Archive for the ‘environment’ Category

Methanol Plants Don’t Explode

May 17, 2016

There are some ignoramuses (that’s a fancy word for people who don’t know very much) standing at the corner, holding a sign asking if you are in the blast zone. It’s a message that they don’t want the methanol plant.

I googled “methanol plant explosions” and I got no hits. That’s because methanol plants don’t explode. They can’t explode. It’s simply not possible.

Now, there are cases of empty methanol tanks exploding, and people getting hurt or killed, but these are the tanks that hold methanol. Any fuel can explode if you mix in air and provide some heat. That’s why when you do something like weld a methanol tank, you empty the tank, wash it out with water, and then work on it. See, methanol is extremely attracted to water. If you want to neutralize it, all you need is plain old water. And methanol in water is basically harmless and totally non-flammable.

Let’s talk very briefly about how a methanol plant works. Basically, natural gas is heated up and put through a process to break it down. Then, sealed off from air, it is further processed with such dangerous chemicals like water. In the end, you get nearly pure ethanol, which you store in tanks. Provided you never mix air in there (which you can’t, otherwise you won’t get methanol, you’ll just get flames) then the methanol can’t explode. It can’t ignite. There is nothing to burn it. You could drop a lit match into the tank of hot methanol and exactly nothing would happen, except for a few flames near the opening where you dropped the match in. Well, something would happen — the match would be smothered.

Anyway, I shouted out the open window “Methanol plants have never exploded and they can’t!” And the friendly lady said, “It’s not the methanol, it’s the natural gas.” By that measure, we should stop using natural gas altogether.

The methanol plant will bring in countless jobs and opportunities. It will bring in tax revenue. It is far, far cleaner to make it here than anywhere else in the world, so we will actually reduce pollution in places like China by making it here. And what pollutants will it make? Basically, nothing, except carbon dioxide, which is plant food, which will make our area even greener. Since there is no correlation between global temperature and carbon dioxide, but there is a correlation between plant life and carbon dioxide, I think it’s a good trade.

Anyway, don’t let ignoramuses make your decisions for you. Building the plant here is the right thing to do. It will make us a ton of money, reduce the pollution in China, and make our environment even better.

Overpopulation? Not possible.

April 4, 2012

Much has been said about over-population in the 1970’s. All of it has turned out to be wrong.

Today, there still people that cling to those failed notions. They probably have sideburns and wear tie-dye with bell bottoms too.

The people who claim overpopulation is a problem tend to break things down into math. They write out formulas that look something like this:

(Amount of food produced each year)  / (number of people in the year 2100) = (too little food to sustain life)

Certainly, if we were producing food at the rate we did in 1970, we would all be starving to death. But we’re not. So what happened? Quite simply: food production increased.

So you might see an equation like this:

(Amount of arable land) x (production per acre of arable land) = (amount of food produced)

And then the naysayers point out that if you keep the amount of arable land constant, and the production per acre constant, we’re all going to starve.

Except there’s a problem with those assumptions. First, the amount of arable land changes over time, and second, the production of food per acre changes as well.

What increases crop production, or creates new arable land? Why, humans of course. Really, the formula should break down into something like this:

(number of farmers) x (crop production per farmer) = (amount of food produced)

Even if farmers didn’t increase their productivity, you could see how the amount of food would always be enough for a population, as long as one farmer could produce enough to feed at least himself. After all, if we do have food shortages, then more people would decide that farming is the life for them, and abandon their career which wouldn’t feed themselves anyway, and do something closer to food production.

If you think about it even more, technology and advances in the agricultural arts have made it so that one person is able to produce more and more food each year. Just think of what is happening as the third world transitions into first world status through wealth. Farmers that used to use basic tools and techniques now have available to them more modern tools and techniques, including the luxury of education and access to information. Now, even poor farmers in the heart of Africa are able to out-produce their ancestors by several orders of magnitude.

You may think that land area or some resource such as clean water or oil or something would limit the amount of food that can be produced. You’d be wrong, because some humans are much smarter than you are. If there is a shortage of clean water, then we will figure out how to produce more clean water, or figure out how to farm with less pure water. If there is a shortage of oil, we’ll figure out how to get the energy and fertilizer some other way, or learn how to do without.

Well, what about land to live on? Don’t we need a certain amount of land? The answer is, no. We can pack people in as tightly as we need to. Of course, we are nowhere near that point, since there is plenty of dry land available to the world’s population. Not all the land is ideal, but modern technologies are changing what we consider ideal so that more and more land becomes livable and usable. Of course, if we do run out of land, we can start building up, down, or settling the seas, both the surface, underwater, or even the sea floor. If the price of land becomes so high, then we’ll see an economic incentive to settle the Moon or Mars or even space stations orbiting the earth.

There is no limit to human ingenuity, except the limits we artificially place on ourselves with unjust laws. Yes, if we do imagine a world where the government controls our lives, then we will always have shortages no matter what we do.

2010 the Hottest Year Ever?

December 13, 2010

Here’s a good explanation of why calling 2010 the “Hottest Year Ever” isn’t supported by actual measurements. (link) Keep in mind that Hansen (who doesn’t deserve to be called Doctor anymore) is the scientist at NASA who was found to be committing outright fraud by manipulating data. He was also on the payroll of George Soros.

Now, let’s ask ourselves some fundamental questions that apparently we, the non-climate scientists, are not allowed to ask. These cut at the very heart of the issue.

Laying aside the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Greenhouse Effect, let’s consider what they mean when they say “hottest year ever”.

How do you measure the temperature of a year? It almost sounds absurd when you put it like this, but this is what they are claiming to do.

See, temperature is something you measure once the systems come into equilibrium. It is a constant number, one that doesn’t change as you leave the thermometer in the system longer and longer (provided you have properly insulated your system.)

You can stick a thermometer into a pot of water and watch the mercury rise as you heat the water. You can record the temperature of the pot of water at specific times, but really you are only recording an approximate temperature. For instance, the bottom of the water may be hotter than the top, or one side may be hotter than the other. You really can’t say, at any particular moment in time, what the temperature of the entire pot is.

Someone might suggest you stick thermometers at different areas of the pot, or at the top and bottom, or in some combination thereof. These thermometers might give different readings at different times. But you can’t use these measurements to tell what the exact temperature of the pot of water is.

If someone were to ask you what the temperature of the pot of water during the entire process, from start to finish, was, you’d draw a graph or explain that the temperature was changing. You can’t give a single number and accurately describe what happened.

This is important because we know that during the course of a day, the temperature might swing from highs 70 degrees F different than the lows. The temperature in the shade is different than the temperature in the sunlight. The temperature of the ground is different than the temperature of the air. What is the temperature of the day? If you tried to use a single number, you’d be making up a story that didn’t make sense. If the high was 110, and the low was 45, what was the temperature that day? It’s an absurd question.

So likewise is the question of what the temperature of the week or month or year or decade or century or millennium. What was the temperature of the Ice Age? The 1990’s? These questions don’t make sense, and can’t be answered except in describing the range of temperatures observed or describing how the temperature varies throughout the day and how measuring the temperatures of the dirt, or air, or shade or sunlight would give different readings.

How then do climate scientists even begin to talk about the temperature of 2010 being hotter than 2009 or any other year?

Do they mean the average high of each day? Or the average lows? Or the average of half of the sum of the highs and the lows? Are they measuring air temperature in the sun or shade? Or the temperature of the earth? I cannot answer any of these questions. I doubt the climate scientists would like to either. It’s certainly not convincing when you say something like, “We recorded the highs all over the earth, and found that there were a few more days with a higher high than normal, and not enough days with a lower high, and thus the highs were slightly higher than they were over the last century.” Well, what about the lows? Is it possible to have the hottest and coldest year on record in the same year? It depends on how you measure it.

Finally, I want to tell you about the fallacy of measuring the average temperature, something I hear people talk about from time to time without explaining why it even makes sense. First, what sense does it make to measure the average of anything? When we want to summarize a population, if we only have the average we really don’t know much about what the population looks like. Other numbers, such as the standard deviation, the mode, or even the median give us much more insight into what the population looks like.

Assuming you do take the average of all the temperatures. What significance does this number have? You have effectively taken an instantaneous measurement of a value that varies over time and space, points which aren’t even representative of the entire sample, and derived a new number. How easy it is to manipulate this data! If you stick more thermometers where things are getting hotter, and fewer where things are getting colder, you can greatly change the average, all without changing the underlying facts.

Until someone proposes a significant meaning to average temperature, when that average is taken over time or space, I don’t care who says what year was hotter than which other year. We might as well be talking about how blue the Smurfs are or have been, because there is jus as much significance to that as average temperature.

Google CEO Schmidt: Scientific Debate is “Criminal”

October 30, 2010

Apparently, director James Cameron and Google CEO Eric Schmidt agree: If you question so-called Climate Science, you must be a criminal.

Now, what’s really criminal is people who lie about what they have observed, people who refuse to allow people to review their data, and people who not only make predictions but control the observations to satisfy those predictions. What is really criminal is people who abuse the power of government to stomp on those people simply trying to make a living in the name of the pseudo-science called Global Warming.

Nature doesn’t hand out traffic citations. There is no court of law for violations of the natural order. When you try to behave like a scientist but refuse to adopt the scientific method and refuse to allow debate on a very important topic, the laws of human nature dictate that you are going to get in trouble. There is a high likelihood that you are actually wrong about what you think is right.

At the end of the day, as the Catholic Church found out with Galileo, stifling debate and launching ad hominem attacks does not bring anyone closer to the truth nor does it earn anyone friends or converts.

I wonder, is CEO Eric Schmidt fit to run a multi-national corporation that has access to so much of the people’s personal data? I mean, he doesn’t even allow scientific debate on important topics like whether we should shut down our entire economy. I wonder what it’s like to work for him? Does he allow people to challenge his ideas or does he simply label them “criminal”? I think it’s time the Google board review Eric Schmidt’s views on dissent and reconsider whether he should hold his high position of authority. I certainly have not been inspired to invest in his company any time soon.

10:10 Movement and Criminal Behavior

October 1, 2010

Are these guys threatening climate skeptics with murder? (link)

Folks, this is what the climate change / global warming movement is all about: controlling the people through fear. There is a lot of money on the line here, and when you figure out that it has all been a scam, you will see what they have really been doing.

Have climate skeptics ever threatened to kill or injure climate change prophets? At the worst, we’ve asked for lawful punishment for their crimes. Here, they are obviously threatening us. They’ve already deceives us with outright fraud.

Maybe it is time we start throwing these people in jail so we can sort out the criminals from the confused.

The Fundamental Importance of Religion

September 2, 2010

Any religion is simply a system of beliefs. Each belief is a part of the religion. Together, they form a mostly cohesive whole.

The more I ponder on what belief and faith and religion really are, the more important it is that you choose for yourself to believe the right set of beliefs.

Let me share an example with you. Yesterday, a man strapped a bomb to his chest and took hostages at the Discover Channel headquarters. He obviously threatened to kill a lot of people. Thankfully, the police were able to shoot him down before he could hurt anyone.

What drove this man to do this? Simply, it was his beliefs that by doing so, he was actually doing good. Yes, he was insane, but not all insane people go around trying to blow up or kill people.

Put another way, if you think about it, everyone is at least a little bit insane. I blame our mortal condition. We will never have enough information to make truly informed decisions, and we will always be manipulated to one degree or another by external forces.

Put another way, if you ever had the opportunity to get inside someone else’s head, I am all but sure that what you find there would, to you, be considered insanity. Conversely, anyone who had the opportunity to look in your head would consider you insane as well.

What helps us manage our latent insanity is our ability to believe in certain things and then allow those things to influence our actions. For instance, a pious Christian comes to believe that they have a purpose in life, and that purpose is to share Christ’s love with their fellow being. An insane Christian spends time supporting charities and preaching the gospel of peace, love, redemption and forgiveness.

This is not true for everyone, of course. Some people who claim to be Christian take up arms and fight against their fellow brothers. They may also preach damnation and hatred against their fellow beings, not with an eye to reclaim lost souls, but to wound even more deeply. These people obviously have incorrect beliefs, or bad beliefs, that lead them to do bad things.

In the environmental movement, there is a belief that humans are not part of the environment. This belief extrapolates to a belief that humans actually damaging the environment, oftentimes in irreparable ways. The belief further leads to the idea that human life is at odds with the environment, and must be somehow eliminated or severely limited in order to maintain the sanctity of nature. The natural logical progression for this belief is that humans must be treated as slaves to the environment, or sacrificed for the environment. Thus, we have someone in the lobby of the Discovery Channel with bombs strapped to his chest.

Do you see how a belief can have disastrous results? This particular belief is not new, and has been around for thousands of years. It is what inspired the animal worship cults in ancient times, cults which demanded human sacrifice.

Conversely, in the Judeo-Christian theology, and I believe Islam as well, there is a belief that the earth was created for man’s benefit, and man is considered lord of all the earth. It is thus up to man to not only exploit its resources for man’s use, but to take good stewardship of the planet and all its plants, animals, ecosystems and minerals. There is also a belief that the natural state of the world is a utopian garden, and we should inspire to recreate, as much as possible, this beautiful state. However, in all things, we must not lose sight of man’s nature as second to God only.

It is critically important that we choose our beliefs and our religions carefully. Look inside yourself and weigh every belief against what your conscience says. Rather than throw away your conscience, listen to what it has to say and adjust your beliefs accordingly.

How Many Square Feet in a Square Mile?

August 24, 2010

I was in my junior year of physics, and one of my professors laughed as he shared an old article in his thick, Eastern European accent. It was one of those articles  talking about how we are all going to run out of space if the population keeps increasing.

The article read something like this.

There are 200 million square miles on the earth. There are 4 billion people on the planet. That means there is only 250 square feet per person!

This is shocking! 250 square feet isn’t enough to even build a house. If you have an average household of 4 people, then those who have houses larger than 1,000 square feet are taking more than their fair share.

Of course, their math was wrong. There are 5,280 feet per mile, or 5,280 × 5,280 square feet per square mile. That’s 27,878,400 square feet per mile. If there are 200 million square miles, then there are 6,000,000,000,000,000 square feet of land on the earth. That leaves about 1,000,000 square feet or land per person on the earth.

A similar mistake is made by Scientific American, of all places. (link) Trying to predict when we will run out of things, they make such bold prophecies. The problem is that none of this can possible be true. Thanks to the power of free markets, we are all but guaranteed an inexhaustible supply of resources. Provided, of course, that we allow the free market to work.

The way it works is this. If there is a shortage of a useful commodity, then the price will rise according to the shortage. As the price rises, people stockpile and protect the supply in hopes of future profits. This alone will ensure that we’ll always have the commodity available in one form or another to those who truly need it.

But something else happens, something that Adam Smith underestimated. That thing is innovation. As the prices rise, the incentive to find a replacement commodity or reduce our dependence on the commodity increases. Eventually, innovation will come to bear on the problem, and we’ll find ways to either more efficiently use the limited resource or find something else that solves the same problem.

Let’s suppose that we really are running out of oil. Forget, for a moment, whether or not the earth is creating oil and whether or not there is any oil yet to be discovered, and ignore all the oil that we know about but don’t want to spend the money to extract yet. For the sake of argument, let’s pretend oil is actually being used up and we’ll actually run out.

One thing that will happen immediately is the real price of oil will increase. This will cause people all over the world to use less of it. If some government wants to subsidize the oil in their country, that is fine, the country will simply have to find a place to fig up the cash to do so—likely from the same people who buy the oil.

The commodities market will react by stockpiling reserves. If we know for certain that oil is going to run out, then whoever has oil when it runs out will be a very, very rich man. This will further deplete the amount of oil available for consumption today, but will make oil available in the future. This will further drive the price up.

With the price of oil shooting through the roof, people who rely on oil will begin investing their time and resources into finding real alternatives. Whoever discovers a way to replace oil will make a handsome profit from it. And with the innovation, we won’t need oil anymore.

Unfortunately for alarmists, the earth has enough and to spare. This is because it is a creation of a loving God and not a random event. All the resources of the earth are there for us to use wisely for our benefit. And there is plenty for everyone, as long as we are willing to live according to the laws of Nature and not of man. There is enough land, water, food, and minerals for everything we need.

Tragedy of the Commons Claims South African Rhinos

August 6, 2010

The last rhinoceros living on a South African reserve has been butchered for her horn. The horn is very valuable in Asia.

Now, can we declare once and for all that protecting species that have natural value on government reserves is futile? If you want to save the South African rhinos, allow ranchers to breed and raise them, harvesting their horn and sell them to Asia.

I can tell you this works. Of all the species of animals, the ones that will never be endangered are the ones we are not only allowed to raise, but eat and use for our own purposes. You won’t see domesticated cattle going the way of the dodo as long as we eat vast quantities of dead cow flesh on our barbecues.

A good system of laws based on natural property rights goes a long way to protecting the environment. When someone owns the land or the animals or the trees, and they are free to profit off of them, they make certain that there is plenty of land, animals and trees to harvest throughout the foreseeable future.

Greenhouse Effect is “Scientific Malfeasance”

July 21, 2010

I wrote earlier about how the so-called “Greenhouse Effect” is not an effect but a fairy tale. (link) The reason is that it is not based on any theory and it is not observed in any experiment. In fact, it stands in contradiction to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the law that says you can’t get something for nothing.

Dr. Martin Hertzberg, former Navy chemist, has more to say than I do: (link)

The entire theory that “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere can reradiate energy back to the Earth and thus cause more heating, has been proven to violate the laws of thermodynamics, and thus to be completely devoid of physical reality. Acceptance of that theory by some journals, scientific organizations, and government agencies both national and international, represents scientific malfeasance on a grand scale.

Hat tip: Climate Depot

Litmus Test for Liberalism

March 6, 2010

By: Frosty E Hardison

I have developed a short list of principles that you MUST support if you are a liberal. If there is just one you do not agree with – then you are not as liberal as you might think. In fact you might want to reconsider that donation to the DNC and ACLU- if you don’t agree with them all.

1. You have to be against capital punishment for repeat offenders, but support the murder of an innocent child through abortion on demand.
2. You have to believe that it’s alright for your kids to have sex in your home or wherever they choose to – without your permission and if they get pregnant at 12, it’s ok for them to seek an abortion without your knowledge or consent.
3. You have to believe that the state knows more about parenting than you do, can do a better job at it and therefore can take your kids away at the whim of your neighbor and put them into foster care where they are 80% more likely to be beaten, sexually abused and murdered.
4. You have to believe that every pagan thing is about freedom of expression and that everything Christian is just another religious zealot believing in outdated myths and legends.
5. You have to believe that funding the Palestinians, Hezbollah and Hamas, so they can buy weapons “to defend themselves”, is the only way to peace in the middle east.
6. You have to be against the building of the third Temple in Jerusalem because it will give credibility to Jewish claims to the land.
7. You have to believe that you are smarter than the natural law of thermodynamics and entropy; that you are the descendant of an ape and that at some point your species came from some scum sucking primordial ooze.
8. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.
9. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are more of a threat than nuclear weapons technology in the hands of the Chinese, Iranians and North Korean communists.
10. You have to believe that there was no art before federal funding.
11. You have to believe that global temperatures are more affected by soccer moms driving SUVs than by scientifically documented cyclical changes in the sun and earth’s climate.
12. You have to believe that gender roles are offensive, discriminatory and artificial, but being homosexual is natural.
13. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.
14. You have to believe that the same teacher who can’t teach fourth graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.
15. You have to believe that sportsmen and hunters don’t care about nature or protecting the pristine environment they enjoy but loony activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.
16. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something right.
17. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money to make The Passion of the Christ for financial gain only.
18. You have to believe that the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.
19. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.
20. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, and Alexander Graham Bell.
21. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas, government forms for services printed in every language and special treatment for illegal immigrants and minorities are not.
22. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is a normal working class woman and is a very nice person.
23. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn’t worked anywhere it’s been tried is because the right people haven’t been in charge.
24. You have to believe that conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and a sex offender belonged in the White House.
25. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites, public nudity and bestiality should be constitutionally protected, and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.
26. You have to believe that illegal funding by the Chinese, and other foreign governments, of the Democratic Party is somehow in the best interest of the United States.
27. You have to believe that it’s okay to give federal workers the day off on Christmas Day, but it’s not okay to have a Christmas tree displayed in their office or even their personal cubical or for them to say “Merry Christmas.”
28. You have to believe that a mandatory court ordered anger management class, specializing in the parenting of teenagers, can be taught by a teacher that has gone to school for years but has never had a child of their own.
29. You have to believe that the government is your friend, that the Federal Reserve Bank is a part of the Federal Government and that the dollar will always be the world’s most stable reserve currency even though the U.S. is now the largest debtor nation in the world, we owe over 74 trillion dollars to other countries and our currency is no longer based on tangible assets such as gold, silver or copper.
30. You have to believe that there is a finite amount of oil in this world and that we have discovered every single deposit there is and that that fact alone is the reason a barrel of oil is trading at $90 – $140 a barrel.
31. You have to believe that a diploma or degree can be a substitute for intelligence and common sense.
32. You have to believe that this message is part of a vast right wing CONSPIRACY.

God help us all.

Frosty E. Hardison is a graduate of Colorado Technical University with a degree in Business Administration. An MBA honors student with a 3.83 GPA, Frosty is most recognized for standing up against the Al Gore film “An Inconvenient Truth” being shown as a stand alone “science film” in his daughter’s science class in January 2007. He specializes in data research and analysis as well as work flow/production efficiency. For questions, see his website.