"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Climate Maths for Dummies


We have become used to climate scientists modifying data to give a desired answer and it is no surprise Australian climate guru Will Steffen puts his own slant on poll results by simply discarding many of the opposing votes.
Nick Cater of the Australian has the story:
Climate scientist Will Steffen has found a solution for what he calls the “increasingly toxic, partisan, adversarial atmosphere” bedevilling civic debate.
He was galvanised by an opinion poll published in The Canberra Times that found ACT residents were going cold on the proposal to build a tramline in the federal capital.
When the ACT government surveyed taxpayers 10 months ago 55 per cent thought it was a good idea. Now, according to a Reachtel poll of 1446 territory residents, support has fallen to lest than 39 per cent while more than 46 per cent oppose it.
Steffen smelled a rat. How could anyone fail to see the benefit of investing the best part of a billion bucks in a 12km light rail line from Civic to Gungahlin, wherever Gungahlin might be?
Why would Canberrans not wave their hats at the prospect of travelling down Northbourne Avenue at a thrilling 30km an hour, a speed only marginally slower than George Stephenson’s Rocket?
Steffen and co-author Barbara Norman spotted the outlier.
“Only 15.8 per cent of intending Liberal voters support light rail,” Steffen and Norman wrote in The Canberra Times last Thursday, “while for all other groups (Labor, Greens, Others and Undecided) support for light rail varied between 42 per cent and 63.5 per cent.
“That anomalously low level of support among Liberal voters immediately caught our attention and prompted us to reanalyse the poll results.”
The “strong skew” of Liberal-leaning respondents, claimed Steffen, “can easily generate a misleading impression of what the poll numbers are actually showing”. Steffen and Norman’s solution was to remove 446 Liberal voters from the result.
The result of this “reanalysis”, claim the authors, is that 51.9 per cent support light rail, 3.2 per cent oppose and 14.9 per cent are undecid­ed.
There is no explanation of what became of the other 30 per cent but clearly they don’t count.
Write Steffen and Norman: “For the more than two-thirds of Canberrans who are not intending to vote for the Liberals, there is very strong support for light rail, a nearly 20 per cent lead over those who oppose it.”
So that’s settled, then. Everyone agrees a tram to nowhere underwritten by the taxpayers in the most car-friendly capital in the country is a wonderful idea. Everyone, that is, except those dolts who vote Liberal who don’t really count.
Why stop there? Why not apply the Steffen method to the 2013 election? After all, it works in Belarus where President Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected with 79.6 per cent of the vote at the 2010 election, and appears to be in little hurry to organise another one.
This insight into Steffen’s methodology may cause us to look afresh at his startling claims about climate change and his forecasts for the end of the world as we know it.

Bill Gates- Green power costs "beyond astronomical"

Ugly,expensive and ineffectual.

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and world's wealthiest man speaks out against the "green power"
juggernaut which is wasting the world's scarce resources in trying to achieve an impossible goal.
He says that new technologies are the answer and money should be diverted to R&D not today's unworkable technologies. From the Register:
Retired software kingpin and richest man in the world Bill Gates has given his opinion that today's renewable-energy technologies aren't a viable solution for reducing CO2 levels, and governments should divert their green subsidies into R&D aimed at better answers.
Gates expressed his views in an interview given to the Financial Times yesterday, saying that the cost of using current renewables such as solar panels and windfarms to produce all or most power would be "beyond astronomical". At present very little power comes from renewables: in the UK just 5.2 per cent, the majority of which is dubiously-green biofuel burning1 rather than renewable 'leccy - and even so, energy bills have surged and will surge further as a result.
In Bill Gates' view, the answer is for governments to divert the massive sums of money which are currently funnelled to renewables owners to R&D instead. This would offer a chance of developing low-carbon technologies which actually can keep the lights on in the real world.
“The only way you can get to the very positive scenario is by great innovation,” he told the pink 'un. “Innovation really does bend the curve.”
Gates says he'll personally put his money where his mouth is. He's apparently invested $1bn of his own cash in low-carbon energy R&D already, and “over the next five years, there’s a good chance that will double,” he said.
The ex-software overlord stated that the Guardian's scheme of everyone refusing to invest in oil and gas companies would have "little impact". He also poured scorn on another notion oft-touted as a way of making renewable energy more feasible, that of using batteries to store intermittent supplies from solar or wind.
“There’s no battery technology that’s even close to allowing us to take all of our energy from renewables," he said, pointing out - as we've noted on these pages before - that it's necessary "to deal not only with the 24-hour cycle but also with long periods of time where it’s cloudy and you don’t have sun or you don’t have wind."