Carbon Emissions in the United States fall to levels not seen since 1963

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 14th, 2014

Week in Review

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released a new climate report.  And it contained some of the most alarmist language yet used by the IPCC.  So alarmist that an author removed his name from the report.  Not because he disagrees with the underlying science.  But because the “inflammatory and alarmist claims delegitimize the IPCC as a credible and neutral institution.”  And why was the language so alarmist?  Because the fury of global warming was going to rain hellfire down upon us unless we acted immediately to curb our carbon emissions.  For the level of our carbon emissions was growing ever more perilous.  Taking us to the point of no return. Again.  So immediate action was required.  Hence the alarmist nature of the report.

Some of those in the alarmist camp even want to go as far as jailing climate change deniers.  Because it is these people that are allowing the carbon polluters to pollute with abandon.  Because people believe them and their science.  That man isn’t causing global warming.  It’s because of these people that America never signed the Kyoto Protocol.  And because they have not implemented economic strangling carbon reduction policies (such as a carbon tax) the United States is one of the driving forces of manmade global warming.  Because of their carbon emissions.  Of course, the data doesn’t agree with this (see US CO2 Emissions Per Capita Are At Their Lowest Levels In 50 Years by Rob Wile posted 4/14/2014 on Business Insider).

And the following chart from AEI’s Mark Perry shows the U.S. has been making significant gains in carbon dioxide reduction: At about 17 tons per capita, we are at a level not seen in half a century. Perry writes:

CO2 emissions per capita in the US increased slightly last year, but were back to the same level as in 1963 (50 years ago), and 23% below the peak in the early 1970s, thanks to the boom in shale gas, which has displaced coal for electricity generation.

Back to what it was in 1963?  You know what that means?  We are at risk of another ice age.  For on Earth Day in 1970 the climate scientists were warning us to store food to survive the coming ice age.  Which was coming.  For the planet had been cooling for some 20 years.  And if those present trends continued it was death by cold.  Just like they are saying now that if present trends continue it will be death by warm.  Even though there is less carbon in the atmosphere than when they were predicting death by cold.  Which is why there are a lot of climate change deniers.

Then again, perhaps man is causing global warming.  By removing so much carbon from the atmosphere.  For it was cooler when there was more carbon floating around up there.  It would explain why that when a volcano throws up the same stuff a coal-fired power plant does it causes cooling.  While the coal-fired power plant causes warming.  Even though it’s pretty much the same stuff they’re putting into the atmosphere.  Which is another reason why there are so many climate change deniers.  For it appears whether carbon will cause warming or cooling depends on the day that carbon is having.  For it appears carbon has attitude.  And is moody.  Which is the only way it can support such contradicting conclusions.

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Melting Glacier reveals life it Previously Killed

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 13th, 2013

Week in Review

Once upon a time the glaciers nearly reached down from the poles to the equator.  Then they retreated back towards the poles.  And they moved these great distances before man was adding any carbon to the atmosphere.  Which means glaciers were melting more before man started adding carbon to the atmosphere.  Pretty much debunking the theory of manmade global warming.  Yet when a glacier moves a fraction of what they once did people believe it’s global warming Armageddon (see Ancient forest revealed 1,000 years after being ‘entombed’ in gravel as Alaskan glacier melts by Steve Nolan posted 10/10/2013 on Mail Online).

An ancient forest which is thought to have been hidden for at least 1,000 years has been discovered beneath a melting glacier…

The forest is said to have been shielded from the ice by a tomb of gravel which most likely encased the forest as Initial carbon dating tests suggest that the gravel tomb, which is around 5ft high, may have been formed at least 1,000 years ago.

As glaciers develop they often emit summer meltwater streams which produce aprons of gravel…

But while the find has excited scientists, locals are concerned about the prospect of glacial melting.

They are worried about the threat of rising sea levels and the loss of freshwater sources relied upon for drinking water.

If you go back 1,000 years you are in the era of the Eastern Roman Empire.  Or the Byzantine Empire.  With its capital Constantinople on the Bosporus.  Modern day Istanbul.  The Western Roman Empire may have fallen by then but the Eastern half was still around.  So there were Romans walking the earth the last time these trees saw the light of day.

Now, interesting thing about the Roman Empire was that they did not have the internal combustion engine.  They did not have jet planes flying across the globe.  They did not have coal-fired power plants.  They did not even have the steam engine.  So the Romans were putting little carbon into the atmosphere.  In fact, manmade carbon during the Roman Empire was little different than it was for all of time before the Roman Empire.  Yet the glaciers moved down from the poles towards the equator and retreated numerous times.  All without the help of manmade global warming.

Another way to look at this is this life-killing glacier entombed a forest.  Killing all forest life.  And forcing what life remained fleeing in front of this life-killing glacier as it advanced down from the poles.  Now this killer is retreating.  Allowing life to return where it once had killed it.  Funny we don’t celebrate that.  We celebrate the end of winter.  When life returns after a few months of winter.  But when a glacier gives up its dead people feel sorry for the glacier.  Not its victims.

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The Carbon we pull from the Earth and the Atmosphere is now too Dangerous for the Earth and the Atmosphere

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 13th, 2013

Week in Review

The conservation of matter states that we cannot create or destroy matter.  We can only rearrange it.  Meaning everything on this earth has been on this earth since this earth became the earth.  Except, of course, stuff falling out of space.  And the few moon rocks brought back by our astronauts.  But other than that if something is here today it means it was here yesterday.  Last week.  Last year.  Last decade.  Last century.  And last millennium.  Get the picture?  For this process goes all the way back to the big bang theory.  To the day this spinning planet became a planet.

The elements on the periodic table are the building blocks of everything around you.  Even you.  All we have ever done throughout time is find these elements.  Combine these elements.  And separate these elements.  To make the things in our world.  But we use the same old elements that have been here since the big bang and are still here.  We dig atoms out from the earth and pull them out of the atmosphere and rearrange them in new forms.  Then chemical reactions rearrange them yet again.  And they return to the earth and to the atmosphere from whence they came.  This remarkable closed system.  Where we can neither create nor destroy matter.  But only rearrange it.  Yet today this matter that has been here since the beginning is now too dangerous to be in the earth or the atmosphere (see Cowper mutiny on carbon capture by Daniel Mercer posted 7/9/2013 on The West Australian).

Premier Colin Barnett is facing another backbench revolt from former minister Murray Cowper, this time over proposed carbon capture and storage legislation.

The State Government wants to amend laws to allow carbon dioxide to be injected into underground reservoirs as part of efforts to reduce pollution and tackle climate change…

Mr Cowper said they “trampled” on landowners’ rights by giving drillers unfettered access to property and betrayed Liberal policy.

He also attacked the proposal as environmentally reckless, saying it amounted to “pumping and dumping” waste and would put groundwater at risk.

The State and Federal governments and industry plan to sequester carbon from Kwinana, Collie, Pinjarra and Wagerup under- neath Mr Cowper’s South West electorate.

Yes, you can mix together some elements from the periodic table and make a substance that can contaminate the groundwater.  Yes, you can mix some elements from the periodic table together that can be dangerous to breathe.  But carbon?  The very building block of organic chemistry.  Of life itself?  That stuff we exhale when we breathe?  This element is now so toxic that it’s too dangerous for the atmosphere?  And too dangerous for the earth?

It’s time we dial back the crazy.  Before the global warming people proclaim all carbon toxic.  Limiting the amount of breath we may exhale.  And the carbon we may carry within our bodies that make up our life-forms.  Which isn’t a far stretch with Obamacare charging obese people more for their health insurance because of their greater at-risk status of weight-related disease.  What’s to stop these people from identifying them as dangerous life forms due the abundance of carbon they carry within them?  Don’t be surprised if you see a carbon content blank to fill in on the Obamacare paperwork.

Crazy?  That’s exactly what someone would have said a century ago about the idea of sequestering carbon by injecting it into underground reservoirs to tackle climate change.  If these men of yesteryear were here today and heard people talking like this they’d probably spit at them with derision.  Seeing the only danger to mankind being the feminization of men that allowed people to quake with fear over the carbon dioxide we exhale.

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Sea Levels are Rising and there’s Nothing we can do about It so go ahead and Fire Up those Coal-Fired Power Plants

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 1st, 2012

Week in Review

Good news.  There’s nothing we can do to lower the sea levels.  So we can stop all of that global warming nonsense.  And live life normally again (see Rise in sea level can’t be stopped: scientists by Nina Chestney posted 7/1/2012 on Reuters).

Rising sea levels cannot be stopped over the next several hundred years, even if deep emissions cuts lower global average temperatures, but they can be slowed down, climate scientists said in a study on Sunday…

“Though sea-level rise cannot be stopped for at least the next several hundred years, with aggressive mitigation it can be slowed down, and this would buy time for adaptation measures to be adopted,” the scientists added.

You know the best thing we can do to try and stop the sea levels from rising?  Stop trying to stop the sea levels from rising.

Volcanic eruptions have lowered global temperatures by throwing soot, ash and sulfur into the atmosphere.  Some famines have been blamed on volcanic activity shortening the growing season.  Making it cooler and wetter.  So volcanic eruptions lower global temperatures by throwing soot, ash and sulfur into the atmosphere.  You know what else throws soot, ash and sulfur into the atmosphere.  Coal-fired power plants.  Interestingly, the catastrophic rise in global temperatures corresponds to the attack on coal.  Could this mean that the global warming alarmists have caused global warming by their efforts to stop global warming?  Yes.  It could very well mean that.  And when some of their own talk about pumping sulfur in the atmosphere to combat global warming it’s even harder to dispute this.

It looks like the climate scientists may be responsible for global warming.  While the coal-fired power plants were keeping the global temperature down all along.  How about that?

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Corduroy Roads, Positive Buoyancy, Negative Buoyancy, Carbon Dioxide, Crush Depth, Pressurization, Rapid Decompression and Space

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 9th, 2012

Technology 101

Early Submarines could not Stay Submerged for Long for the Carbon Dioxide the Crew Exhaled built up to Dangerous Levels

People can pretty much walk anywhere.  As long as the ground is fairly solid beneath our feet.  Ditto for horses.  Though they tend to sink a little deeper in the softer ground than people do.  Carts are another story.  And artillery trains.  For their narrow wheels and heavy weight distributed on them tend to sink when the earthen ground is wet.  Early armies needing to move cannon and wagons through swampy areas would first build roads through these areas.  Out of trees.  Called corduroy roads.  It was a bumpy ride.  But you could pull heavy loads with small footprints through otherwise impassable areas.  As armies mechanized trucks and jeeps with fatter rubber tires replaced the narrow wheels on wagons.  Then tracked vehicles came along.  Allowing the great weights of armored vehicles with large guns to move across open fields.  The long and wide footprints of these vehicles distributing that heavy weight over a larger area.  Still, nothing can beat the modern rubber tire on a paved road for a smooth ride.  And the lower resistance between tire and road increases gas mileage.  Which is why trucks like to use as few axles on their trailers as possible.  For the more tires on the road the more friction between truck and road.  And the higher fuel consumption to overcome that friction.  Which is why we have to weigh trucks for some try to cheat by pulling heavier loads with too few axles.  When they do the high weight distributed through too few wheels will cause great stresses on the roadway.  Causing them to break and crumble apart.   

Man and machine can move freely across pretty much anything.  If we don’t carry food and water with us we could even ‘live off the land’.  But one thing we can’t do is walk or drive on water.  We have to bridge streams and rivers.  Go around lakes.  Or move onto boats.  Which can drive on water.  If they are built right.  And are buoyant.  Because if a boat weighed less than the water it displaced it floated.  Much like a pair of light-weight, spongy flip-flops made out of foam rubber.  Throw a pair into the water and they will float.  Put them on your feet and step into the deep end of a pool and you’ll sink.  Because when worn on your feet the large weight of your body distributed to the light pair of flip-flops makes those flip-flops heavier than the water they displace.  And they, along with you, sink.  Unlike a boat.  Which is lighter than the water it displaces.  As long as it is not overloaded.  Even if it’s steel.  Or concrete.  You see, the weight of the boat includes all the air inside the hull.  So a large hull filled with cargo AND air will be lighter than the water it displaces.  Which is why boats float. 

Early sail ships had great range.  As long as the wind blew.  Their range only being limited by the amount of food and fresh water they carried.  Later steam engines and diesel-electric engines had greater freedom in navigation not having to depend on the prevailing winds.  But they had the same limitations of food and water.  And when we took boats under the water we had another limitation.  Fresh air.  Early submarines could not stay submerged for long.  For underwater they could not pull air into a diesel-electric engine.  So they had to run on batteries.  Which had a limited duration.  So early subs spent most of their time on the surface.  Where they could run their diesel engines to recharge their batteries.  And open their hatches to get fresh air into the boat.  For when submerged the carbon dioxide the crew exhaled built up.  If it built up too much you could become disoriented and pass out.  And die.  If a sub is under attack staying under water for too long and the levels of carbon dioxide build up to dangerous levels a captain has little choice but to surface and surrender.  So the crew can breathe again.

Rapid Decompression at Altitude can be Catastrophic and Violent

Being in a submarine has been historically one of the more dangerous places to be in any navy (second to being on the deck of an aircraft carrier).  Just breathing on a sub had been a challenge at times while trying to evade an enemy destroyer.  But there are other risks, too.  Some things float.  And some things sink.  A submarine is somewhere in between.  It will float on the surface when it has positive buoyancy.  And sink when it has negative buoyancy.  But submarines operate in the oceans.  Which are very deep.  And the deeper you go the greater the pressure of the water.  Because the deeper you go there is more ocean above you pressing down on you.  And oceans are heavy.  If a sub goes too deep this pressure will crush the steel hull like a beer can.  What we call crush depth.  Killing everyone on board.  So a sub cannot go too deep.  Which makes going below the surface a delicate and risky business.  To submerge they flood ballast tanks.  Replacing air within the hull with water.  Making it sink.  Other tanks fill with water as necessary to ‘trim’ the boat.  Make it level under water.  When under way they use forward propulsion to maintain depth and trim with control surfaces like on an airplane.  If everything goes well a submarine can sink.  Then stop at a depth below the surface.  And then resurface.  Modern nuclear submarines can make fresh water and clean air.  So they can stay submerged as long as they have food for the crew to eat.

An airplane has no such staying power like a sub.  For planes have nothing to keep them in air but forward propulsion.  So food and water are not as great an issue.  Fuel is.  And is the greatest limitation on a plane.  In the military they have special airplanes that fly on station to serve as gas stations in the air for fighters and bombers.  To extend their range.  And it is only fuel they take on.  For other than very long-range bombers a flight crew is rarely in the air for extended hours at a time.  Some bomber crews may be in the air for a day or more.  But there are few crew members.  So they can carry sufficient food and water for these longer missions.  As long as they can fly they are good.  And fairly comfortable.  Unlike the earlier bomber crews.  Who flew in unpressurized planes.  For it is very cold at high altitudes.  And there isn’t enough oxygen to breathe.  So these crew members had to wear Arctic gear to keep from freezing to death.  And breathe oxygen they carried with them in tanks.  Pressurizing aircraft removed these problems.  Which made being in a plane like being in a tall building on the ground.  Your ears may pop but that’s about all the discomfort you would feel.  If a plane lost its pressurization while flying, though, it got quite uncomfortable.  And dangerous. 

Rapid decompression at altitude can be catastrophic.  And violent.  The higher the altitude the lower the air pressure.  And the faster the air pressure inside the airplane equals the air pressure outside the airplane.  The air will get suck out so fast that it’ll take every last piece of dust with it.  And breathable air.  Oxygen masks will drop in the passenger compartment.  The flight attendants will scramble to make sure all passengers get on oxygen.  As does the flight crew.  Who call in an emergency.  And make an emergency descent to get below 10 thousand feet.  Almost free falling out of the sky while air traffic control clears all traffic from beneath them.  Once below 10 thousand feet they can level off and breathe normally.  But it will be very, very cold.

Man’s Desire is to Go where no Man has Gone before and where no Human Body should Be

Space flight shares some things in common with both submarines and airplanes.  Like airplanes they can’t fly without fuel.  The greatest distance we’ve ever flown in space was to the moon and back.  The Saturn V rocket of the Apollo program was mostly fuel.   The rocket was 354 feet tall.  And about 75% of it was a fuel tank.  In 3 stages.  The first stage burned for about 150 seconds.  The second stage burned for about 360 seconds.  The third stage burned for about 500 seconds (in two burns, the first to get into earth orbit and the second to escape earth orbit).  Add that up and it comes to approximately 16 minutes.  After that the astronauts were then coasting at about 25,000 miles per hour towards the moon.  Or where the moon would be when they get there.  The pull of earth’s gravity slowed it down until the pull of the moon’s gravity sped it back up.  So that’s a lot of fuel burned at one time to hurl the spacecraft towards the moon.  The remaining fuel on board used for minor course corrections.  And to escape lunar orbit.  For the coast back home.  There was no refueling available in space.  So if something went wrong there was a good chance that the spacecraft would just float forever through the universe with no way of returning home.  Much like a submarine that can’t keep from falling in the ocean.  If it falls too deep it, too, will be unable to return home.

Also like in a submarine food and fresh water are critical supplies.  They brought food with them.  And made their own water in space with fuel cells.  It had to last for the entire trip.  About 8 days.  For in space there were no ports or supply ships.  You were truly on your own.  And if something happened to your food and water supply you didn’t eat or drink.  If the failure was early in the mission you could abort and return home.  If you were already in lunar orbit it would make for a long trip home.  The lack of food and hydration placing greater stresses on the astronauts making the easiest of tasks difficult.  And the critical ones that got you through reentry nearly impossible.  Also like on a submarine fresh air to breathe is critical.  Even more so because of the smaller volume of the spacecraft.  Which can fill up with carbon dioxide very quickly.  And unlike a sub a spacecraft can’t open a hatch for fresh air.  All they can do is rely on a scrubber system to remove the carbon dioxide from their cramped quarters.

While a submarine has a thick hull to protect it from the crushing pressures of the ocean an airplane has a thin aluminum skin to keep a pressurized atmosphere inside the aircraft.  Just like a spacecraft.  But unlike an aircraft, a spacecraft can’t drop below 10,000 feet to a breathable atmosphere in the event of a catastrophic depressurization.  Worse, in the vacuum of space losing your breathable atmosphere is the least of your troubles.  The human body cannot function in a vacuum.  The gases in the lungs will expand in a vacuum and rupture the lungs.  Bubbles will enter the bloodstream.  Water will boil away (turn into a gas).  The mouth and eyes will dry out and lose their body heat through this evaporation.  The water in muscle and soft tissue will boil away, too.  Causing swelling.  And pain.  Dissolved nitrogen in the blood will reform into a gas.  Causing the bends.  And pain.  Anything exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation will get a severe sunburn.  Causing pain.  You will be conscious at first.  Feeling all of this pain.  And you will know what is coming next.  Powerless to do anything about it.  Brain asphyxiation will then set in.  Hypoxia.  The body will be bloated, blue and unresponsive.  But the brain and heart would continue on.  Finally the blood boils.  And the heat stops.  In all about a minute and half to suffer and die.

Man is an adventurer.  From the first time we walked away from our home.  Rode the first horse.  Harnessed the power of steam.  Then conquered the third dimension in submarines, airplanes and spacecraft.  We are adventurers.  It’s why we crossed oceans and discovered the new world.  Why we climbed the highest mountains.  And descended to the oceans’ lowest depth.  Why we fly in airplanes.  And travelled to the moon and back.  When things worked well these were great adventures.  When they did not they were horrible nightmares.  While a few seek this adventure most of us are content to walk the surface of the earth.  To feel the sand through our toes.   Or walk to the poolside bar in our flip-flops.  To enjoy an adult beverage on a summer’s day.  While adventurers are still seeking out something new.  And waiting on technology to allow them to go where no man has gone before.  Especially if it’s a place no human body should be.

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Climate Data shows Anti-Pollution Emission Standards cause Global Warming

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 29th, 2012

Week in Review

Global warming is real.  So says all the global warming climate scientists’ science.  With some interesting qualifiers.  Where they explain drops in global temperatures.  Which are caused by the very things that are causing global warming.  Man putting smoke, soot and ash into the atmosphere from our fossil fuels (see Climate Canard No. 2: ‘Warming Has Stopped’ — A Very Temporary Duck by Bill Blackmore posted 4/29/2012 on ABC News).

The slight dip in the 1950s is believed by climate scientists to have been caused at least partly by the post-World War II economic boom, which produced great amounts of industrial smog whose tiny particles reflect warming sunlight back into outer space — as does the thick smoke from volcanoes.

Now see, this is the reason why there are climate skeptics.  There is no science that explains this dip in temperature.  Just anti-science.  Hunches.  And guesses.  If smog and smoke lowered temperatures why didn’t they lower temperatures during World War II?  For American industry was humming during the war, too.  Not to mention all those trucks, tanks, jeeps, ships and airplanes pumping all of that pollution into the atmosphere.  None of which had any emission controls.  Then add in all those fires from the destruction of oil refineries.  Ships.  Planes.  Tanks.  And the burning down of cities.  Like Dresden.  And Tokyo.  Throw in a couple of mushroom clouds.  You add all of this up and it should at least equal the pollution we were throwing up into the atmosphere during the Fifties.  Yet this same chart shows higher temperatures during the war.  Which would make sense if pollution caused global warming.  Instead of preventing it.  As they claim happened during the Fifties.

If you back up one decade to the Thirties, it appears there was no change in global temperatures.  Again, this would make sense if man was causing all of the warming.  Because man wasn’t doing much during the Great Depression.  But then even this logic fails if you back up one more decade to the Twenties.  To the Roaring Twenties.  When the world was modernizing.  The new electric power supported a manufacturing boom.  Included in that boom was the new automobile.  That jammed our city streets.  Filling them with raw emissions.  While steam locomotives puffed soot, smoke and ash into our cities and across the country.  And what did all of this manmade pollution do?  It lowered temperatures.  Which supports their original claim that air pollution prevents global warming.  But then this doesn’t agree with the data from the Forties.  When air pollution caused global warming.  And to confuse us a little more they have another chart that shows temperatures fell during the Forties.

The dip in the global temperature from about 1942 to 1970 is believed by climate scientists to be due partly to the intense industrial activity of World War Two and the economic boom that followed.

The gray and black particles in the smoky emissions from factories actually help cool the earth by reflecting some of the warming sunlight back into outer space, thus preventing it from hitting the earth where it changes into the invisible infrared light that is trapped by greenhouse gasses, warming the air.

So what are they telling us?  Are we causing global warming by cutting emissions from fossil fuels?  Should we create more electricity from coal?  And should we let those plants belch pollution into the atmosphere?  To save us from the perils of global warming?  For if there is any correlation between the rise in global temperatures and manmade activity it is this.  Global temperatures took off when we started reducing manmade polluting emissions.  The data absolutely supports this.  And no one can deny it.  Not even the most respective global warming climate scientists.

Again, this is the reason why there are climate skeptics.  Because global warming climate scientists make it so easy to be skeptical.

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Carbon, Carbon Cycle, Crude Oil, Petroleum, Hydrocarbons, Oil Refinery, Cracking, Sweet Crude, Sour Crude, Gasoline and Diesel Engines

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 25th, 2012

Technology 101

Crude Oil is made from Long Chains of Carbon Atoms Bonded Together with a lot of Hydrogen Atoms Attached Along the Way

Carbon.  It’s everywhere.  And in everything.  Like all matter it cannot be created.  Or destroyed.  It just changes.  As it creates the circle of life.  The carbon cycle.  Plants and trees absorb carbon out of the atmosphere.  And converts it into biomass.  Into wood.  And into animal food.  Where the digestive system converts it into carbon-based living flesh and blood.  That exhales carbon.  Plants absorb carbon and release oxygen.  Plants can’t grow without carbon.  And we can’t breathe without plants growing.  Carbon is constantly changing.  But never created.  Or destroyed.  From diamonds to pencils.  From sugar to carbonated soda.  From plastics to human beings.  It’s everywhere.  And everything.  Why, it’s life itself.

Carbon is a time traveler.  Carbon that once traveled through the atmosphere disappeared millions of years ago.  Buried underneath the surface of the earth.  Under intense heat and pressure.  Plankton and algae and other biomasses decayed until there was almost nothing left but carbon atoms.  Long chains of carbon atoms.  Forming great, restless pools of black goo beneath the surface.   Waiting for the modern world to arrive.  Waiting for the internal combustion engine.  The jet engine.  And plastics.  When they could be reborn.  And see the light of day again.

Crude oil.  Petroleum.  Black gold.  Texas tea.  Hydrocarbons.  Long chains of carbon atoms bonded together with a lot of hydrogen atoms attached along the way.  In the ground they’re mostly long chains.  When we get them above ground we can break those chains into different lengths.  And create many different things.  C16H34 (hexadecane).  C9H20 (nonane).  C8H18 (octane).  C7H16 (heptane).  C5H12 (pentane).  C4H10 (butane).  C6H6 (benzene).  CH4 (methane).  Some of these you may be familiar with.  Some you may not.  Methane is a flammable gas.  Hydrocarbon chains from pentane to octane make gasoline.  Hydrocarbon chains from nonane to hexadecane make diesel fuel, kerosene and jet fuel.  Chains with more carbon atoms make lubricants.  Chains with even more carbon atoms make asphalt.  While chains with 4 carbon atoms or less make gases.  All these things made from the same black goo.  A true marvel of Mother Nature.  Or God.  Depending on your inclination.

Older Coastal Refineries make more Expensive Gasoline than the Newer Refineries due to the Availability of Sweet versus Sour Crude

Another great carbon-based product it bourbon.  Made from a corn sour mash.  We heat this and the alcohol in it boils off.  That is, we distill it.  We run this gas through a coiling coil and it condenses back into a liquid.  And after a few more steps we get delicious bourbon whiskey.  Distilleries give tours.  If you get a chance you should take one.  You won’t get to sample any of the distilled spirits (insurance reasons).  But you will get a feel for what an oil refinery is.

An oil refinery works on the same principles.  Boil and condense.  And cracking.  Cracking those long hydrocarbon chains apart into all those different chains.  Long and small.  Into liquids and gases.  Even solid lubricants and asphalt.  All made possible because of their different boiling points.  The gases having lower boiling points.  The solids having higher boiling points.  And the liquids having boiling points somewhere in between.

Refineries are complex processing plants.  Not only because of all those different hydrocarbon chains.  But because of the crude oil introduced to these plants.  For there is light sweet crude.  And heavier sour crude.  The difference being the additional stuff that we need to remove.  Such as sulfur.  An environmental problem.  So we have to remove as much of it as possible during the refining process to meet EPA standards.  The sweet crudes are lower in sulfur.  Making them the crude of choice.  But this has also been the most popular crude through the years.  So its resources are dwindling.  Making it more expensive.  As are all the products refined from it.  Especially gasoline.  The more sour crudes have higher sulfur content.  And require more refining steps to remove that sulfur.  Which means additional refinery equipment.  So the older refineries that were refining the light sweet crude can’t refine the heavier sour crudes.  Which is why the refineries along the coasts make more expensive gasoline than the newer ones in the interior refining the heavier sour crudes.  Due to the availability of sweet crude versus sour crude.

The Modern World is brought to us by a Complex Economy which is brought to us by Petroleum

One of the main uses of refined crude oil is fuel for internal combustion engines.  In particular, gasoline engines and diesel engines.  Which are very similar.  The difference being the mode of ignition.  And, of course, the fuel.  Gasoline engines compress an air-fuel mixture in the cylinder.  At the top of the compression stroke a spark plug ignites this highly compressed and heated mixture.  Sending the piston down.  If the combustion occurs too early it could place undo stresses on the piston connecting rods and the crank shaft.  By trying to send the piston down when it was coming up.  Causing a knocking sound.  Which is a bad sound to hear.  And if you hear it you should probably make sure you’re using the right gasoline.  If you are you need to have you car serviced.  Because continued knocking may break something.  And if it does your engine will work no more.  So this is where octane comes in the blending of gasoline.  It’s expensive.  But the more of it in gasoline the higher the compression you can have.  And the less knocking.  Which is its only purpose.  It doesn’t give you any more power.  The higher compression does.  Which the higher octane allows.  Using the higher octane gas in a standard compression engine won’t do anything but waste your hard earned money.

And speaking of higher compression engines, that brings us to diesel engines.  Which are similar to gasoline engines only they operate under a higher compression.  And don’t use spark plugs.  These engines compress air only.  Which allows the higher compression without pre-ignition.  At the top of their compression stroke a fuel injector squirts diesel fuel into the hot compressed air where it combusts on contact.  Diesel fuel has a higher energy content than gasoline.  Meaning for the same volume of fuel diesel can take you further than gasoline.  Which is why trucks, locomotives and ships use diesel.  But diesel tends to pollute more.  The smell and the soot kept diesel out of our cars for a long time.  As well as the difficulty of starting in cold climates.  Advanced computer controlled systems have helped, though, and we’re seeing more diesel used in cars now.

The modern world is brought to us by a complex economy.  Where goods and raw materials traverse the globe.  To feed our industries.  And to ship our finished goods.  Which we put on trucks, trains, ships and airplanes.  None of which would be possible without a portable, stable, energy-dense fuel.  That only refined petroleum can give us.  It’s better than animal power.  Water power.  Wind power.  Or steam power.  For there is nothing that we can use in our trucks, trains, ships and airplanes other than refined petroleum products today that wouldn’t be a step backwards in our modern world.  Nothing.  Making petroleum truly a marvel of Mother Nature.  Or God.  Depending on your inclination.

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Does the Criegee Biradicals make Global Warming a thing of the Past?

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 14th, 2012

Week in Review

Looks like the science of understanding climate has taken another step forward  (see Eureka! Newly discovered molecule ‘could reverse global warming’ by Rob Waugh posted 1/13/2012 on Mail Online).

A little-understood molecule in the atmosphere could play an important role in reducing pollution and global warming, scientists believe.

The ‘Criegee biradicals’ could lead to aerosol formation – and ultimately to clouds, with the potential to cool the planet.

Fascinating.  Now only if we could make these Criegee biradicals and get them into the atmosphere.

Co-author Professor Dudley Shallcross, from the University of Bristol, pointed out that chemicals released naturally by plants aided the production of Criegee biradicals.

‘Natural ecosystems could be playing a significant role in off-setting global warming,’ he said.

Then again I guess we don’t have to.  Mother Nature is already doing that.  The environment.  How about that?  So maybe there isn’t any such thing as manmade global warming.  Because as fast as we may dirty the environment the environment may be cleaning itself.  Which probably explains why those scientists at the University of East Anglia played with the data to get the results they wanted.  Because they had to play with the data.  For the fear of manmade global warming is a manmade fear.  And nothing more.

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Environmentalists don’t give a whit about Human Happiness

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 3rd, 2011

Environmentalists just don’t like an Advanced Human Race

Environmentalism is a zero-sum game.  Save the planet.  Kill man.  Either quickly by making cars lighter to be more fuel efficient.  Making them less survivable in an accident.  Or over time by turning the hands of time back.  To a time where there weren’t factories pumping pollution in the air.  Before we used coal to fire our power plants.  Or before we used oil to unleash economic activity.  And exploded our standard of living.

No.  The environmentalist would rather we sit in our own filth.  Subsist only on home-grown vegetables.  And be born, live, work and die within a mile of each other.  They don’t want anything man-made wafting into the atmosphere.  And they don’t want anything pumped from underground.  Or pumped over ground for that matter (see Stung by Obama, Environmentalists Weigh Options by Leslie Kaufman posted 9/3/2011 on The New York Times).

In late August, the State Department gave a crucial go-ahead on a controversial pipeline to bring tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Then on Friday, leading into the holiday weekend, the Obama administration announced without warning that it was walking away from stricter ozone pollution standards that it had been promising for three years and instead sticking with Bush-era standards.

John D. Walke, clean air director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group based in New York, likened the ozone decision to a “bomb being dropped.”

Mr. Walke and representatives of other environmental groups saw the president’s actions as brazen political sellouts to business interests and the Republican Party, which regards environmental regulations as job killers and a brick wall to economic recovery.

And the environmentalists are not pleased.  In fact, they are furious.  They don’t care about double-dip recessions.  Or even depressions.  They don’t care if people live in caves where they eat their vegetables in one corner.  And poop in another.  They just don’t like an advanced human race.

Most People want the Comforts of an Advanced Human Race

Of course, this presents a bit of a problem for President Obama.  These hardcore environmentalists are but a sliver of the population.  But it’s one of many slivers the Democrats need.  It’s the aggregate of these fringe groups that have electoral weight.  Lose a couple and you may simply lose the next election.

The majority of people, though, want the comforts of an advanced human race.  And they vote, too.  Especially those with jobs.  Real jobs.  In the private sector.  The vast majority of which are non-union.  So these people don’t have money to burn.  Like government workers.  The economy is important to them.  Because they want affordable gas for their cars.  They enjoy red meat.  Taking daily showers.  And the pleasures of a luxurious toilet paper.  In other words, they are not environmentalists.  They’re human.  Proud of it.  And they want to keep their jobs.

So far the Obama policies have hurt the economy.  Not helped it.  Stopping the pipeline deal would have only pushed gas prices higher.  Once the depression was over, of course.  The ozone pollution standards, on the other hand, would have made it difficult to get a job.  And left the nation in a permanent economic decline. 

EPA Regulations Equal no New Jobs and higher Consumer Costs

So how bad were these ozone standards?  Pretty bad (see Obama Postpones New Ozone Standards, Has More Work to Do by Nicolas Loris posted 9/2/2011 on Heritage).

This is an important victory for businesses as well as the additional 565 U.S. counties that would have been pushed into non-attainment status and suffered economically as a result.

The EPA’s regulatory overreach on this one rule would have destroyed 7.3 million jobs and nearly $700 billion in economic activity by 2020, and the EPA significantly overestimated the purported health benefits from a lower standard.

That’s an interesting number.  That $700 billion.  This was the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts just for high-income earners.  The Left was angry when Obama extended those tax cuts.  But he said he had to.  Because the economy was too fragile to pull $700 billion out of it.  And here is one EPA standard that will cost the economy that same amount.  Can you imagine the cost of all the other EPA standards?  Perhaps this is the reason why there is no economic recovery.  Too many costly regulations for business to comply with.  For they surely aren’t incentives to expand business.

The costs for states to comply with a tightened ozone standard would have been substantial. These federal mandates for more strict ozone pollution can discourage companies from expanding, and counties that do not meet attainment measures could have lost federal transit funding. As Heritage Visiting Fellow Andrew Grossman writes:

“The economic consequences of non-attainment are severe. New and modified sources—factories, power plants, and the like—in non-attainment areas must employ costly emissions control technologies and offset emissions by taking other industrial capacity offline, directly costing jobs. At best, this drives up the cost of development and discourages businesses from expanding. At worst, it is a near prohibition on new industry. And where businesses are unable to relocate—such as is often the case with utilities—the result is higher costs for consumers.”

EPA regulations equal no new jobs.  And higher consumer costs.  For what?

From 1980 to 2005, when levels of ozone and other pollutants fell in the United States, the number of asthmatics increased by 75 percent. In fact, some of the lowest asthma rates in the world are found in highly polluted developing countries in the former Soviet Union, while countries in Western Europe have considerably higher asthma rates and relatively lower levels of air pollution.

What is clear and well established, however, is that improved economic well-being means that people are healthier and live longer. A tighter ozone rule would slow economic growth, reducing economic well-being.

Nothing, apparently.  They want to hammer businesses with these new costly regulations just to feel good.  For history has shown that there are other contributing factors to asthma.  Perhaps it’s Dr. Spock‘s fault.  For there is ample evidence now that bottle-fed babies develop more allergies.  Perhaps this is the cause.  And not the clean ‘dirty’ air of 1980-2005.

We die Young and the Earth stays Pretty

For a polluted planet the earth is pretty damn clean.  And healthy.  We’re living longer.  And the more improved economically we get the longer we live.  This was the core argument for giving us Obamacare.  The richest nation in the world should be able to provide health care to all.  So even the Left must see the benefits of a booming economy.  It buys them all the things they want.  While other people pay for it.

But the environmentalists don’t care.  Not the hardcore ones.  They’d prefer to see the human race regress back to a simpler time.  When we were just beginning to walk upright.  Before we spoiled Mother Nature.  With all of our thinking.  

And if that means living to a ripe old age of only 30, so be it.  The less we live the less damage we can do.  We die young.  And the earth stays pretty.  Nothing would make them happier.  Ending human happiness.

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The Gift of Global Warming: Cold Weather

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 5th, 2011

Global Warming:  The Greenhouse Effect Raising Temperatures

If you look up global warming on Answers.com you get many different definitions.  Some are more detailed than others.  Here’s one of the definitions pulled from Wiley Book of Astronomy: greenhouse effect:

An increase in a planet’s surface temperature caused by the absorption of infrared radiation by gases in the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor. Incoming short wavelength radiation passes through, but longer wavelengths reradiated from the surface are blocked by the greenhouse gases. Earth’s atmosphere is about 35 K warmer, on average, than if there were no atmospheric greenhouse effect. On Venus a runaway greenhouse effect massively increases temperatures by about 500 K over what they would be if the atmosphere were completely transparent. By contrast, the thin carbon dioxide atmosphere on Mars contributes only a 5 K rise in surface temperature.

If you’re into gardening you probably understand this.  Or at least you’ll understand what a greenhouse is.  In northern climes, nurseries start their seedlings before spring in their greenhouses.  Why?  Because it’s warmer inside a greenhouse in February than outside.  And here’s why.  The sun comes in through the glass to heat the space within.  But because the greenhouse is enclosed, those heated temperatures can’t escape.  Hence the greenhouse effect.

Global warming is supposed to work in the same way.  Except carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor act as the glass in a greenhouse.  So the more ‘man-made’ gases we put into the atmosphere, the warmer it will get on the planet.  That’s why they’ve called it ‘global warming’ for so long.  Because they said the planet was warming.  Like inside a greenhouse.  Hence the use of the term ‘greenhouse gasses’.  We were destroying the planet by warming it. 

And yet we continue to have cold wintery weather.  In areas that don’t normally have cold wintery weather.  But the climate scientists have assured us that this global cooling is happening because of global warming.  Because that just sounds silly, they’re not using the term ‘global warming’ anymore.  Or the definition.  Or their earlier science.  Now it’s climate change.  And it’s a much more useful term to use.  Because you never have to explain why it doesn’t get cold or snow inside a greenhouse.

Ice and snow in Dallas, Texas, may Curtail Super Bowl Festivities

So how cold is it?  Why, I’ll tell you.  Real cold (see Super Bowl XLV: Ice injures workers; weather messes with Texas by Cindy Boren posted 2/5/2011 on The Washington Post).

Dallas has been hit with a one-two punch of an ice storm earlier in the week and six-to-eight inches of snowfall Friday — something Cowboys owner Jerry Jones couldn’t control. Win McNamee was shooting weather pictures for Getty Images at the stadium when an “avalanche of ice” struck him and other workers. “I had nowhere to go,” he said. “It hurt pretty bad.”

“Honestly, while it was hitting me, I was thinking I’m going to die here,” McNamee said. With his left shoulder broken in four places, he planned to return home for surgery. “It was pretty frightening.”

Ice and snow in Dallas, Texas.  Imagine that.  When I used to live in a northern state where snow and ice was normal during the many winter months, my friend living in Texas liked to rub that in my face.  Figuratively, of course.  While he joked, “Snowbrush?  Hell, I don’t even own a snow shovel.”

Cold in Chihuahua, Mexico, Kills Zoo Animals

Okay, let’s head a little further south.  Into Chihuahua, Mexico.  In northern Mexico.  Though it borders a desert, the temperatures aren’t as warm due to the higher elevation of the area.  Still, the winters are, on average, above freezing.  The winter months typically see temperatures in the mid to high 30s.  Unless, of course, there’s global warming (see 35 zoo animals freeze to death in northern Mexico by the Associated Press published 2/5/2011 on The Washington Post).

Thirty-five animals at a zoo in the northern Mexico state of Chihuahua have frozen to death during the region’s coldest weather in six decades…

Temperatures have dropped to 9 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 13 Celsius) in the area, the coldest weather in 60 years.

Sixty years?  Back then they were probably warning us about the impending ice age.  Remember the ice age prognosticators?    If you don’t you’re probably young.  But they warned us then that cold temperatures indicated a new ice age.  Today those same cold temperatures indicate global warming.  Go figure.

Cold Weather can be Hazardous to your Health

Snow and ice in Dallas, Texas.  Nine degree temperatures in Chihuahua, Mexico.  Broken shoulders.  And frozen, dead animals.  You know, cold weather can be hazardous to your health.  There’s a reason all those retirees head down to Florida and Arizona.  They know something our global warming ‘scientists’ don’t.  Cold weather sucks. 

You know, we need to stop this dangerous cold weather.  So perhaps we should try to reverse global warming.  To make it colder.  So it can get warmer.  I don’t understand how that will work.  Then again, I’m not a climatologist.  I don’t have to know.  I just have to believe.  I guess.

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