Tag Archives: essay

Goddess on a Half Shell

I hate molting.

This was my first thought as I woke up.  No use opening my eyes just yet because I was inside my cocoon, but I did anyway.  Pure, inky-dark wet blackness.  Come to think of it, it’s been my first thought pretty much every time since my second or third molt.  I know some that enjoy it.  I don’t.

Molting is a pain.  Not physically; actually, it’s rather pleasant.  I suppose the biggest thing for me is losing friends, because we are The Hidden.  We cannot afford to let humans know we exist.  I remember the last molt, where I had emerged and pretty soon, unplanned and unanticipated, ran into someone I’d known in my prior incarnation.  A very good friend; I wanted so much to say hello.  But I am forbidden from even acknowledging any knowledge of knowing someone from a prior life – let alone trying to “begin anew”, because something might slip.  We have many laws, but the first one after Deity’s Commandments is “Our existence must remain secret.”

Yes we age, or get wounded, and pretend to die but then molt because, in actuality, we’re immortal.  Well, almost immortal.  It is possible to truly kill one of us, but it’s very hard, and someone has to really know how to do it.  Fortunately, humans have not yet learned about us, let alone developed ways to permanently kill us.

Someday, we’ll be strong enough to form our own society, still in secret.  It was written by Our First that when that happens, and we have learned enough, we will step from this world to a promised place far away.  But for now we are solitary, wandering the world, our minds living sponges to learn cultures, and languages, and science and math and all these things that we will mix in our own way to create our society.  Some, of course, is set, for Our First made secret languages no human can understand or even suspect.  The last Hidden I met, we had a whole conversation by subtle changes in our eye colors and iris patterns.  Fortunately, I was male and she female at the time, so our staring into each others’ eyes in a dark corner of a tavern was perfectly normal.  My friend was surprised she and I didn’t go upstairs together to my room, and he ribbed me for “letting one get away”… she didn’t.  We exchanged memories and experiences and knowledge.  Like I said, living information sponges with racial memory that gets transferred from individual to individual.  Inside my memory are the collected knowledge and experiences of thousands.

Awake again.

I suppose this is the hardest part, the slow awakening and relearning of my body; every one of us has this problem.  I moved slowly.  I’ve been through enough molts by now to know that I completely changed.  I have been tall, and short.  Inside the cocoon you can’t see, but you can feel.  I felt between my legs; female this time.  I’ve been female before.  I started sending nerve signals down my limbs, and out to my skin and hair to quiz my new body.  OK, I’m pretty short this time… straight auburn hair… olive skin.  Wonderful, a petite female with unusual coloration.  Nothing wrong with it, of course, but humans are still primitive, and can try to take advantage.

Of course I know how to fight.  We are, actually, superior to humans in that.  Far faster reaction times, incredible accuracy and precision with any weapon, and we’re almost ten times stronger than a human the same size.  Much more intelligent.  Our skins and even muscles are much harder for blades to penetrate than normal, and our organ functions are distributed.  For example, I don’t have one heart the way humans do, I have eight smaller ones scattered around my body.  The same for every other system.  Even my brain in my skull has cross-communication with distributed sub-brains.  And weapons?  I have diamond-tipped retractable claws under my fingernails through which I can inject venom.  I can, given a handful of seconds, deliver an electric shock like an electric eel.  And we have a few other tricks up our sleeves as well on bio-weaponry.  I have better senses by far, and more of them.  For example, I can sense metal, and the electric fields of living things.  I can feel magnetic fields so I always know which way north is.  I can see stars during a clear day by my eyes filtering out the sky’s blue – but only if I need to do it.  And I can spit acid so strong it can dissolve metal, which has proven handy a time or three when I’ve been captured by slavers.  Oh, and did I mention I have pads in my fingers and toes that can stick, so I can climb walls and even hang from ceilings?  That we are immune to human diseases and poisons?  And there’s more… we Hidden are full of surprises, like being able to go without air for an hour, or longer if we slow down our metabolism.  We can adapt to temperatures both hotter and colder than humans can stand.  We even photosynthesize in light.  All created by Our First to make us hard to kill, and better at surviving.

The thought of metal brought to mind my last “death”.  I was on a ship, a crewman, learning how to sail on a merchant ship.  We were set on by a pirate vessel; bigger and faster, their trireme rammed us.  We fought, but with a hole in our side and the ocean rushing in it was a lost cause.  I was fighting one pirate when I heard a ballista behind me; I could feel the metal bolt coming straight towards me.  I had no choice.  I knew there was no way to dodge it and not reveal that there was something special about me, so I had to let it take me square in the back; the point came through and out my chest, and I helped a little jumping forward to then fall over the side and under the water.  It’s always easier to cocoon up in the water than being buried on land.  I’ve done both.  Water moltings tend to go a lot faster.  And then there’s having to tidy up the gravesite lest a human think that some fell, undead beast has clawed its way up from the grave.  That has happened before.  I’ve heard some legends of monsters that arise from the grave.  It had to be a Hidden that got interrupted while cleaning up the site, and had to flee and hide before they were done.

Our First is still alive.  Someday I will meet him.  Maybe I have.  He said that He travels as one of us, not revealing that He is the First Hidden ever, the Designer of our race.  I have some of His memories, and understand His plans.  He is not the Deity, of course, but a prophet, the seed crystal of our race created by Deity.  He set our laws and how to behave with each other, how to behave towards humans, and the foundation of how our society will be ordered.

Our sex changes will no longer be random, but will be a steady progression.  One male, six females, will form a family unit.  Each female will have six children by that male, two at a time, through from the most senior down.  When all children pass through their Rite to become adults, the male will then molt, become a female, but must join another family as the junior.  The oldest female then molts to become male, and the cycle continues.  We do grow quickly.  I was running by age one, climbing trees by age three, reading, writing, and doing scholarly work by age six, and fully mature – the equal to a 20-year-old human – by age ten.  This is, of course, helped by knowledge and experience transfers from all of the parent group.

We are one faith with one Deity.  We are one people.  And we know there is a Promised Land waiting for us in the stars.  I can’t wait.

Time to sleep again.  I am getting close to being ready.

It is time.  Through my umbilical cord I can now see the outside since I am ready to go in to land.  It’s night, so nobody should see me.  Enhanced eyes in the cocoon’s skin show me a rocky bottom, and a lot of giant clams.  I don’t think I’ve seen ones that big before.  My cocoon opens and I emerge; my cocoon will dissolve in the next week to leave no trace.  The waves coax me forward, and I sneak towards shore, my skin changing colors to match the bottom – another trick we can do: camouflage.

But as I get close a rogue wave catches the empty shell I had been holding and tumbles me up into the surf at the edge.  As I spin through the water I can see humans on the shore around a large fire; one sees me, points, and cries out.  I mute my skin’s color changes to my as-molted color and stand, naked but trying to cover myself, reddish hair dripping as it wrapped around me and, as it happens, I am right in the center of that shell whose impact knocked me onto the beach.

Great, I thought with mixed sarcasm and hope.  They’ll probably think I’m a goddess or something.

 

© David Hunt PE, 2017

 

 

Climate Change: Why I No Longer Believe. . .

I used to be a Warmist, strongly believing that CO2 emissions were a dire threat to the biosphere on earth from a runaway greenhouse effect.

No longer. 

Like this young woman, I examined things with an increasingly-skeptical eye and, again like her, found myself questioning and then changing positions – as thinking people are wont to do.

Let me be precise.  Am I denying that the climate has changed, and will change in the future?  No.  Am I denying the possibility that mankind is affecting the climate?  No.  But I have concluded, based on the multiple items outlined in the essay below, that the alarmism is vastly over-hyped, and the scientific case unproven.  And I will opine that in a cycles-within-cycles-within-cycles planet of ours, the idea that one factor – CO– is the single overwhelming control knob is simplistic to the point of absurdity.

Now, I predict that most Creationists, er, I mean Warmists will stop reading here.  I’ve violated the Holy Writ, thus there’s no point for them to read further.  For those who have more than three brain cells capable of firing at once however, i.e., people who are open-minded, please read on.  (I use Creationists as my foil because I’ve debated enough of them to recognize the mentality: a reversion to some form of the statement “Well, we’re simply not interpreting the Scriptures correctly” when confronted by evidence that contradicts their beliefs – the same for Warmists and their Scripture that man’s COemissions are the controlling factor.)

One last thing: let’s not conflate pollution, like particulates and NOx, plus solids and liquids that are discharged, with a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas without which life on earth would not exist.  So don’t even think of bringing up that strawman.

 

PEGGING OUT THE BULLSH*T METER

I am an engineer, with a Masters in Engineering plus a Six Sigma graduate certificate (and an MBA too).  I am driven by data, by logic, and make a good-faith effort to work from facts to come to a conclusion – not jump to a conclusion and then collect facts to justify that conclusion.  While I have enough education and experience to be able to have flashes of insight based on scant facts – with an occasionally-annoying-to-others propensity to be right most of the time – I wait until the facts are in, or at least in strong preponderance, before recommending a course of action.  And on occasion I have found that my pet theory on something was, in fact, wrong as shown by the evidence.  

Regarding “climate change”: as I started to pay attention, drawn to the topic by multiple factors, I found my bullsh*t meter pegging out so hard the needle got bent.  So I changed my mind, and became a skeptic.

 

bs meter

 

This, of course, begs the question WHY did I change my mind?

 

LACK OF OPENNESS

Back in the late 1990s there was a study by economist John Lott on the effects of concealed carry and what happens when states pass Shall Issue laws.  The effect he found was stark and clear: concealed carry reduces crime.  (See his follow-on book More Guns, Less Crime.)  Naturally this was a political hot potato; he was viciously attacked by claims his research was flawed, biased, etc.  So – and I hold this to be the very zenith of openness – he offered his data set, copies of his notes in developing his analytical technique, and copies of the analysis model itself to anyone who asked, including his critics.

And that’s the critical point.  He shared his data, even with critics, because he was interested in the truth.  Consider another example: the German scientist who researched NASA’s data and found systematic adjustments of the data to create warming trends artificially.  Relevant to this section is this quote from the article (I’ll refer back to his analysis later):

All datasets are available to the public at any time. The studies by Prof. Ewert may be requested by e-mail: ewert.fk (at) t-online.de.

Compare and contrast the openness, above, to this instance of concealment of data, one of many I’ve read over the years where Warmists actively fought sharing their data and methods with people who aren’t dedicated to The Cause (a term actually used in the infamous Climategate emails).  Don’t forget Phil Jones preferring to delete data files rather than let climate change skeptics see them.  And recently Michael Mann, of the infamous “Hockey Stick Graph” fame, refused to provide his data in a trial to bolster his own case in suing someone who he claimed had defamed him (bolding added):

[Mann] has bought himself time till 2019 and his lawyers can continue to deny jurors (and Joe Public) access to his disputed data in this protracted legal battle that has already eaten up six years and millions in legal fees.

Michael Mann’s “work” is the subject of the great book, A Disgrace to the Profession, by Mark Steyn; Dr. Ball, the target of the lawsuit, has his own book out, The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science.

graphs

Note that the lower of the two graphs reflects the accepted temperature record before the machinations of “adjustments” and “hide the decline / blip” made the scene.  The bottom graph is also consistent with what we know about the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age.  In Mann’s chart the massive heat wave in the 1940s, which Warmists nicknamed “The Blip”, is also not present.

screen-shot-2017-03-08-at-4-07-30-am

So pause and think.  This guy – whose work is foundational to virtually the entire Warmist argument – claims Dr. Ball is defaming him by saying his research is a fraud… but he refuses to release for outside examination the data and analytical techniques being criticized, preferring to risk losing the lawsuit rather than reveal to the world evidence that could vindicate his claim of defamation.

For me, this is the fundamental issue driving my changed view; the other ones I present are merely gravy:

Any researcher who refuses to have their results questioned, their data and data collection methods reviewed, and their analytical models examined for robustness and trialed for replication is de facto a fraud and their results cannot be trusted.  Nor can any work that relies on their work.

I know, I know… “But these people have PhDs!!”  After all, it’s not like papers get pulled, let alone PhDs get revoked ,for data fraud.  Oh, wait…  (For a broader look at fraud in science in general, try this book: The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science.)

As an analogy: You go to the doctor and he tells you you have “Warming Disease”, a condition on which he’s built his entire career and reputation.  Not only will the treatment require a drastic lifestyle change for you and everyone around you, but will require ongoing expensive treatments.  But when you ask for him to send your records to another doctor to get a second opinion, not only does he refuse, he says that doctors that might be skeptical of “Warming Disease” are not trustworthy – but since he has a MD and has made this his the lynchpin of his career, you just need to trust him.  Would you believe such a doctor?

 

BURN THE DENIERS

Were scientists jpg

(Image used with permission.)

When skeptics are put under house arrest to avoid them raising uncomfortable questions, it’s not a science.  And when people scream that “deniers” need to be arrested and tried, even executed, it’s not a science.  Consider these multiple links within this quote):

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has called for punishing and imprisoning dissenters. Bill Nye endorsed such a call just last week. And while it’s easy to dismiss Kennedy and Nye as famous crackpots, Attorney General Loretta Lynch admitted that there had been discussions about prosecuting climate dissenters. And that materials had been passed along to the FBI.

So much for scientific inquiry and an openness to debate – something that, back in the stone age, I learned was a fundamental aspect of the Scientific Process (unlike, say, trying to keep skeptical papers out of peer-reviewed journals by lobbying the editors, lest The Narrative be challenged).  For example:

For example, Tom Wigley, a scientist at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, authored a Climategate 1.0 email asserting  that his fellow Climategate scientists “must get rid of” the editor for a peer-reviewed science journal because he published some papers contradicting assertions of a global warming crisis.

Meanwhile, many notable scientists in the field have changed their minds away from the alarmism:

[T]here are many outstanding scientists who have bothered to actually examine this issue, and have come to the obvious conclusion that there is much less to the story of gloom and doom than is popularly asserted. Many started as supporters of alarm but came to change their minds.

In my life I’ve debated many topics; on some, I’ve changed my mind (there’s the apocryphal quote “When facts change, I change my mind; what do you do, sir?”).  On others, I’ve held my ground. Again, debating a Warmist is like debating a Creationist – no matter how much evidence is put before them, they revert to the Holy Writ.  I’ve literally had people turn away from me to end the discussion rather than admit I might have a point on one or another aspect, especially when it’s clear that I know more about the subject than they do.  Thoughtful people, when confronted by someone who knows more, at least listen.  It’s the zealot that flees lest information that shakes their faith penetrate their consciousness.

 

correct a fool

 

Even the term “denier” is an emotionally-loaded term intended to “other” the skeptics.  Very few skeptics deny that the climate changes; very few skeptics think that people have zero effect on the climate.  We simply believe that the alarmism is overhyped and the case is far, far, far from proven.

There’s a great quotation that I found which applies perfectly, by Frantz Fanon:

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”

I discussed this concept in an earlier essay, Two Kinds of People in the World.  Now understand something: I did not start out as a skeptic, bitterly-clinging to my belief.  I started out on the side of the Warmists; I changed my belief after examination.

Very related to this is a quip about Stalin’s USSR:

The future is known; it’s the past that’s always changing.

In “Climate Science” the conclusion – that man’s COemissions are a dire threat to the planet – is known; the underlying facts keep changing, but the conclusion is immutable.  Do plants absorb more COthus resulting in a negative feedback – something not realized in the models, or the fact that new oceanic currents are discovered, or temperature recording sensors are poorly-sited or uncalibrated , or the discovery that cosmic rays create clouds and are affected by the sun’s activity, or almost 300 peer-reviewed skeptical papers in 2017 alone, alone ever cause the conclusion to deviate?  Findings of key climate change studies & statistics being wrong?

No.

The Holy Writ is set.  Facts don’t matter; the faith is unshakeable.  And a faith it is: people are getting tattooed with the PPM of the year of their birth.  People are talking about genetic engineering to make humans smaller.

 

FRAUD

Back in high school Physics I first became familiar with the quip “First draw your curve, then plot your reading.”  With high school and even college science classes being, essentially, deterministic and the foundational implanting of basics, we pretty much knew what to expect.  Thus, a little fudging-in of errors, and Voila! we had our lab report with a cursory actual set of experiments.  But we were amateurs.  For masters of that technique, we need to look at NASA and NOAA among others.  In Global Warming Hoax: German Scientist Finds Evidence That NASA Manipulated Climate Data (which I referenced above), we see one of the huge problems here (bolding added):

When the publicly available data that was archived in 2010 is compared with the data supplied by NASA in 2012, there is a clear difference between the two. The GISS has been retroactively changing past data to make it appear that the planet is warming, especially after the year 1950. In reality, the original data shows that the planet has actually been getting colder throughout the latter half of the 20th century. Overall, 10 different statistical methods have been used to change the climate’s trajectory from cooling to warming.

It’s easy to find a trend when you torture the data to put one in.  Quoting the source paper this article is based upon (bolding added):

In this research report, the most important surface data adjustment issues are identified and past changes in the previously reported historical data are quantified. It was found that each new version of GAST has nearly always exhibited a steeper warming linear trend over its entire history. And, it was nearly always accomplished by systematically removing the previously existing cyclical temperature pattern. This was true for all three entities providing GAST data measurement, NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU.

As a result, this research sought to validate the current estimates of GAST using the best available relevant data. This included the best documented and understood data sets from the U.S. and elsewhere as well as global data from satellites that provide far more extensive global coverage and are not contaminated by bad siting and urbanization impacts. Satellite data integrity also benefits from having cross checks with Balloon data.

The conclusive findings of this research are that the three GAST data sets are not a valid representation of reality. In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data. Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published GAST data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever  – despite current claims of record setting warming.

Real Climate Science has an ongoing series of posts showing dramatic instances where temperature records are being altered, with 100% of the alterations amplifying – or outright creating – warming trends.  Here’s a specific article from that site, and more on altered data.  NOAA has also been caught outright tweaking data.  And they’re not even hiding it.  (And now we’re starting to learn that older data isn’t trustworthy.)

Now let me be calm; data sometimes does need to be “cleaned up”.  In the course of my own career I’ve needed to do that on occasion – sometimes data does need adjustment.  But in this case, I find three things being outright suspicious:

  1. That, according to my recollection of reading articles about these adjustments, the original data sets are being over-written in some cases. This is a fundamental no-no.  That it is done once could be accidental; that it is, apparently, being done multiple times has to be intentional.
  2. All of the adjustments go only one way. That defies even a basic knowledge of how things work on a statistical level – by pure randomness, some adjustments should go the other way.
  3. To my knowledge there has been no rigorous, let alone replicated, accounting for how the data was adjusted and why it was necessary to do so.

I do know this: If I had ever overwritten the original data, or had adjustments or clean-ups I could not explain to people wanting to confirm my results based on my notes, or tried to use data that was questionable in accuracy, my work would have immediately been deemed worthless by my colleagues.  However, what would be unacceptable anywhere else seems to be standard practice here. 

BS meter pegs out.

 

FALSIFIABILITY

A theory needs to be testable, and failing the test, is falsified.  One of the most famous examples of this was Einstein’s General Relativity which predicts that a gravity field can bend light.  Known as gravitational lensing, the theory was tested in a famous experiment.  Had the test failed, General Relativity would have had to – at best – undergo significant revision… if not been outright proven wrong.  In other words, a theory must say “If this theory is true, these predictions must be testable” – whether true or false.  So consider a prediction by one of the leaders of the Warmist movement, Dr. James Hansen:

Since then we’ve had a continued expansion of fossil fuel use, as in his most alarmist scenario. Given that amount of CO2 emissions, his prediction was that by now, temperatures would have gone up by five degrees Fahrenheit, or about 3°C.

Obviously, nothing like that has happened. Despite the fact that millions of folks believed his prediction in 1988 and continue to listen to him today, the UAH MSU satellite data says that since 1988 it’s warmed by … well … about a third of a degree. Not three degrees. A third of a degree. He was wrong by an order of magnitude. So obviously, he desperately needs an excuse for this colossal failure.

When you’re off by a factor of ten it’s time for a person interested in the truth to step back and say “You know, maybe I’m wrong.”

Predictions are for worse hurricanes.  Wrong (Harvey and Irma are bad, definitely, but… we’ve had 11 years without a major hurricane making landfall; the lull had to end sometime – and it’s not like large hurricanes have ever hit the US, causing great destruction, before industrialization started in the 1940’s… oh, wait….).  Worse tornadoes.  Wrong.  The Arizona and California droughts that are the “new normal”?  Wrong and wrong.  Melting ice caps?  Wrong.  Polar bears going extinct?  Wrong.  Hot spot in the upper atmosphere (a critical element central to all models)?  Wrong.  Glaciers retreating everywhere?  Wrong.  Four times as many extreme weather events?  Wrong.  Energy balances of heat lost to space from radiation?  Wrong:

Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA’s Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.

“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”

Incidentally, Hurricane Irma formed on cooler-than-expected for the storm strength waters.  Not warmer!

The surprising thing about this development into a major hurricane was that it developed over relatively cool waters in the Atlantic – 26.5C — the rule of thumb is 28.5C for a major hurricane (and that threshold has been inching higher in recent years). 

So, basically, “climate change” predicts that it will be – simultaneously – warmer, colder, wetter, drier, stormier, and calmer.  How can it be falsified?

 

wheel-of-climate

 

And speaking of falsification, take a look at this graph:

 

models and 95

 

The models, considered the unquestionable Holy Writ, differ from actual temperatures by a confidence interval of more than 95%, which is a standard scientific term for “We’re pretty sure they’re different”.  This brings to mind a quote by Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winning physicist:

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.

The theory (models) do not agree with the experiments (real-world measurements).  They’re wrong.  Now, of course, comes the shift to say that falsifiability – a fundamental requirement of the scientific method – doesn’t need to be applied here.  WHAM!  BS meter pegs out again.

And one more thing about falsifiability is the name changing.  It was “global warming”, but then it became “climate change” when it became clear there was a years-long hiatus in warming.  Now it’s shifting to “climate instability” or “climate extremes”.  If you need to keep changing the name of what you’re screaming about, well… that’s marketing, not science.

 

CONTEXT AND SCALE

Just look at this ice core data showing temperatures were warmer than today:

Screen_shot_2012-10-06_at_11.14.04_AM.png

So it was warmer during the Roman period; was it the SUVs “Roman” around the world?  Before that, during the Minoan civilization, it was warmer still – it must have been the Atlantean coal plants.  Just visually, the changes claimed as “alarming” match, or are exceeded by, natural variations in the past in both range and rate; thus, any changes being seen now cannot be differentiated from nature.  Here’s another chart.  Look at it.  Now tell me with a straight face that any variation we’re seeing today is unprecedented or can, in any way, be differentiated from natural variation.

5Myr

CO2 levels in earth’s past were far, far higher than they are now – like above 3,000 PPM! – and life thrived.  Greenhouse operators pump CO2 into greenhouses to make plants grow better.

 

(IGlobal Greening jpg

(Image used with permission.)

 

Two videos, one by Greenpeace’s founder Patrick Moore and one by Bill Whittle, bring up difficult questions that Warmists simply cannot answer without pretzel logic (though they try).  And here’s a BBC video, The Great Global Warming Swindle.  From that video, pay particular attention to the Danish examination of temperatures vs. sunspots (discussion starting at 30:39; amazing graph at 33:37); Professor Ian Clark, Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Ottowa, said – upon seeing this correlation between cosmic rays hitting the earth and temperature records:

“I’ve never seen such vastly different records coming together to show, really, what was happening over that long period of time”.

For me it’s stark: two completely disparate data sets matching up so well, over 500 million years… not a coincidence.

Incidentally, it was the Warmists’ outright dismissal that variations in the sun’s output could affect climate that first set off my That’s weird… response and attention-paying to the topic.  Given that the radiative conduction of heat is a function of temperature to the fourth power – i.e., T4, I could not believe the glib dismissal, or assurances of “that’s been taken into account”.  (For example, the sun’s surface temperature is roughly 5500 Kelvin.  A hike of just 50 degrees C could result in a 3.7% increase in temperature transfer to the earth.  A 100 degree change in the sun’s temperature… and remember, the sun is a seething, dynamic tempest… could lead to a potential 7.5% change in radiation heat transfer.)

 

97%

The original “97% of climate scientists agree… blah blah blah” sound bite was, boiled down, based on 77 of 79 papers deemed worthy by the author of the paper making the claim:

In fact, the “97 percent” statistic was drawn from an even smaller subset: the 79 respondents who were both self-reported climate scientists and had “published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change.” These 77 scientists agreed that global temperatures had generally risen since 1800, and that human activity is a “significant contributing factor.”

A later paper by John Cook down in Australia revealed other flaws in this statistic (bolding added):

In an analysis of 12,000 abstracts, he found “a 97% consensus among papers taking a position on the cause of global warming in the peer-reviewed literature that humans are responsible.” “Among papers taking a position” is a significant qualifier: Only 34 percent of the papers Cook examined expressed any opinion about anthropogenic climate change at all. Since 33 percent appeared to endorse anthropogenic climate change, he divided 33 by 34 and — voilà — 97 percent!

Additionally, several scientists whose work Cook cited stated that their results had been misrepresented:

“Cook survey included 10 of my 122 eligible papers. 5/10 were rated incorrectly. 4/5 were rated as endorse rather than neutral.”
—Dr. Richard Tol
“That is not an accurate representation of my paper . . .”
—Dr. Craig Idso
“Nope . . . it is not an accurate representation.”
—Dr. Nir Shaviv
“Cook et al. (2013) is based on a strawman argument . . .”
—Dr. Nicola Scafetta

Cook’s paper was accused of being fraudulent… and he took no action (bolding added, link in original):

Jose Duarte, expert in Social Psychology, Scientific Validity, and Research Methods, has actually called the Cook paper “multiply fraudulent”, and, as far as I know, Cook has taken no action to challenge the claim. This, as much as anything else, shows just what a con trick the whole business was. How many scientists, after all, would accept being called fraudulent without taking action?

Like the Michael Mann case, above… someone calls you a fraud, and you don’t do everything to counter that attack on your integrity?  BS meter peg-out.  Another great takedown of Cook’s paper is here: The 97% Cook Consensus – when will Environ Res Letters retract it?.

There is no such thing as consensus in science.  Nor is there absolute certainty.  Things get overturned all the time, for example the consensus on salt and fat in our diets; in the latter case, the push to demonize fat was bought and paid for.  (And if we can’t understand the human body, we definitely can’t understand the entire planet.)  Remember continental drift, and how the originator of that was derided:

“Utter, damned rot!” said the president of the prestigious American Philosophical Society.

“If we are to believe [this] hypothesis, we must forget everything we have learned in the last 70 years and start all over again,” said another American scientist.

Anyone who “valued his reputation for scientific sanity” would never dare support such a theory, said a British geologist.

 

HUBRIS

It is the pride, the hubris that things are known to within a gnat’s ass without a scintilla of doubt or wondering “Have I missed something?” that… WHAM! pegged out my BS meter again.  Because even plate tectonics can have new information.  I know that in my own career, even when convinced I’m right, I have enough humility to listen to others and am always, always, always wondering “Is this it?  What am I missing?”

IMHO, after “Eureka!  I have found it!” the most important phrase in science is “Wow, thank you – I never thought of that!”  At least, important to people interested in the truth.  It is a phrase utterly missing in what passes for “Climate Science”.

And the idea that today’s climate is “just perfect” is another example of hubris when, across time, whether geologic in scale or even within mankind’s tenure on Earth, it’s changed – and changed a lot.

And one last bit of hubris.  Remember, the signal being discussed – the rise in temperatures – is minute: fractions of a degree per decade.  The temperature record on earth, today, has ground-sensor gaps across vast swaths, millions of square miles, of the planet’s surface.  Temperatures can vary, daily, in some places by 100 times the signal being claimed.  Past 100 or so years ago, we’re using proxies for the temperature data with huge error bars.  The idea that such a small signal can be reliably and accurately be teased out of such data is… well, hubris once more.  At least, it is to people who understand data analysis and the science/art of detecting trends… remember, I’m an engineer.  I’ve done statistical analyses.

 

IN-YOUR-FACE CRISIS (NO, FOR REALS – PINKIE-SWEAR!)

Consider the comedy of shoreline-resort-developing, yacht-renting Warmist Leonardo DiCaprio flying commercial (likely because he couldn’t find a private jet as they’d already been booked).  Look at Warmists selecting luxurious locations for conferences, with people flying in on private jets – lots of private jets.  Now, of course, we find out that Al Gore, who can be accused of fabricating the crisis for personal profit, has a home that uses electricity by the metric f*ckton.  They even admit their hypocrisy.

I’ll quote (from memory) the Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds:

“I’ll believe it’s a crisis when those who claim it’s a crisis act like it’s a crisis.”

It’s about virtue signaling for peer-group applause, nothing more.  Well, that and a good excuse for a tax-payer funded junket.

 

OTHER FACTORS… IGNORED OR DISMISSED

A recent paper points to temperature being a function of atmospheric temperature and solar irradiance.  Another paper suggests changes and shifts in earth’s orbit affect the climate, as does cosmic radiation as modulated by the sun’s activity as noted above.  And there are surely other things I’ve missed.  More than that, however – there are surely things scientists have missed.

With all these peer-reviewed papers highlighting other potential factors to why earth’s climate shifts, the obsession with man-produced CO2 to the exclusion of everything else on this cycles-within-cycles-within-cycles planet and solar system is very suspicious.  Why?  The above are independent of humanity, leading to…

 

THE BIG REVEAL

So what’s it really about?  What are most things about on this scale?  Money:

Climate change alarmism has become a $1.5-trillion-a-year industry – which guarantees it is far safer and more fashionable to pretend a 97% consensus exists, than to embrace honesty and have one’s global warming or renewable energy funding go dry.

Entire academic departments, whole think tanks and research organizations, not to mention “carbon sequestration/offset” industries have been formed based on this.  That’s a lot of lobbying pull to continue the flow of money – and all gone if CO2 is not the controlling knob. 

 

Climat-Formula-NRD-600

 

There’s an axiom in research:

Results of research will be biased towards those that continue the flow of grant money.

After all, how does marketing for any product or service work?  Create a demand, very often through the creation of a perceived crisis, and then fill that artificial need.  What you think was really behind Al Gore’s book and movie… we’re talking multi-millions in Gore’s pocket from the fear he, himself, created.  James Hansen, one of the leaders of the Warmists, pulls in millions.  The lecture circuit can be very lucrative.

That university skeptic I mentioned early on also noticed it (thems that gots da gold makes da rules):

I’ve stopped being shocked by the way my professors obediently tow the party line—as I learned a few years ago that at least here, federal funding is dependent on a certain amount of global warming acceptance.

It’s also about ideology and power: Socialism.  To save the planet we’ll need to give up private property.  We’ll need to redistribute wealth.  It would require a categorical reduction in human civilization and lifestyle.  And they openly state they want to leverage the crisis to shift to Marxism:

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said in anticipation of last year’s Paris climate summit.

“This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”

There’s a reason today’s environmentalist whackos are nicknamed “watermelons” – green outside, red inside.  H.L. Mencken said it very well:

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

And they do intend to rule; and while we eke out a living on sustainable algae cakes, they will sup on dainties and live in luxury.  All to save the planet from the crisis they fabricated.

 

1 1 1ninetymilesojure1rzull5o1_1280

 

FURTHER RESOURCES

A great article is Dear Global Warming Denier, another is Why I’m a Global Warming Skeptic.  A fantastic series of articles here, The Greatest Scientific Fraud of All Time.  And Climate Depot, WattsUpWithThat, and Real Climate Science are all daily must-reads.  Got any others?  Leave them in the comments.

 

(c) 2017, David Hunt, PE

The true content of America’s character…

bayou-e1472215947941

I’m Jewish.  I make no bones about it, I make no apology for it.  My mother was a Sabra – someone born in the Holy Land – as was her mother.  I am also a proud Zionist, believing that Jews need Israel as a nation and focus.*  (I wear a yarmulke as a reminder of my faith; the only overt incident of anti-Semitism I’ve experienced in person was here in New Hampshire… conversely, in my work-related travels to “deep dark red” states like Texas and Louisiana have been met with nothing but courtesy, and a genuine curiosity about my faith.)

On my father’s side, I have two ancestors who fought in the Revolution to whom I can, through records, tie myself; two others lurk in the mists of time awaiting my ability to focus on my genealogy – and a statement by my late father hints that I can join the Mayflower Society when I manage to get back that far.  I bleed red, white, and blue; I fly Old Glory, and only that, at my house.  I love this exceptional and unique country.

I am a mix.  As is my family.  As are my children.

America, too, is a mix; possibly the most mixed country on the planet.

Who You Admire Is Indicative

I’ve proposed many “penetrating questions” for candidates to ask in interviews; some are meant as attempt to gauge the interviewer’s character.  One such question was:

If you could have a civil, peaceful dinner party with five people from history, language aside, who would they be, why, and what would the main course be?

As an exercise, I answered my own question.  It was an interesting thought experiment, and hopefully revealing of my character.

In addition to the ones named in that essay, another one of my American heroes is Martin Luther King, Jr., whose words about freedom and race ring in my ears.  I strive, every day, to live true to his Dream that one day people would judge each other not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I even wrote an essay in praise of this, and of the concept of diversity, Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations; my co-workers are white, black, and every shade in between, as are my students.  I’ve had straight and gay people in my classes, and I don’t care; their orientation makes not a whit of difference to me.

The Spirit of America in a Heartfelt Letter

So here comes an open letter from a resident of Louisiana – a white man – to President Obama about the latter’s recent caution to Louisiana’s residents to not discriminate in their rescue and recovery attempts:

Dear Mr President,

I want to thank you for reminding us in South Louisiana not to discriminate against anyone based on race or religion. Had you not reminded us of this I don’t know what we would have done. See we rode around in a boat saving people and well race or religion never entered my mind. Not once. It didn’t enter my buddies mind or my wife’s. Just saving people.

I understand you may be miss informed because of all the race baiting that the media did a couple months ago here is South Louisiana. But I assure you that’s not what we stand for in South Louisiana. We love each other when the times get hard. We look out for our own. Now I know this doesn’t fit your agenda. But facts are facts.

O and by the way stay up in DC play a little golf and enjoy your last couple months in office. Make sure you clean out your desk. Clean out the house you’ve occupied for 8 years cause your time is up. Let ya buddy Ms Clinton know we don’t need her either. She needs her rest. Lord knows she needs rest more then the residents of South Louisiana do. She may could put some of that Clinton foundation blood money to good use down here helping others. But why would she do that. She already knows Louisiana doesn’t belong to her come November. If this was a state she needed she would have been on the boat with me. But that’s OK we got this we are strong here in Louisiana. Something you will never understand.

Thanks
The true citizens of Louisiana

To this white man, helping his neighbors and fellow citizens regardless of race or creed – per Luther’s dream – I can only say this:

Well done, sir.  Well done… and well said.  Thank you for showing the true SPIRIT OF AMERICA.

© 2016, David Hunt PE

 

* I make no apology for my zealous defense and support of Israel, whether in person, with charitable help, or online defending it; Israel, about the size of the state of New Hampshire (if that!) is the only nation in the world whose neighbors have – within living memory – repeatedly tried to wipe it out.  It is the only nation in the world that has neighbors whose founding documents call for its destruction, the only nation that is the focus of other countries who hold rallies screaming “Death to Israel!” and who paint, in Hebrew, messages like Israel shall be destroyed on their test missiles.  Israel is the only nation in the world with permanent agenda items in the docket in UN meetings, and the only nation in the world counseled to exercise “restraint” when missiles fired from its neighbors land in its cities.  And despite there being, what, scores of “disputed territory” situations around the world, Israel is the only one that gets worldwide attention… thus showing that Jews are still marked for “special handling” by the world.

Just as an exercise, imagine if Lithuania fired missiles into Vladimir Putin’s Russia… do you really think it’d take more than a week of three-a-day before Putin stomped Lithuania flat and he sent in troops to scrape it clean?  Can you imagine him waiting for over a decade, having over 13,000 mortars, missiles, plus numerous tunnels under the border with armed incursions into Russia?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

So for all you LinkedIn weenies out there not liking my stringent and strident defense of Israel and pushback on the Arabs and other anti-Semites attacking Israel on what is, and should be, a professional networking site – STUFF IT.  When your ancestral and spiritual homeland is attacked and vilified and slandered – daily – in an attempt to so tarnish its existence that when it is attacked people will view its destruction as a good thing (just as Jews were so tarnished through years of propaganda in pre-WWII Germany, and for the same purpose) – then we’ll talk.

Fix the Problem XIII: What’s Different? What changed?

This is the latest of a series of case studies and examples from my career, where I attempt to summarize a problem solved, how I did it, all with an eye of passing along useful information… while still, of course, making a good faith effort to protect any confidential information. I hope this, and the others in the series – found HERE – will prove useful and education, illustrative of my abilities, and inspirational as to how I might fit into a new employer.  I am, after all, on a job search!

And a brief disclaimer: These cases are “a while ago” so it’s possible I am slightly off on some of the exact details – but the broad sweep of each case is correct.

Introduction

As a part of teaching at U Mass / Lowell’s Plastic Engineering Department, one of the tacks I’ve tried to stress is that the students’ program and thoughts need to be aimed – ultimately – at solving real-world problems.  I’ve told my students that when solving a problem in production, or returns from the field, two critical questions often assist in delving quickly to the root cause(s) of the issue.  Specifically, What’s different? and What changed?.

To that end, I’d like to put forth three examples where these two questions were instrumental in helping to find the issues involved.

Retaining Rings Wouldn’t Retain

In one position in my career I worked as a floor-level Manufacturing Process Engineer. I was constantly challenged (read: hammered) with issues ranging from fixtures to field returns to, well, you get the picture.  Lots of “opportunities”, as my then-boss used to say.

One of these was a long-standing issue predating my arrival in the department. On the smaller, hand-held units there were several pieces in a family of similar products.  Some would be sent out of our department and rarely come back from retaining ring issues (essentially, a female piece installed over a mating male piece and held on by that retaining ring).  Others would come back having “spontaneously disassembled”, sometimes even before having left our factory.  This was a constant sore spot in my area’s weekly quality issues, not to mention warrantee report.  Thus it became a priority to solve and get one high-profile issue off the list.

I sat down with a sample of each product: the male, the female, and the retaining ring, laid out to compare and contrast. Visually, on a first-pass look, there seemed to be no differences aside from subtle variations in overall lengths.  More to the point, arranging the pieces from small to large, and putting either an OK or a NOT OK post-it below the pieces, based on their problem frequency, there wasn’t an obvious pattern (e.g., if it had been the two largest ones, or the two smallest ones, that could have been a clue – but there wasn’t).  Since some worked, and some didn’t… “What’s different?”

Being a fan of the Value Engineering discipline, which drives me to think functionally, I asked “What holds these retaining rings on?”  Answer: The groove geometry.  The groove depth, the central diameter, the width… in point of fact, each assembly used the same retaining ring.  Clearly, the ring was not the issue.

So I pulled prints for everything. One possibility was that there was not enough clearance, or the tolerances were wrong, and somehow the retaining rings were being pushed off.  But looking at the nominal and “worst case” dimensions showed that was not the case.  Also note that the company had good machinists, and a strong SPC program; things were in control on that score… and each groove had the exact same dimensions and tolerances.

But doing the “sit and stare” at the drawings laid out side by side I realized that some of the drawings had a callout for the external corners of the groove: SHARP. Some didn’t.  And the ones that didn’t have that callout were the ones with the issue.  Aha, a clue.

The company had a default callout requiring that all corners be broken by – going from memory – a chamfer of .010-.015 inch unless otherwise specified. In looking at the retaining ring groove design recommendations from the supplier, they stated that the edge at the outer diameter of the groove needed to be called out SHARP and could not have a break, whether radius or chamfer.  And the parts showed it; parts without that callout did, indeed, have that edge broken.

I showed this to the Design Engineer who acknowledged the issue, concurred with doing an ECO, and I wrote it up to put through.

Result: The problem went away… because I laid the good and bad parts out, l considered multiple potential factors, but the thing that was different was a design detail missed on the problem assemblies.

It Was Good, Now It’s Not

At that same company, in the same position, another product had a significant percentage of leak test failures. A far more complex assembly than the one above, it had multiple potential leak path failure locations.  Again, an inherited sore spot.

My path was to systematically take failed torches and block off one possible leak path after another, attempting to isolate which of the multiple possible potential leak locations it could have been was the culprit. My goal was to systematically examine the leak location(s) once I’d identified them.

But in one meeting in discussing the larger area, of which mine was a part, one of the managers said “We used to have no leak failures. Let’s find out what changed and change it back.”  A detail I had not known at the time.

It turns out that a design change had been made, with the best of intentions, that resulted in moving several o-rings axially by – IIRC – about 20 thousandths of an inch, which created the potential for them to move under pressure and thus lose their sealing ability.

However, ECOs are not done for no reason.  As I recall, a more careful re-examination of the initial ECO and its reason for being done found that the change could be made with a reduction  in the positioning and seating of the seals – leaks not being considered the first time – and thus maintain the ECO but eliminate the ripple effect that created the leak test failure issue.

Result: The problem went away. And the key lesson learned is to identify the time frame when things change for the worse, and ask “What changed?”  Not just materials, personnel, processes, etc., but consider Design changes too.

Cracked Handles… Sometimes

In one company, the plastic we sold was injection molded into large trash cans – the kind that are used for homes and often picked up by an arm to be dumped into a truck. The company that made them was receiving complaints from customers that the handle used by the truck lifter was cracking.  This was creating quite a problem for them and we were asked to investigate.

My initial role was to do a stress analysis of the handle. I obtained load forces, etc., and built several finite element models of the handle simulating both centered and eccentric loadings.  None showed stresses high enough to create cracks although the stress hot spots were where the cracks were forming.  I also considered impacts, not just static loads – again, while the stresses were in the right places for the cracks they weren’t high enough to exceed the yield strength.  I increased the mesh density – refining the model as sometimes that can affect the stress levels, but the numbers held.  Based on the force and impact load cases I was given, there was no reason for the handles to be cracking.

Our initial thought was that some kind of chemical might be attacking the material, and we started to inquire about possible chemical contacts, but then a clue arrived through our sales group. Only one color of the several the company offered to the end users was having the issue.

Aha! “What’s different?”  We supplied the base resin; at the molding location the customer would blend in colorant masterbatches to create the color variations.  Pursuing this further, we learned that the base resin used by the masterback colorant provider was, for this one color, significantly lower in average molecular weight.  I.e., by blending in this color masterbatch the molder was introducing a weaker and less impact-resistant material to be blended into the base resin.  (Material note: plastic strength is directly related, as a general correlation, to molecular weight of the polymer chains.)

Looking back with more experience under my belt, I’d ask two questions: 1: “Can the failure be reproduced?” And 2: If the answer to the first question is YES, “What happens to products molded from uncolored resin?”  Assuming YES was the answer to the first question, and the failure didn’t happen with uncolored resin, that would at least have eliminated the base plastic as the sole cause of the problem.

When a different masterbatch blend with a material molecular weight like the other masterbatch colors was tried, the problem went away.

Again, the key clue was learning that one color didn’t work while the others did… “What’s different?”  (And in the back of your mind you can add the potential for different colors to be questioned.)

Adding to the Toolbox

Multiple tools exist to aid in systematically looking for the root causes of a problem, e.g., Ishikawa/fishbone diagrams, the Five Whys (and Two Hows) questioning, etc.  Adding “What’s different?” and “What changed?” as appropriate can add an important new tool to your problem-solving toolbox.

 

© 2016, David Hunt, PE