be vastly superior to everything else, which it is.

Since Bernie Sanders doesn't get that, I sincerely hope that he is not accorded the Democratic nomination. If I am forced to vote for him because his opponent is either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, I will probably have to take a good stiff drink to do it, since it would violate my deepest moral views to have to vote for such a person as Senator Sanders represents. It will be the worst "lesser of two evils" moment I have faced since George H.W. Bush ran against Michael Dukakis.

Have a nice evening.
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