Friday, 24 April 2009

The lights of a Perverted Science



Sir Winston used the phrase in his “Finest Hour” speech: and now I have seen it in a respected free world organisation, and my heart quails.

There are four major sources publishing data on world temperatures: the Hadley Centre (UK),  NASA, UAH (University of Alabama, Huntsville) and RSS (Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa). The Hadley, UAH and RSS data sets show temperature rise having more or less levelled out since 2000. The NASA dataset is radically different, suggesting a large and significant rise. This throws doubt on the NASA data.

It gets worse, much worse however. If you compare the NASA data published in 1999 with the NASA data published in 2009 for the same historical data they are substantially different: and different in a way which supports the climate change hypothesis.

It is fairly clear that NASA has been fiddling the books.

Forget the argument about climate change. This is a harbinger of  “a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of a perverted science”. Fiddling data is the unforgivable sin. If an organisation like NASA can get away with it, then the bedrock on which we have accumulated much of our knowledge of the world is breaking up, and all we have left is a fight between the loudest voices and the deepest pockets.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

A lovely day for Anoraks

I've just got back from the Battery Vehicle Society Spring conference. It was one of the best one day event of any kind that I have ever attended - a good number of speakers, very varied, but not a single dud amongst them. Appropriate venue, faultless organisation.

I struggle to pick a highlight but the most memorable bits included a chap who had invested about £40-grand in a ton and a half of Lithium Polymer batteries to put into his Berlingo Electrique to make a super - long-range EV. Others were seeing a real live Zebra battery, some supercapacitors and a talk from a chap designing a rover for a Mars mission. On coming back I joined the EV network - a database of EV charging points public and private (the latter available to other members). I was also encouraged to come across a couple of others who share my scepticism about man-made climate change

Thursday, 16 April 2009

£5000 Subsidy for battery vehicles

The government today announced a subsidy (probably from 2011) on battery-powered vehicles. I was saddened by the welter of vitriolic and grossly - ill-informed comment this generated. Even worse, much of it wasn't even the product of independent thought, but a fairly transparent regurgitation of a monumentally misinformed piece on Top Gear.

For the record
  • There are no current widespread commercial applications for hydrogen fuel cells
  • Lithium batteries (the most likely chemistry for a battery vehicle) are used in a high proportion of the world's consumer electronics
  • The very first hydrogen fuel cell car would require a vast infrastructure investment in hydrogen production and distribution (tankers, filling stations)
  • A battery vehicle with an onboard charger needs a 13 Amp socket
  • A million battery vehicles would use less than 1 % of UK generating capacity. Further growth could scale as required using incremental addition of well-understood commercial technology