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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The Earth has been Warmer and Cooler before Man created his First Carbon Emission

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 9th, 2014

Week in Review

The left likes to attack religion.  Pointing out how those in power created all religions.  To control the people.  And to increase their power.  They note that these religions are not based in scientific fact.  But on faith.  And silly superstitions.  Not intelligent thought.  Which is why the left attacks religion.  To free people from these silly superstitions.  So they can control the people with their own silly superstitions and faith (see I Spent 28 Hours on a Bus. I Loved It. by Eric Holthaus posted 2/4/2014 on Slate).

For the first time, 195 nations backed a consensus statement saying that humanity is “extremely likely” (greater than 95 percent confidence) to be the dominant cause. That’s about the same confidence doctors have that smoking causes cancer…

That means we have no choice but to change our collective path right now.

There is no such thing as consensus in science.  We don’t take votes in science.  We use the scientific method.  And here’s how Merriam-Webster defines the scientific method:

principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses

Do you see anything about taking votes and forming a consensus?  No.  Because it’s not science when you take votes and form a consensus.  When empirical data and experimentation uphold a hypothesis what does that mean?  It means we haven’t disproved that hypothesis yet.  It doesn’t mean that hypothesis is a scientific fact.  It just means someone hasn’t come around to disprove it yet.

We don’t know what killed off the dinosaurs yet.  We have many hypotheses.  A massive meteorite hit the earth.  A period of volatile volcanic activity.  Continental drift cooled the planet.  Dinosaur flatulence warmed the planet.  Aliens killed them.  Or took them away.  There are many theories.  But no one knows for sure what happened.  And scientists haven’t taken a vote to settle the matter once and for all.  They are still working to figure that out.  Because that’s the scientific method.  Whereas the theory of global warming (let’s call it what it was before their warming predictions were proven wrong and they opted to use climate change) is the only ‘science’ the left wants us to accept as settled science.  Without any further inquiry.  And they even belittle anyone who believes in the scientific method as climate change deniers.  Because we don’t pray at the altar of global warming.  Turning our world over to those who want to regulate every aspect of our lives.

Climate was around a lot longer than dinosaurs.  Yet while we can only make educated hypotheses on what happened to the dinosaurs we can supposedly understand fully something that predates the dinosaurs.  Which is preposterous to say the least.  In the Seventies they were warning us about global cooling.  Then in the Nineties they were warning us about global warming.  Without ever saying that they were wrong when they said the planet was cooling.  Or why we should believe them now when they were wrong before.  And not just a little wrong.  They were the most wrong possible.  Changing from one extreme (cooling) to the other extreme (warming).

Climate doesn’t only predate the dinosaurs.  It also predates man.  And there was a lot of climate activity going on long before man created his first carbon emission.  Once upon a time there were no polar icecaps.  Then at another time glaciers reached down from the polar regions to near the equator.  These extremes happened long before the internal combustion engine.  Or the coal-fired power plant.  In fact, these things happened when there were no manmade carbon emissions.  So what caused these climate extremes that were much more extreme than the climate of today?  Whatever it was we do know one thing.  Man did not cause them.  Just as he is not causing global warming today.  For it may come a shock to liberals but man is not bigger than climate.  Climate is bigger than man.  And it can bring on another ice age and kill us in droves.

If you live in a northern clime look out your window at that snow and ice covering the ground.  Now ask yourself this.  How much food do you think our farmers could grow if their fields were covered with snow and ice all year round?  Or if the temperatures never rose enough to warm the wet soil enough to allow seeds to germinate?  None. That’s how much.  We can irrigate land during a summer drought.  But there will be nothing we can do to warm and dry the soil enough to grow food.  Which means the climate doomsayers were right in the Seventies.  Global cooling is the greater threat.  Not warming.  And anyone worried about manmade global warming should ask the climate ‘scientists’ to explain how the polar icecaps could melt, glaciers could extend down from the polar regions to the equator and then recede back to the polar regions without any manmade global warming around to cause this climate change.  And if they can explain how with a straight face than perhaps we should listen to them.  But not until then.

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Democrats Lie because they Must

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 2nd, 2014

Politics 101

Democrats lie because they have a Track Record of doing things Poorly

Democrats lie.  They have to.  Because they want power.  And they have no good reason for accumulating it.  They lied about Obamacare to pass it into law.  With the top Democrat telling the biggest lie of 2013.  President Obama.  “If you like your insurance plan you can keep it.  Period.”  They lied because they want the power to control one-sixth of the U.S. economy.  Even if they reduce the quality of health care.  Which they will.  So they can spend the ensuing years demanding more money (i.e., higher taxes) to fix Obamacare.

They blamed the killing of 4 Americans including our ambassador in Benghazi on a YouTube video.  Even the left-leaning (it leans so far left it has actually fallen over) New York Times is rehashing this story.  Saying it was a spontaneous uprising over that YouTube video that had nothing to do with al Qaeda.  Despite using military armaments like rocket propelled grenades and pre-sighted motors.  Things crowds don’t typically have on them to commit spontaneous mischief.  But President Obama’s 2012 campaign claimed that President Obama had al Qaeda reeling.  And just couldn’t let the American people know that they were negligent in protecting Americans in Benghazi.  Which was so dangerous that the British had pulled out before the anniversary of 9/11.  But they still denied Ambassador Stevens’ request for more security.  Despite the anniversary of 9/11 being around the corner.  Because it wouldn’t look good during a campaign that claimed to have al Qaeda reeling.

So Democrats lie.  Because they have a track record of doing things poorly.  Preventing them from saying “let us do this and that and the other thing because we have a great track record of doing this and that and the other thing.”  When in fact their track record is so poor that no one would ask them to do more so we can enjoy more failure.  So they lie.  To expand the size of government.  So they can reach out and strangle the private sector.  Such as with their lies about global warming that raised the cost of heating our homes.  As well as to light our homes.  Making the incandescent light bulb now illegal.  Forcing us to use more costly lower wattage lamps.  Compact fluorescents.  And LEDs.  So we use less energy.  And put less carbon into the atmosphere.  Because manmade global warming is killing us.

You can irrigate a Desert and grow Grass but you can’t grow Grass where Ice and Snow cover the Soil

One of the iconic images of the American Revolutionary War is our troops freezing at Valley Forge.  The winter was brutal.  And for good reason.  It was part of the Little Ice Age.  A period of cooling from approximately 1350 to about 1850.  Where temperatures fell.  Making the winters colder.  Longer.  And snowier.  Rivers and harbors froze that don’t freeze today.  Glaciers destroyed mountain top villages.  And the shorter and wetter growing seasons caused famines in many countries.  Famines in France, Norway and Sweden killed about 10% of their populations.  Famines in Estonia and Finland killed more.

A cooling climate is dangerous.  It shortens the growing season.  Leaving people hungry, malnourished and sickly.  For you need sun, warmth and moist soil (not mud) through many months to grow food.  If you don’t you have poor harvests.  Providing less food for the people to eat.  And less forage to sustain livestock over the winter.  Which reduces the food supply during the winter further.  Giving you famines.  Like those in the Little Ice Age.

Dubai is a city in a desert.  From May through September they get less than one inch of rain each month.  The average high in July is 105.4 degrees.  The average high in January is 75.2 degrees.  The average annual humidity is 59.8%.  So Dubai is hot and dry.  A city of buildings and sand.  But you know what else Dubai has?  Lush, green, championship golf courses.  Something Greenland doesn’t have.  Because you can irrigate a desert and grow grass.  But you can’t grow grass where ice and snow cover the soil.  And the same holds true for food.  Making a cooling climate far more dangerous than a warming climate.  As those valiant soldiers at Valley Forge could have attested to.

Because of Global Warming Dr. David Viner said in 2000, “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”

The global warming alarmists have been warning that the polar ice caps are melting.  And the poor polar bears have no ice to rest on.  Soon the ice will all melt and flood our coastal regions.  They say this even today.  Interestingly, a ship is retracing the steps of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson in the Antarctic.   Whose expedition suffered horribly during the winter months there about a century earlier.  The current expedition is aboard the MV Akademik Shokalski.  Which has been stuck in the ice since Christmas Eve.  And this during the summer months in the Antarctic.

Noted climate ‘scientist’ at the University of East Anglia, Dr. David Viner, said in 2000 that because of global warming “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”  Currently, the eighth winter storm this year, Winter Storm Hercules, is dumping over a foot of snow from Buffalo to Boston.  With blizzard warnings for Cape Cod and Long Island.  And bitter cold Arctic air will follow the snow.  About as bad as it was at Valley Forge.  With another winter storm following Winter Storm Hercules.  Funny.  Here we are almost 14 years later and there is still snow.  Proving how wrong the global warming alarmists have been.

Still, the global warming alarmists say we must fight global warming.  To allow the climate to cool.  Even though history has shown that a cooling climate leads to hunger, malnourishment and sickness.  And famine.  But the left fights for those things.  Why?  Because there ain’t a damn thing you can do with regulations to warm the planet.  But if you paint manmade global warming as the villain you can blame carbon.  And regulate the hell out of the economy.  And that’s something they will never let go of.  Hence their lying.  Because they just don’t want to give up the power that allowed them to make the incandescent light bulb illegal.

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‘Scientists’ predict Climate Crisis after Studying 19 Years of the 4.5 Billion Year Climate Record

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 30th, 2013

Week in Review

The earth is, what, 4.5 billion years old?  And climate ‘scientists’ can look at a 19-year snapshot of data and know everything that is going on with climate?  That 19-year snapshot represents only 0.00000042% of the earth’s total climate picture.  That’s a small percentage.  Very small.  Much, much smaller than 1%.  Statistically speaking it’s meaningless.  Yet by this 19-year snapshot today’s climate ‘scientists’ know all when it comes to climate (see Greenland, Antarctica ice melt speeding up, study finds by Matt Smith posted 11/29/2012 on CNN).

Two decades of satellite readings back up what dramatic pictures have suggested in recent years: The mile-thick ice sheets that cover Greenland and most of Antarctica are melting at a faster rate in a warming world…

The net loss of billions of tons of ice a year added about 11 millimeters — seven-sixteenths of an inch — to global average sea levels between 1992 and 2011, about 20% of the increase during that time, those researchers reported…

Long-term climate change fueled by a buildup of atmospheric carbon emissions is a controversial notion politically, but it’s one accepted as fact by most scientists. Previous estimates of how much the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets contributed to the current 3 millimeter-per-year rise in sea levels have varied widely, and the 2007 report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change left the question open.

While the 19-year average worked out to about 20% of the rise of the oceans, “for recent years it goes up to about 30 or 40%,” said Michiel van den Broeke, a professor of polar meteorology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. The rest comes from thermal expansion — warmer water takes up more space.

So in other words, 80% of the rise in sea levels has nothing to do with melting ice sheets.  Yet they predict doom and gloom that global warming will melt these glaciers and raise sea levels and wash away all of our coastal communities.  So global warming may be melting the ice sheets.  But not much.  Surely not as much as they melted after the ice ages.  When some glaciers retreated from nearly the equator back towards the poles.  And that happened before manmade activities began releasing carbon into the atmosphere.  Meaning that ice sheets melted far more before any manmade global warming.  But when your data sample looks only at 0.00000042% of the climate record you’re likely to miss significant things like this.

They concluded that Greenland and two of the three ice sheets that cover Antarctica have lost an estimated 237 billion metric tons, give or take a few billion, in the past 19 years. The ice sheet that covers eastern Antarctica grew, but only by about 14 billion tons — not nearly enough to offset the losses from the layer that covers the western portion of the continent and the Antarctic Peninsula.

They call it global warming.  Not warming in small pockets of geographic areas.  For if the warming was only in small pockets there would be no global warming.  No coming cataclysmic global climate disaster.  And nothing to worry about.  But if global warming is truly global then the warming would be uniform.  Global.  And surely equal throughout a small geographic region like Antarctica.

Okay, so they put the fear of God in us that the world will end if we don’t act within the next 5 minutes.  Okay.  So tell us, how much time do we have?

Don’t panic: At the current rate, it would take between 3,000 and 7,000 years for those regions to become ice-free, said Ian Joughin, a glaciologist at the University of Washington…

In July, researchers watched as a stretch of unusually warm temperatures melted nearly the entire surface of the Greenland ice sheet…

“Any model that someone would use to predict sea level rise is only really as good as the data that goes into it,” Shepherd said. “And the fact that our data is twice or three times as reliable as the most recent overarching assessment has to give some weight to improving the value of those model predictions in the future…”

“Right now, all of that is very complicated stuff, and we’re not at the point where all of that is integrated into the models we have now,” Schmidt said.

Really?  They look at a 19-year snapshot and can predict 7,000 years out?  Even though it’s complicated stuff?  I suppose that would be easy once you assume in your model that everything in the world will continue as they have during that 19-year snapshot.  Of course that would make it hard to explain how the glaciers retreated from near the equator all the way back to the poles a few times following the ice ages.  Ah, they probably just consider that a statistical anomaly.  Despite there being 5 major ice ages so far.  That lasted in the tens of millions of years.  Some even lasted in the hundreds of millions of years.  And according to the climate ‘scientists’ another one was right around the corner from the Seventies.  Before, of course, they changed their minds and started warning us about global warming.  Which was a lot more fun.  Because you couldn’t enact a lot of environmental regulations on business to stop the cooling.  But you can make an argument for environmental regulations to stop the warming.  Which is why they’re sticking to the warming.  Because it’s a lot more fun.

Interestingly, between these ice ages the earth may have been ice free.  Meaning that the ice sheets they’re wringing their hands over may not have existed during other interglacial periods.  Again, those ice-free times were BEFORE any manmade greenhouse gases entered the atmosphere.

It’s bad science that only looks at a 19-year snapshot of data.  Especially when other scientists have found a cyclical warming and cooling of sea surface temperatures every 20-30 years.  Something called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).  Perhaps this is why they looked at 19 years of data.  To keep their models predicting what they want to find.  Not what actually may be happening.  And something like the PDO could really throw a wrench in things.  Which is why much climate science is not science.  It’s politically motivated.  Where ‘scientists’ are funded by governments.  And these scientists conclude what these governments want them to conclude.  So they will keep funding them.  For after all, if they found there was no manmade global warming what would these scientists do for a paycheck?

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California may run out of Water because of the PDO and Sunspot Activity, not because of Manmade Global Warming

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 22nd, 2013

Week in Review

It’s not snowing enough in the Rocky Mountains anymore because of global warming.  According to all the relevant climate scientists today.  Whose research appears to contain more politics than scientific analysis.  For they have arrived at conclusions based on a selective set of scientific results while conveniently ignoring contradictory data.  And because they do they can make claims like this (see Why Dwindling Snow—Thanks Largely to Climate Change—Might Dry Out Los Angeles by Bryan Walsh posted 6/17/2013 on Time Science & Space).

While the national government remains slow to deal with climate change, many cities have been moving ahead. Why the difference? Well, cities tend to be more homogenous politically, which makes any kind of decisive action easier to push through. But the real reason is that city managers know they will be the first ones forced to deal with the likely consequences of global warming: rising sea levels and flooding, deadly heat waves and water struggles…

Now a new study from the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests that the local mountain snowfall — vital for water supplies — could fall 30% to 40% below 2000 levels by midcentury, thanks to global warming. And if emissions don’t decline and warming is worse than we expect, more snow will vanish, even as greater L.A. continues to grow.

Included in the article are very scientific-sounding statements from climate scientists ensconced in one of our liberal universities (UCLA) which, of course, would have no liberal bias.

The mountains won’t receive nearly as much snow as they used to, and the snow they do get will not last as long …We won’t reach the 32ºF threshold for snow as often, so a greater percentage of precipitation will fall as rain instead of snow, particularly at lower elevations. Increased flooding is possible from the more frequent rains, and springtime runoff from melting snowpack will happen sooner…

This science is clear and compelling: Los Angeles must begin today to prepare for climate change.

All because of global warming caused by rising levels of greenhouse gasses?  Well, that’s what they say.  Of course, that doesn’t explain the fall in global temperatures over the last decade.  Odd climate behavior for a climate suffering from global warming.  Their models can’t explain this.  But this can (see Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) posted 3/2/2011 on appinsys.com/GlobalWarming).

Evidence is presented that the recent worldwide land warming has occurred largely in response to a worldwide warming of the oceans rather than as a direct response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) over land. Atmospheric model simulations of the last half-century with prescribed observed ocean temperature changes, but without prescribed GHG changes, account for most of the land warming. … Several recent studies suggest that the observed SST variability may be misrepresented in the coupled models used in preparing the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, with substantial errors on interannual and decadal scales. There is a hint of an underestimation of simulated decadal SST variability even in the published IPCC Report.

They go on to discuss something called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).  And the PDO index.  Which they calculate “from sea surface temperatures and sea level pressures.”  What they found was a cyclical warming and cooling every 20-30 years.  This change in ocean temperatures caused a change in the low-level jet stream as it blew across the United States from west to east.  When it moves south it picks up more moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and causes more Midwest storms.  When it moves further south the Midwest suffers droughts.  Like those that created the great dust bowl of the Thirties.  And causes less snowfall in the mountains.

What causes the PDO?  Well, there is a correlation between sunspot activity and the PDO.  So that is a likely cause.  And a probable cause.  So sunspot activity causes warming and cooling of the oceans.  Which causes changes in the low-level jet stream.  Resulting in warming and cooling over land.  And depending where that low-level jet stream moves we may have floods, droughts, storms or mountain snow.  None of which has a thing to do with man-made greenhouse gases.

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Earth Day Past and Present, the Lies may Change but the Agenda remains the Same

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 27th, 2013

Week in Review

If you’re old you probably get exasperated by the environmentalists.  And their hand-wrenching cries that the planet will die if we don’t start acting right now.  Before it’s too late.  Things we’ve been hearing for the last 40 some years.  Which is why us old farts get exasperated.  We’ve been hearing these dire warnings for 40 some years.  Which means we haven’t acted yet to save the planet.  Because they are still wringing their hands about the coming environmental apocalypse.  Yet if these people knew what they were talking about 40 some years ago we wouldn’t be here now.  We’d be dead.  As well as the planet.  Based on their dire warnings some 40 years ago.  So when it comes to credibility the environmentalists have none.

The environmentalists are like the boy who cried wolf.  I say ‘like’ because in the Aesop Fable no one believes the boy when he is telling the truth because he has lied so often in the past.  In real life environmentalists never tell the truth.  So you never have to worry about not believing them when they are, in fact, telling the truth.  Here’s a joke to help you remember this.  How can you tell when environmentalists are lying?  Their lips are moving.

After being so wrong for so long you just can’t take them seriously anymore.  Which is why they teach environmentalism to our kids in school.  Because they’re young.  We may be a lost cause but they have a chance to still scare the bejesus out of our kids.  Who are hearing these dire warnings for the first time.  And believe what their teachers tell them.  They believe them so much that they come home from school and argue with their parents about how we are destroying the planet.  Little do they realize that their teachers are just trying to get these kids to become Democrat voters when they turn of age.  So they and their unions continue to have friends in high places.  That will help them keep their generous pay and benefit packages.  For people lie for a reason.  And usually that reason is money.  If these teachers aren’t frightening our kids about the global warming boogeyman for money then just why are they lying to them?

So what were they saying 40 some years ago?  Well, on the anniversary of Earth Day a lot of people have been pointing out some of their worst predictions.  Here are 13 that should have every environmentalist hanging their head in shame (see 13 Worst Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970 by Jon Gabriel posted 4/22/2013 on FreedomWorks).

1.”Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”  — Harvard biologist George Wald

2.”We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner

3.”Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” — New York Times editorial

These are from two prestigious universities and the esteemed New York Times.  That are supposed to be the wisest and brightest among us.  People we can trust.  Now either they’re not very wise or bright.  Or they are not trustworthy.  For the world has never been a better place for human habitation.  Life got better.  Not worse.  In fact, the only threat for human habitation is birth control and abortion.  And advances in medicine.  We’re having fewer kids to grow up and enter the workforce to pay taxes.  While advances in medicine our letting those who leave the workforce live a long time into retirement.  This is the danger to mankind.  The collapse of the welfare state that may degenerate in rioting.  And it was the same people incidentally that gave us the welfare state that are now trying to scare the bejesus out of us that we’re killing the planet.  If anyone is killing anything it’s the political left and their unsustainable welfare state.

4.”Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich

5.”Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich

6.”It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day

7.”Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter

The only thing causing famine in these poorer countries are environmentalists.  Who are forcing us to make gasoline out of corn.  That’s right, we have such large food surpluses we use it for fuel.  Raising the price of food for the poorest of people.  And leaving less to give to the hungry because we’re making ethanol out of it to save us from global warming.  The environmentalists were the only ones wringing their hands about these coming famines.  While there are some famines they are usually in countries with the kind of government these environmentalists like.  Those who put people before profits.  Like the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.  The People’s Republic of China (under Mao).  And North Korea.  Who all suffered/are suffering recurring famines because they put people before profits.  North Korea still cannot feed her people.  But the environmentalist will love how clean and unspoiled their country is.  For their society is so undeveloped that most houses don’t even have electricity or a furnace.  And while advanced economies have an obesity problem even in their poorer populations most North Koreans are malnourished.  Advanced economies that use energy can feed their people.  And support a growing population.  Even Hong Kong can prosper.  An island on a rock.  With little resources.  That imports just about everything they eat.  And yet they have one of the highest standards of living.  With no famine.  Because Hong Kong is a bastion of laissez-faire capitalism.

8.”In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine

9.”At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

10.”Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich

11.”By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

12.”[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.” — Newsweek magazine

13.”The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt

With all the talk of global warming and rising sea levels it is hard not to laugh at this nonsense.  The greatest threat to civilizations is dealing with aging populations.  Who are living far longer than any actuary predicted.  Not only is air pollution NOT claiming hundreds of thousands of lives we’re actually living longer.  Showing how ignorant and/or politically motivated these ecologists and environmentalist were.  And still are.  For it wasn’t that long after they got us all scared about the coming Ice Age that they started scaring us about global warming.  Either they were using flawed climate models or they were just lying to us.  For you can’t go from we’re killing the planet with global cooling to we’re killing the planet with global warming in a matter of a decade or two.

What is obvious is that these people have been and still are politically motivated.  They look at small snapshots of data and tell us the sky is falling.  For what reason?  Well, most of these environmentalists are anti-capitalists.  Whose environmentalist hysteria has led to what?  A lot of environmental regulations targeted at business.  Making it harder for them to stay in business.  Old people understand this.  Our kids don’t.  So they brain wash our kids in the public school so they come home and tell us what horrible people we are.  But they will learn the truth one day.  In about 40 years or so from now they will be reading about the silly predictions of people like Al Gore.  Shake their heads.  And listen to their kids coming home from school.  Telling them how they’re destroying the planet with all of their global cooling.  Which may be the fear in vogue then.  Or perhaps they will find something new to scare our grandchildren about in school.  Whatever it is the teachers of the future will be scaring our kids with it so they will grow up and vote Democrat.  So they and their unions continue to have friends in high places.  That will help them keep their generous pay and benefit packages.  For some things never change.  Unlike the warming and cooling of the planet.

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New Paper shows Inverse Relationship between Global Warming and Coal-Fired Power Plants

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 6th, 2013

Week in Review

In the Seventies they were scaring kids about a coming ice age.  And about air pollution so bad that we would one day have to wear gas masks when going outside.  The planet is a lot cleaner now.  And there is no talk about Americans one day having to wear a gas mask when going outside.  And that coming ice age?  Well, they were just wrong about that.  For what they thought was global cooling was actually global warming.  An easy mistake to make.  Because they’re both about temperature.  One just moves in one direction.  While the other moves in the other.  And unless you do something like record temperatures periodically how are you going to know which direction those temperatures are moving?

Then again, perhaps there was cooling then.  Before that cooling turned into warming.  For it now appears the reverse is happening.  A move from warming back to cooling.  Thanks to the Chinese and the Indians (see Climate forcing growth rates: doubling down on our Faustian bargain posted on IOP Science).

Remarkably, and we will argue importantly, the airborne fraction has declined since 2000 (figure 3) during a period without any large volcanic eruptions… The airborne fraction is affected by factors other than the efficiency of carbon sinks, most notably by changes in the rate of fossil fuel emissions (Gloor et al 2010). However, it is the dependence of the airborne fraction on fossil fuel emission rate that makes the post-2000 downturn of the airborne fraction particularly striking. The change of emission rate in 2000 from 1.5% yr-1 to 3.1% yr-1 (figure 1), other things being equal, would have caused a sharp increase of the airborne fraction (the simple reason being that a rapid source increase provides less time for carbon to be moved downward out of the ocean’s upper layers).

A decrease in land use emissions during the past decade (Harris et al 2012) could contribute to the decreasing airborne fraction in figure 3, although Malhi (2010) presents evidence that tropical forest deforestation and regrowth are approximately in balance, within uncertainties. Land use change can be only a partial explanation for the decrease of the airborne fraction; something more than land use change seems to be occurring.

We suggest that the huge post-2000 increase of uptake by the carbon sinks implied by figure 3 is related to the simultaneous sharp increase in coal use (figure 1). Increased coal use occurred primarily in China and India… Associated gaseous and particulate emissions increased rapidly after 2000 in China and India (Lu et al 2011, Tian et al 2010). Some decrease of the sulfur component of emissions occurred in China after 2006 as wide application of flue-gas desulfurization began to be initiated (Lu et al 2010), but this was largely offset by continuing emission increases from India (Lu et al 2011).

We suggest that the surge of fossil fuel use, mainly coal, since 2000 is a basic cause of the large increase of carbon uptake by the combined terrestrial and ocean carbon sinks… Sulfate aerosols from coal burning also might increase carbon uptake by increasing the proportion of diffuse insolation, as noted above for Pinatubo aerosols, even though the total solar radiation reaching the surface is reduced…

Reduction of the net human-made climate forcing by aerosols has been described as a ‘Faustian bargain’ (Hansen and Lacis 1990, Hansen 2009), because the aerosols constitute deleterious particulate air pollution. Reduction of the net climate forcing by half will continue only if we allow air pollution to build up to greater and greater amounts.

Let’s review.  The airborne fraction carbon dioxide has fallen since 2000.  And, as a result, global temperatures did not rise as projected.  Even though there were no large volcanic eruptions.  Which cause global cooling.  Tropical forest deforestation and re-growth are balancing each other out.  So that’s not a factor in this decline of airborne carbon dioxide.  Which leaves the sole remaining answer for the decline in airborne carbon dioxide levels as China’s and India’s explosion in new coal-fired power plants.  Yes, the wonderful air pollution from burning coal apparently cools the planet.  Like a volcanic eruption does.

Are you seeing the bigger picture here?  For a hundred years or so the Industrial Revolution belched so much ash, soot, smoke, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide into the air that it left black clouds over cities.  And a layer of soot and ash on everything.  This is why we electrified trains in our cities.  To keep coal-fired locomotives and their great black plumes of smoke out of the cities.  Was there a global warming problem then?  No.  That didn’t come into vogue until Al Gore started talking about it in the Nineties.  When the planet was doomed if we didn’t act immediately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Despite only a few years earlier the climate scientists were warning us of the coming ice age.  Probably because of all that global cooling from our coal-fired power plants, steam engines and locomotives.

As oil, gas and electricity replaced coal-fired boilers everywhere (we even used coal in our home furnaces) all that pollution from coal went away.  And then came the Nineties.  And catastrophic global warming.  Just as China and India began to incorporate some capitalism into their economies.  Which they fed with electricity provided by more and more coal-fired power plants.  And as they belched all that wonderful pollution into the air the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide as well as global temperatures fell.  So I ask again, do you see the bigger picture here?

Yes, global warming is man-made.  At least this is what one can conclude from this paper.  And it is the climate scientists who made it.  By telling us to reduce all of the cooling emissions from our coal-fired power plants.  But, thankfully, the Indians and the Chinese still care enough about Mother Earth to pump those cooling emissions into the air.  And gave us a reprieve from the global warming apocalypse.  But if the climate scientists get their way they’ll bring on that apocalypse.  By pressuring China and India to stop putting those cooling emissions into the air.  And for the sake of the planet we can only hope that they don’t succumb to that pressure.

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Air Handling Unit, Outside Air, Exhaust Air, Return Air and Energy Recovery Unit

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 27th, 2013

Technology 101

Things that Absorb Energy can Cool Things Down and Things that Radiate Energy can Warm Things Up

When two different temperatures come into contact with each other they try to reach equilibrium.  The warmer temperature cools down.  And the cooler temperature warms up.  If you drop some ice cubes into a glass of soda at room temperature the warm soda cools down.  The ice cubes warm up.  And melt.  When there is no more ice to melt the temperature of the soda rises again.  Until it reaches the ambient room temperature.  The normal unheated or un-cooled temperature in the surrounding space.  As the soda and the air in the room reach equilibrium.

When two temperatures come into contact with each other what happens depends on the available energy.  Higher temperatures have more energy.  Lower temperatures have less energy.  For heat is energy.  Things that absorb energy can cool things down.  Things that radiate energy can warm things up.  And this is the basis of our heating and cooling systems in our buildings and homes.

Boilers burn fuel to heat water.  A furnace burns fuel to heat air.  The heated water temperature and heated air temperature is warmer than the temperature you set on your thermostat.  When this very hot water/air circulates through a house or building it comes into contact with the cooler air.  As they come into contact with each other they bring the air in the space up to a comfortable room temperature.  Above the unheated ambient temperature.  But below the very hot temperature of the heating hot water or heated air temperature.

Heating and Cooling Buildings consume up to Half of all Energy on the Planet

Large buildings have air handling units (AHU) that ventilate, heat and cool the building’s air.  They’re big boxes (some big enough for grown men to walk in) with filter sections to clean the air.  Coil sections that heat or cool the air as it blows through these coils.  A supply and a return fan to blow air into the building via a network of air ducts.  And to suck air out of the building through another network of air ducts.  And a series of dampers (outside air, exhaust air and return air).

To keep the air quality suitable for humans we have to exhaust the breath we exhale from the building.  And replace it with fresh air from outside of the building.  This is what the dampers are for.  The amount they open and close adjusts the amount of outside air the AHU pulls into the building.  The amount of the air it exhausts from the building.  And the amount of air it recirculates within the building.  Elaborate computer control systems carefully adjust these damper positions.  For the amount of moving air has to balance.  If you exhaust less you have to recirculate more.  Otherwise you may have dangerous high pressures build up that can damage the system.

It takes a lot of energy to do this.  Buildings consume up to half of all energy on the planet.  And heating and cooling buildings is a big reason why.  Because it take a lot of energy to raise or lower a building’s air temperature.  And keeping the air safe for humans to breathe adds to that large energy consumption.  If you stand outside next to an exhaust air damper you can understand why.  If it’s winter time the exhausted air is toasty warm.  If it’s summer time the exhausted air is refreshingly cool.

An Energy Recovery Wheel is a Circular Honeycomb Matrix that Rotates through both the Outside & Exhaust Air Ducts

In the winter large volumes of gas fire boilers to heat water.  Electric water pumps send this water throughout the building.  Into baseboard convection heaters under exterior windows to wash this cold glass with warm air.  And into the heating coils on AHUs.  Powerful electric supply and return fans blow air through those heating coils and throughout the building.  After traveling through the supply air ductwork, out of the supply air ductwork and into the open air, back into the return air ductwork and back to the AHU much of this air exhausts out of the building.  That returning air is not as warm as the supply air coming off of the heating coil.  But it is still warm.  And exhausting it out of the building dumps a lot of energy out of the building that requires new energy to heat very cold outside air to replace it.  The more air you recirculate the less money it costs to heat the building.  But you can only recirculate air so long before you compromise the quality of indoor air.  So you eventually have to exhaust heated air and pull in more unheated outside air.

Enter the heat recovery unit.  Or energy recovery unit.  There are different names.  And different technologies.  But they do pretty much the same thing.  They recover the energy in the exhaust air BEFORE it leaves the building.  And transfers it to the outside air coming into the building.  To understand how this works think of the outside air duct and the exhaust air duct running side by side.  With the air moving in opposite directions.  Like a two-lane highway.  These sections of duct run between the AHU and the outside air and exhaust air dampers.  It is in this section of ductwork where we put an energy recovery unit.  Like an energy recovery wheel.  A circular honeycomb matrix that slowly rotates through both ducts.  Half of the wheel is in the outside air duct.  Half of the wheel is in the exhaust air duct.  As exhaust air blows through the honeycomb matrix it absorbs heat (i.e., energy) from the exhaust air stream.  As that section of the wheel rotates into the outside air duct the unheated outside air blows through the now warm honeycomb matrix.  Where the unheated air absorbs the energy from the wheel.  Warming it slightly so the AHU doesn’t have use as much energy to heat outside air.  It works similarly with air conditioned air.

Many of us no doubt heard our mother yell, “Shut the door.  You’re letting all of the heat out.”  For whenever you open a door heated air will vent out and cold air will migrate in.  Making it cooler for awhile until the furnace can bring the temperature back up.  It’s similar with commercial buildings.  Which is why a lot of them have revolving doors.  So there is always an airlock between the heated/cooled air inside and the air outside.  But engineers do something else to keep the cold/hot/humid air outside when people open doors.  They design the AHU control system to maintain a higher pressure inside the building than there is outside of the building.  So when people open doors air blows out.  Not in.  This keeps cold air from leaking into the building.  Allowing people to work comfortably near these doors without getting a cold blast of air whenever they open.  It allows people to work along exterior windows and walls without feeling any cold drafts.  And it also helps to keep any bad smells from outside getting into the building.

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Climate ‘Scientists’ have found Proof that Climate Change causes Humanitarian Disasters

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 3rd, 2013

Week in Review

Now we have proof that global warming causes humanitarian disasters.  Well, not proof in a real scientific way.  But in the kind of way that you have to note with asterisk.  With the asterisk denoting that this science is not real science.  But climate science.  Where the science is more politics than science.  As evident by the vast majority (if not all) the climate ‘scientists’ are anti-capitalists and/or favor more restrictive business regulations.  This is the ‘science’ that has found proof that climate change has led to a humanitarian disaster (see Humanitarian disaster blamed on climate change by Michael Marshall posted 3/1/2013 on New Scientist).

For the first time, we have proof that climate change has led to a humanitarian disaster. The East African drought of 2011, which resulted in a famine that killed at least 50,000 people, was partly caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases.

For the first time the climate ‘scientists’ have proof that all the climate doom and gloom they’ve been preaching the last few decades is for real?  That until now it was at best a hunch?  They didn’t say that then.  In fact they spoke then with the same certainty that they now speak with.  So why should we believe this now?  How do we know that they won’t say in the future that they can finally, for the first time, actually prove something?  And it won’t be different from something they told us in the past?

Humanity’s activities had no effect on the short rains – they failed because of a strong La Niña in the Pacific. “That’s natural,” says Stott.

But climate change did affect the long rains, making them more likely to fail (Geophysical Research Letters, doi.org/kmv). The model could only reproduce the scale of the drought if it included greenhouse gas emissions.

I have a model, too.  A formula.  It’s one that predicts the future economy.  Here it is.  EO=If(P=EC, good, bad).  Where P=President, EC=Economically Conservative and EO=Economic Outlook.  And it works as a standard ‘if’ function on a spreadsheet program.  If the president is economically conservative then the economic outlook is good.  If the president is NOT economically conservative then the economic outlook is bad.  And it is a proven formula.

The economy has been bad under President Obama who is not economically conservative.  But good under President George W. Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, and Ronald Reagan.  Who were all economically conservative.  At least to a certain degree.  It was bad under Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon.  Who weren’t economically conservative.  With Republican Richard Nixon even calling himself a Keynesian after he decoupled the dollar from gold.  It went from good to bad under JBJ.  Who wasn’t economically conservative.  It went from bad to good under JFK who was economically conservative.  We call the Fifties Happy Days because the economy was pretty good under Eisenhower.  Who was economically conservative (his foreign policy dwarfed any interest in meddling with the domestic economy).  Truman and FDR were New Dealers.  Who weren’t economically conservative in the least.  And neither was Herbert Hoover.  Whose non-conservative economic policies helped to kick off the recession that FDR transformed into the Great Depression.  Both Calvin Coolidge and Warren G. Harding were economically conservative.  And their policies gave us great economic prosperity.  And so on.

I’d have to modify the formula to account for President Clinton.  For though the economy did well while he was in office it is a little more complicated with him.  Who kind of fell ass-backwards into some good economic times.  First of all he was still riding the wave of Reaganomics.  He had a peace dividend from Ronald Reagan winning the Cold War.  Asia was suffering a financial crisis.  Japan was just beginning their Lost Decade.  And after only 2 years in office Clinton lost Congress.  Forcing him to scale back on his liberal agenda.  Also, it was under Clinton that we got the dot-com boom (and irrational exuberance) and the subsequent subprime mortgage crisis.  Making a lot of Clinton’s economic growth, then, artificial.  A bubble.  The dot-com bubble bursting just after Clinton left office.  The subprime mortgage housing bubble bursting in 2007.  So Clinton, who was not economically conservative, made a mess of things but was lucky enough to be out of office when the train wreck of his administration’s policies hit.  Especially those initiated by his Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending that gave us the subprime mortgage crisis and the Great Recession.

So my model works.  History supports it.  Yet which model will be taken more seriously?  The one that is so complex with so many variables that no one can be sure what’s going on with it.  The one that took a lot of fine-tuning to get it to explain anything the way they wanted it to explain it.  Which is why it took until now to prove something for the first time.  Unlike mine.  Which has been proving things for decades.

The team calculate that climate change is responsible for between 24 per cent and 99 per cent of the risk of long rains failure.

Further proof that climate science is not real science.  Proving something is 24-99% responsible is not scientific.  I know.  I was marked down for something 4 places PAST the decimal point while in college.  When I protested that I was close enough the professor said that isn’t how science works.  Being close enough just doesn’t work.  You may eat food that is 99% salmonella-free.   But you sure aren’t going to eat food that is only 24% salmonella-free.

Although Stott’s findings add to the evidence that East Africa will face more droughts as the climate warms, for now, the region is slowly recovering from 2011. The short rains at the end of 2012 were good, and the latest forecasts suggest that the long rains will be roughly normal, or at least not far below that.

If the climate is warming because of man-made global warming how can the model show East Africa is cooling now?  Climate ‘scientists’ have been saying that if we don’t act NOW we’re doomed.  Because it could take decades to reverse the damage we’ve caused.  If so how is it that East Africa is reversing the damage in little over a year?  Despite the world NOT taking urgent measure to reverse global warming?  Or is what happening the normal ebb and flow of warming and cooling periods of climate that has little if anything to do with whatever man is putting into the atmosphere?

In the long run, studies that attribute blame in this way could be used by people attempting to sue for damages relating to climate change. A number of such cases are currently moving through US courts, spearheaded by the Alaskan village of Kivalina. The village is threatened by increased storm surges that may be linked to climate change, and its residents are suing major energy companies for the cost of evacuating.

Such cases still face significant challenges, says environmental lawyer Tracy Hester of the University of Houston in Texas. Anyone trying to bring one to court will have to link the damages they have suffered to a particular source of emissions.

How about that?  The ultimate use for such a model is for someone to sue some business.  Just as an anti-capitalist is wont to do.

I have another model.  This one points to who is responsible for global warming.  And who we should be suing.  Before global warming there was global cooling.  Climate ‘scientists’ were warning us about the coming ice age.  That changed sometime during the late 20th Century.  When the climate ‘scientists’ changed their minds and said the planet was warming.  Without really giving a good reason why they switched from cooling to warming.  But as they warned us they got the politicians to write new environmental laws.  To prevent warming.  And to save the planet.  Adding emission controls on our cars and power plants.  Launching their war on coal.  And what happened?  Temperatures continued to rise.  To the highest they had ever been.  As they continued to urge us to take even more drastic actions.  Before it was too late.

If the temperatures are still rising even after reducing harmful emissions what can one rationally conclude?  This temperature rise must be man-made.  The climate ‘scientists’ caused it.  (And should be the ones we’re suing.)  By forcing us to cut back on the cooling emissions of our coal-fired power plants.  For they put the same things into the atmosphere an erupting volcano does.  And erupting volcanoes cool the planet.  Which brings me to my other model.  It, too, is a simple equation.  CC=If(DIF=L, warming, not warming).  Where DIF=Dominant Influential Force, L=Liberal and CC=Climate Change.  If the dominating influential force is liberal they will restrict cooling emissions that are similar to what volcanoes produce, causing global warming.  If the dominating influential force is not liberal then cooling emissions may increase and not warm the planet.

Noting that people who are economically conservative are not liberal you can combine my two equations into one with some simple substitutions.  Which reduces down to an even simpler formula.  If you want a healthy economy and a healthy planet vote conservative.  Which the empirical data supports.  As President Obama’s policies are doing little to fix the economy or the environment.

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Federal Investigators looking into Chevy Volt after Second Battery Fire

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 26th, 2011

Week in Review

Why did we pick gasoline to be the fuel for our cars?  It takes little special handling.  And the energy it contains is highly concentrated.  One full tank could take you hundreds of miles.  And if you ran out of gas you could walk to a gas station.  Fill up a gallon can.  Walk back to your car.  Pour it in your tank.  Drive back to the gas station.  Fill up the tank.  And travel hundreds of miles more.  Of course this rarely happens.  Because our fuel gauge is a pretty good gauge.  It usually gets us to the gas station before we run out of gas.

It’s a little different with electric cars.  The ‘fuel gauge’ tells you how much charge is remaining.  But it doesn’t really tell you how far you can go.  Because the same amount of charge will take you different distances.  Depending on what else will be on.  Will you have your headlights on?  The heater?  If so, that charge will take you far less than it would without the headlights or heater on.  And if you run out you just can’t fill up your battery.  No.  That car will be little more than one very large paperweight.  You’ll either look for ways to kill a few hours (4-6) to recharge the battery.  Or you’ll be taking alternate transportation home.  And making arrangements to tow your electric car home.

Gasoline is a perfect fuel.  It’s stable at ambient temperatures.  It doesn’t freeze.  Stores easily.  A little of it goes a long, long way.  And it’s safe.  To get that explosive energy from it to move engine pistons you first have to convert it to a vapor, mix it with air and ignite it with a spark plug.  Things that just don’t accidentally happen.  Even after an accident.

If an accident is severe enough an automatic fuel shut-off valve will close.  Keeping the gas from feeding any fires that happen to break out.  Afterward the car can be towed.  And locked safely at an impound yard.  Without the fear the gasoline will spontaneously start a fire.  Apparently not the case with a battery (see Formal Defect Inquiry of Volt Battery Begins posted 11/26/2011 on The New York Times).

Federal safety regulators on Friday said they have begun a formal defect investigation of the Chevrolet Volt because a second battery caught fire after a crash simulation.

The regulators have been examining batteries in several plug-in cars since a June fire involving a Volt that had been heavily damaged in a government crash test.

On Thursday, a Volt battery pack that was intentionally damaged Nov. 17 as part of that testing caught fire, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The agency also recorded a temporary temperature increase in another battery pack one day after it was damaged, and a third pack “began to smoke and emit sparks” after it was damaged and then turned upside down to simulate a rollover crash.

“N.H.T.S.A. is not aware of any roadway crashes that have resulted in battery-related fires in Chevy Volts or other vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries,” it said in a statement. “However, the agency is concerned that damage to the Volt’s batteries as part of three tests that are explicitly designed to replicate real-world crash scenarios have resulted in fire.”

The key to a successful electric car is making a long-lasting battery.  One that can match the range of a gasoline engine.  Easier said than done, though.  Because gasoline and the engine are stored separately in a car until that energy is needed.  Then and only then do they come together.  Not so with a battery.  The chemicals inside a battery are always in contact.  When charging.  When the car is parked and not charging.  And when the car is being used.  At all times that chemical energy is there and has to be used.  Or contained.

G.M. attributed the June fire, which occurred at a storage facility three weeks after the car was crash-tested, to a failure to deactivate the battery. In July, it began publicizing postcrash safety protocols to emergency personnel that call for the battery to be isolated from the rest of the car via a disconnect switch and then depleted by the company.

The company says it believes the June fire was a result of crystallized coolant that leaked out of the battery’s cooling system and pooled on another portion of the pack when it was rotated as part of the crash test, a G.M. spokesman, Rob Peterson, said in an interview last week.

The N.H.T.S.A. said the testing last week that resulted in the more recent fire included damaging the battery compartment and rupturing the coolant line.

One of the byproducts of energy conversion is heat.  Gasoline-powered cars use antifreeze circulating through the engine block to remove the heat from the engine.  Then pumps it through a radiator to dump that heat into the atmosphere.  Of course, all of this happens only when the engine is running.  Apparently a car battery needs to be cooled even when the ‘engine’ isn’t running.  And the bigger we make these batteries (to match the range of gasoline engines) the more cooling they will require.  And the more critical that cooling will be to overall safety.

The advantage of gasoline is that it’s stored separately from where it is combusted to produce energy.  Whereas a battery stores chemicals together where they also produce the energy.  And the push to make batteries with greater ranges means more powerful batteries.  Potentially making these electric cars more prone to fires.  And more dangerous.

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