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Glenn Doty  

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  • The Great Climate Change Fraud [View instapost]

    First of all, you're welcome.

    Thank you for asking, rather than telling people that you understand something when you do not... then going off on some rant about a subject you don't understand (something that is far more common when discussing anthropogenic global warming -AGW).

    Second, it must be pointed out that you are doing a disservice to the incredible research and progress that has been done in the past 50 years when you allude to "maybe 100 years of accurate measurement". Ice core studies, ocean floor composition studies, etc... have provided astounding detail of climate trends dating back hundreds of millions of years, and have high accuracy for thousands of years. We know far more than "a hundred years" worth of data. In some cases - such as the Milankovitch cycles - we can very accurately model the behavior of the planet for the past several billion years. Climate is many orders of magnitude more complex, so we cannot do nearly so much or so well, but we have a tremendous amount of data at our disposal... We know a lot, and we understand a lot.

    Third, the theory (correctly defined, a theory is a summation of all known data concerning a specific field of study) of AGW lies in physics and chemistry, not based on observation. It's a simple energy balance equation:

    The Earth/atmosphere is an isolated body. It receives energy from the sun (and produces an insignificant amount of energy from nuclear fission in the core). Some of the solar energy is reflected, while some of the energy is absorbed. At the same time... we are constantly emitting energy into space as a blackbody radiator. The frequency of the energy we are emitting lies predominately in bandwidths that can be absorbed by H2O, CO2, CH4, CFC's, NOX, and other GHG's. If we increase the concentration of those gasses, then some of our emitted radiation will be re-absorbed, and we will be in a state of energy imbalance. Energy imbalances result in a change of the energy state of the body in question.

    This is not subject to dispute. If we are receiving more energy from the sun (and the tiny amount of energy from core activity) than we are net radiating, then the body's energy state will increase. As the energy state increases, the body will emit far more blackbody radiation, so even though some of portion will be re-absorbed/re-conducted back into the body, enough radiation will escape that we once again achieve energy balance.

    Increasing CO2, CH4, or other gasses will therefore increase temperatures, which will cause more H2O in the upper atmosphere, further increasing temperatures... until a new balance is achieved.

    This is fact. There's nothing to dispute here, there are no questions as to whether this will happen. It is as certain as the fact the sun will rise in the East tomorrow. The difficulty is trying to figure out the rate of change in the energy state of the planet, and the nature of the change in the energy state of the planet, and the ultimate extent to which the energy state must change before a new balance is achieved.

    But no-one extrapolated observed climate trends and then postulated that the Earth will warm. In the 1800's it was noted that we were increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere... and as a result we UNDERSTOOD that the Earth MUST warm. That is the basis of the science.
    Sep 4, 2013. 11:04 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Great Climate Change Fraud [View instapost]

    Fair enough.

    I hope to find time to start a series on that eventually. We'll see.

    I'll try to check in more often, but it's been total chaos.

    I hope all has been well with you.
    Sep 2, 2013. 11:28 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Great Climate Change Fraud [View instapost]
    Hi John,

    It's been a busy summer... so I haven't had time to play.

    I wanted to say that I appreciated the tone in this article. You are - of course - correct in pointing out that little to nothing is accomplished by switching to electric cars in terms of climate change mitigation (especially in America), and it costs a fortune.

    The one thing I wish you would have brushed up on is the relative economics of funding 15 vanity cars vs building a wind turbine or improving efficiency or other much better purchases. The 15 Tesla's MIGHT - in extremely rare circumstances - result in a maximum mitigation of ~300 tons-CO2 over the course of their life. A 1.5 MW wind turbine put up in a class 4 wind zone would abate ~3500 tons-CO2 every year for 40 years. So there's a ~470-fold difference in the effectiveness in mitigating climate change between the best-case for the ridiculous Tesla-S vs a standard wind turbine...

    Many investments in efficiency improvement would show far greater advantage than the wind turbines. It's clear that those of us who ACTUALLY care about anthropogenic global warming (AGW) would have no cause to support the funneling of funds to electric vehicles.
    Sep 2, 2013. 10:43 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Great Climate Change Fraud [View instapost]

    If you are actually interested in the science, the reason for the ~20,000 year climate cycle is because the Earth's orbit has a slight "wobble". The axial tilt gradually shifts from ~22 degrees to ~24 degrees, and that tilt gradually rotates - so that the winter and summer solstices of the Northern and Southern hemispheres can correspond to the points in the Earths orbit where the Earth is closest to or farthest from the sun (perihelion and aphelion)...

    These wobbles of the Earths orbit lead to extensive periods where the the Northern hemisphere (where most of the land mass is) is subjected to longer durations of winter corresponding to cooler summers (summer is at aphelion), so ice starts building up in the Northern latitude, and carbon starts becoming sequestered under the growing permafrost... This is a period of thousands of years, but as the carbon sequestration continues, the carbon levels in the atmosphere drop, cooling the planet, allowing the ice to slowly trend south, engulfing the conifers that had been shedding needles into the permafrost for hundreds of years... and creating new regions of permafrost with more carbon sequestration...

    This continues until the Earth wobbles back to a point where the northern hemisphere is getting longer, hotter summers... After a few thousand years of continual longer, hotter summers in the North, the permafrost starts to thaw, releasing billions of tons of stored carbon, which starts heating things up and thawing more permafrost - releasing more carbon. etc... - until the winters are long and the summers are cool, and the cycle starts reversing itself again.

    Google "Milankovitch cycle" if you want to know more.
    Sep 2, 2013. 10:30 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Summary, The Tesla Model S Is A Dirty Car [View article]

    Your linked article uses assumptions of grid-mix... which basically means that the authors of said study are imagining that more rain will fall and more wind will blow, and Plank's constant will shift within nuclear reactor cores as a direct result of plugging in an EV (basically the authors of the study in question are showing deliberate manipulation/extreme perversion of facts in order to make the numbers work for them, but the numbers that they use are bogus).
    Jun 24, 2013. 03:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Summary, The Tesla Model S Is A Dirty Car [View article]

    Your setup is not burning fossil fuels, other than the embodied carbon of the setup... But had you chosen to tie into the grid you probably would have abated more carbon overall, as you would have lowered the fossil generation during periods of your home's overproduction and taken power during periods of zero production; and the net effect would be less fossil generation overall... (from which point the EV would then increase that generation)... By choosing the truly separated option, you reduced the potential impact of your home's system, but created a micro-grid that has spare renewable capacity, and by so doing eliminated the carbon consequence of the EV.

    Regardless, you seem to have a truly carbon free setup. Congratulations.

    I don't understand the hydrogen... Are you just using an electrolyzer/fuel cell cycle as an alternative battery? The fluid reservoir has some uses that I could imagine... but in a simple home what do you need hydrogen for?

    Anyway, I will acknowledge that the setup you describe does indeed sound like it's carbon neutral, and you've devised a setup that renders your EV carbon neutral. Seeing as you've done this... you should recognize how rare such a system is.

    If your isolated residence has a micro-wind setup then in your case you have wind power, the fact that you cited a hydrogen generator means you have ample money and are less concerned with cost effectiveness.

    As for the wind on the grid in upstate NY... No. There's a little wind on the grid (possibly ~5% of the upstate's power), but mostly the renewable power source is hydropower up there. The hydropower works as balance power for the wind and insures that there's no spare capacity whatsoever. Rainfall determines how much hydropower there is (no spare capacity, it's all used), and natural gas makes up the majority of the rest of the supply (plenty of spare capacity).
    Jun 21, 2013. 10:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Summary, The Tesla Model S Is A Dirty Car [View article]

    Don't take this the wrong way, but if you have a completely grid separated system then I hope you live in an extreme remote environment... Otherwise you wasted a lot of money on your battery.

    I assumed that you meant "grid neutral" rather than non-grid tied (something like 90% of the time people who produce their own renewable energy make such a mistake).

    If you actually are completely separated from the grid, then any day you don't plug in your additional demand load the extra energy is wasted, I assume you just run any additional energy through a resistor bank or something?

    As far as wind in upstate NY goes... There is wind. There is NOT a lot of wind. NY generates >3% of its energy from wind, and once again we're talking about a grid-tied model, which caused you so much angst to begin with. I assure you that I am VERY familiar with the growth and distribution of wind power, it's rather important to me.
    Jun 20, 2013. 08:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Summary, The Tesla Model S Is A Dirty Car [View article]

    There is no "stretching it" here. In order to understand something you build a model and test it. That's basic for anyone with even a rudimentary interest in engineering.

    So we build a model of your system: You state your place is renewable powered. I would assume you must be purchasing "renewable energy" from the grid (NY would be a very expensive place to power your house by solar). When you purchase "renewable energy" from the grid, there is no actual gateway that differentiates between renewable-sourced and fossil-sourced electron impulses... You're just giving the power company a little more money to purchase renewable energy generators as a form of carbon offset. This is good, I've got no problem with it, I even practice it... But it's just a carbon offset system.

    So, in working with our model, where we have generators and demand loads, when a load suddenly goes offline, what happens? Clearly some generators have to tamp back some of their generation. Would it be the renewable generators (in your neck of the woods this is basically all hydropower, so tamping that back would be represented by allowing water to bypass the turbines, or spilling the water), or fossil generators?

    If the fossil generators are tamped back when your car is no longer adding a demand load to the system, what is ramped up when your car begins adding a demand load to the system again?

    Think about it. (I'm not guessing here, and I'm not wrong.)
    Jun 19, 2013. 05:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Summary, The Tesla Model S Is A Dirty Car [View article]

    I don't "miss" these statements, I merely understand them to be incorrect.

    To illustrate this fact... go through this exercise with me:
    Imagine your EV gets into an accident and goes to the body shop for a week or so... What do you think happens regarding the electron impulses that you currently designate to your car?

    Answer: They are designated elsewhere. The net amount of renewable energy on the grid is constant, because there is near 100% utilization of renewable resources (outside of the West Texas hub, and some regions of OK, IA, ND, SD, MN, NE, and KS)... So taking your car offline for a few days doesn't reduce the amount of renewable energy on the grid... yet the amount of energy on the grid will reduce, as there's no longer the same amount of demand.

    So what is tamped back when you aren't charging your car? Fossil generation sources.

    What then is ramped back up when you plug your car back in? Fossil generation sources.

    I'm not interested - in this discussion - in whether you offset your carbon. I applaud you for it, but that's not of interest here. The fact you offset your carbon doesn't change the nature of the portions of your lifestyle that generate carbon.
    Jun 17, 2013. 03:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Summary, The Tesla Model S Is A Dirty Car [View article]

    The interesting thing about Obamacare is the fight over "administrative burden" - the combination of profit and overhead that the insurance companies gain from shuffling people's money around. Obamacare capped large business plans at 15% administrative burden, and small business plans at 20%... The insurance companies went nuts.

    Medicare, on the other hand, has never had more than 2.5% administrative burden.

    That's the most high-profile case, but there are hundreds of instances where government is more effective and more efficient than the private industries.

    There are, of course, hundreds of cases where the reverse is true as well.

    I can absolutely state with absolute certainty that if someone makes an absolute statement concerning all government policy, that statement is going to be wrong.
    Jun 17, 2013. 03:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Summary, The Tesla Model S Is A Dirty Car [View article]

    Fair enough - I'll amend that to taxpayers lose money. But Government provides many useful services. There are some elements within government that are clearly inefficient due to cronyism or incompetence, but in many other places government is more efficient than private industry, and there are many critical services that government provides which I wouldn't like to do without.

    The libertarian mentality of "all government is bad government" is not helpful. Conservatives will never cede ground on the necessity of providing a common defense or providing justice and order; while liberals (such as myself) will never cede ground on the necessity of providing opportunities for good education for all, common-use infrastructure (such as roads, bridges, power grids, water, sewage, etc...), and some regulation in which protection is offered to consumers and workers from the worst excesses of private business overreach.

    It would be better to analyze the services that government provides and seek ways to make them more efficient or effective - proving real suggestions that would appeal to the liberal or conservative mentalities that seek to ensure that government provides those services - rather than just saying "GOVERNMENT IS BAD". We won't let go of most of the services government provides... what we need to do is work on making them more efficient and more effective.

    Jun 17, 2013. 09:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Summary, The Tesla Model S Is A Dirty Car [View article]


    My arguments stem from a foundation of facts and familiarity that typically exceed the foundation of whoever I'm debating with, so a forward-moving argument would in that sense often move towards "my direction". I know what I'm talking about, and in prior discussions I myself have moved towards the more rational argument over a period of more than a decade of study and more than half a decade of focused work. So I am less often on the wrong side of an argument.

    When I do find myself in the wrong, I MOVE FORWARD. It's what I expect of anyone who I believe is worth discussing anything with.

    Note my long-standing discussions with JRP3 have dated several years, and I still enjoy debating him. The fact that one must cede ground when they are wrong is crucial to having an adult dialogue - something that is sadly lacking in most political discussions.

    But you don't get to ignore a valid argument just because you don't like it.. and if you digress into ad hominum or tangential straw-man argumentation to distract the discussion it gets tiresome quickly.
    Jun 17, 2013. 09:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Summary, The Tesla Model S Is A Dirty Car [View article]

    Regarding a 500 mi race.

    What you have to understand is that the distance the battery can go is inversely proportional to how much power the motor is drawing.

    If you try to drive a Tesla at top speed, the 85 kWh battery will be drained completely in 23 minutes (simple math - 225 kW max power, 130 mph max speed, no governor on the speed).

    The battery pack is a 550 kg monstrosity that is plugged into a high-voltage, high amperage circuit. The danger inherent in trying to fast-swap such a thing every 50 miles is ludicrous, and the idea that it could be done in 12-14 seconds is equally ludicrous.

    Also ludicrous is the idea that a vehicle that must stop more often then the pack can still keep up with the pack. It just doesn't work that way. That would require handling the corners at a far higher speed than the rest of the pack... the Indy cars are not limited by power as they round the corners, they're limited by physics... they do not have sufficient coefficient of friction to corner faster than they do in their extremely lightweight vehicles. Trying to do the same in a 2.5 ton lumbering monstrosity is a nice way to meet a wall.

    An EV will simply never be able to compete in anything other than a drag race.
    Jun 17, 2013. 08:57 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Summary, The Tesla Model S Is A Dirty Car [View article]

    The only way that your "closed room" example is valid is if the electric generator is also enclosed in your room... as you say - the atmosphere is a closed room. You aren't getting any cool points by having the coal power plant down the road emit your pollution instead of having it expelled out of your tailpipe. It's all pollution going into the same atmosphere.
    Jun 17, 2013. 08:42 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • In Summary, The Tesla Model S Is A Dirty Car [View article]

    In defense of Al Gore:

    Gore has always offset his own footprint. The offsetting idea seems a little hokey at first, but once you really break it down you realize that it works. For example, I probably emit close to ~20 tons of CO2/year. I don't live in a region that has good wind, nor good sun. For me to set up solar or try to put a wind turbine in my yard would be a perfect way to waste money and bury me in debt... But I can invest in wind projects in the Midwest, which will offset far more than my 20 tons-CO2/year... The net impact on the planet is just as good as it would be if I fanatically worked to eliminate my own pollution, but it works out to me spending less than 1/4 as much. The planet probably doesn't care how I work to reduce carbon emissions... only that carbon emissions (and other toxic emissions) are reduced.

    Gore doesn't use a bicycle-powered oven or anything, but he invests heavily in large scale renewable projects. He's doing more good than harm.
    Jun 17, 2013. 08:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment