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Monday, September 10, 2012
Wind power, some intellectual honesty for a change?
Anonymously contributed: ================================================================================ The following link is internal: =================================================================================== https://pao-int.llnl.gov/news/peoplegrouphighlights/2012/Sep/NR-12-09-03.html ====================================================================================== This posting is about the use of science and “expertise” to carry out agendas. I believe the subject article, which probably is only accessible from within LLNL, is an example of intellectual honesty. The thesis is that wind power from the ground can hardly dent the energy needs of the country or the modern worlds energy needs. That’s fine, even though politically incorrect, it is somewhat verifiable, and serves as an example of what I believe has been the largest “con game” in history. Predicting the weather reliably has eluded meteorologist for years. Perhaps the most reliable predictions came from Farmer’s Almanac. Hurricane tracks are possibly the best of example of realistic and useful computations that display some accuracy, but only a few days out. Why is weather prediction and climate change so hard to predict? It is a mathematically ill-conditioned problem, and basically it is an extrapolation from past data at best. Extrapolation is the most unreliable form of estimation no matter what techniques: extrapolation from “fitting past data “ or from extended solutions from initial conditions differential equations. In this field, we already have seen “politics or chicanery” by cooking the historical data, a scandal that broke several years ago. Ill-conditioned problems are by definition extraordinarily sensitive to input data. In fact, almost any solution can be attained through manipulation of input data in an ill-conditioned setting. Everything from the unpredictable (and un-modeled) solar flares, to unknown physical or biological processes in the oceans can make huge swings in a 100 year prediction. To represent our calculations as accurate (even to the point of sharing in a “so-called” Noble Prize) borders on intellectual dishonesty. Physicists should stick to subatomic particle calculations that are nearly impossible to verify, rather than weather prediction which we all will see. I venture to suggest that even if global warming is occurring, the calculations are not correct, and 100 years from now, we will see that they were wrong, whether or not global warming is real. (In other words, right answer from bogus computation, better known as a guess. After all, it is a 50-50 proposition, and a flip of the coin may work.) What is remarkably irritating is that this “stuff” finds its way into economic and political decisions. It is even added to by lame political suggestions that there is a “green economy” that can replace jobs lost from carbon based energy. This assertion was first made by a political hack during Hillary’s bid in 2008. There may be some jobs to gain, but it would the “green industry” that cleans up both nuclear and carbon based energy so that we can continue to harness coal, oil shale, and other truly mid-east liberating energy. That green energy could enhance revenue to those footing the bill. Clearly a policy that suggests that we can pay companies through government subsidies to build hugely expensive wind turbines or solar panels, then pay the private sector to operate them with tax breaks or pay consumers to purchase solar through tax subsidies, CAN NEVER BE A VIABLE ECONOMY. They idea that you can build an economy based on government selecting a technology, paying people to create it, then paying people to use it is not just socialism, it is stupid. As Margret Thatcher said, “socialism works great, until you run out of other people’s money.”
By scooby at September 10, 2012
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