Lubos Motl, I am pleased and honoured to say, has also written a piece of his own about Herr Masterplan Hans Schellnhuber. Boy, I thought I was being tough on the guy, Lubos takes it right to him. I found his post so enjoyable that I had to feature it here. He adds a lot more to what I’ve said, so do read it.
Joachim Schellnhuber, a doomsday crackpot who calls himself a physicist (the inflation in using this term has been significant), starts with the assertion that nuclear power plants should be ready for infinitely strong earthquakes and economics and economy shouldn’t play any role because they’re “crazy logics”…
Though not very friendly at times. But here’s one from reader Jimbo who delivers quite a neat collection of contradictory reports. No matter if it’s hot-cold, wet-dry, green-brown, windy-calm, bad-nice – its all due to manmade climate change.
Hi Pierre Gosselin,
The last time you posted the following list on Notrickszone a Warmist [Hunneycut?] attacked it as being from news stories. I have now changed all the links to point to PEER REVIEWED materials and made it even longer.
Partly referenced and inspired by Numberwatch. What I want to know from ‘Warmists’ is what would falsify the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming?
Sometimes timing is everything. Yesterday we looked at how a climate scientist is busy making “masterplans” for transforming our society instead of studying the climate.Some people were not happy about my reminder of where this sort of dubious activity can lead. After all, planning societies and claiming absolute truth is not the job of scientists, especially those as dogmatised as Schellnhuber and those at his Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research.
Organising society is best left to democracy, where everyone’s vote is equal, and must be so – no matter how ignorant Schellnhuber thinks the population is. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best system we’ve got. “Masterplanners” in history have invariably led to disasters. And, as much as people do not want to be reminded of it, a not so little concentration camp in Poland is an example in the worst extreme.
Today, the worst part is that all these “masterplans” are based on flaky, often times fraudulent and alarmist science – all designed to promote panic rather than reason. This has already led to disastrous results (biofuel induced global hunger or landscape desecration by windmills to name two) and will surely lead to even greater disasters.
Another example of a so-called masterplan that has just come to our attention is the latest European proposal to ban all fossil-fuel-powered cars from cities by 2050 – again all this with little or no thought about the potential conseqeunces this junk-science-based regulatory hyper-zealousness could have. The UK Telegraph here writes:
Cars will be banned from London and all other cities across Europe under a draconian EUmasterplan to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent over the next 40 years.
These masterplans are designed to regulate and control our lives, and have nothing to do with saving the planet – all confirmed by Siim Kallas, the EU transport commission, who said of the masterplan:
Action will follow, legislation, real action to change behaviour.”
The Association of British Drivers reacted harshly to the proposed restriction on mobility, and rightly so. Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the BDA said:
I suggest that he goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum. If he wants to bring everywhere to a grinding halt and to plunge us into a new dark age, he is on the right track. We have to keep things moving. The man is off his rocker.”
This can be said about all the social engineering master planners out there who have taken it upon themselves to tell the rest of society how to behave.
But it doesn’t stop there. The transportation masterplan also includes air transport. The plan provides for the end of cheap flights and has the target of forcing more than 50% of all journeys above 300 km to be done by rail.
Air travel is also a big target of the enviro-zealots. So it should not come as a surprise that a new study is just out claiming that air travel is “even worse for the climate than they previously thought” , this reports the Austrian Der Standard, which leads with:
Scientists calculate the impacts of air traffic in the sky and come to unexpected results. Vapour trails from aircraft and their impacts apparently have a far greater impact on climate than previously thought.”
The scientists who claim this are Ulrike Burkhardt, of the German Centre For Aviation And Aeronautics, and Bernd Kärcher – in a paper published yesterday in Nature titled: Global radiative forcing from contrail cirrus. In the abstract the authors claim:
We show that the radiative forcing associated with contrail cirrus as a whole is about nine times larger than that from line-shaped contrails alone. We also find that contrail cirrus cause a significant decrease in natural cloudiness, which partly offsets their warming effect. Nevertheless, net radiative forcing due to contrail cirrus remains the largest single radiative-forcing component associated with aviation.”
The timing of this contrail paper and the EU masterplan for transportation just couldn’t be more convenient.
We’ve seen that kind of thinking before. Authoritarianism.
Forget democracy, human freedom and free markets. These concepts, which have made today’s human prosperity and long lifespans a reality for humans, wherever and whenever they have been given the chance to work, are upsetting a small but very elitist group of individuals who view these concepts as a threat to their world view.
The English edition of Der Spiegel has a recent interview with Prof Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. In this interview Schellnhuber announced that he would unveil his “MasterPlan” for transforming society – one no doubt that suits his world view. In Schellhuber’s view, human society needs to be scaled back and managed by an elite group of “wise men” who know what is best for the rest.
Schellnhuber’s contempt for today’s organisation of western soctety is illustrated by his statements. For example Der Spiegel stumps Schellnhuber with a simple question: “Why is it that your messages haven’t been all that well received until now?” Schellnhuber responds:
I’m neither a psychologist nor a sociologist. But my life experiences have shown that the love of convenience and ignorance are man’s biggest character flaws. It’s a potentially deadly mixture.”
Oh the contempt. So we are all too comfortable and ignorant. It’s time for “wiser men” to think for the rest of us. Your message, Mr Schellnhuber, has not been well received because it is anti-democratic and authoritarian. Your kind of thinking is a threat to the principles of Germany’s Constitution and so belongs under government observation.
Schellnhuber indeed has a very poor understanding of history. History teaches us a different lesson – that it is not the combination of love for convenience and ignorance that is man’s greatest flaw, rather it is the combination of towering arrogance and ignorance that is man’s greatest flaw. That is the real threat to society. Schellnhuber also denies climate history and concocts his own fraudulent version to warrant an authoritative intervention.
The belief that the planet needs to be dictated by a higher authority is what makes people like Schellnhuber so dangerous to democracy. Their impatience and frustration with democracy, and their claim to have superior knowledge, remind us of others who have led us down very dark paths back in the 20th century.
These people are convinced they are all-knowing. Der Spiegel asks: “Do you feel that the government’s abrupt change of course in relation to its energy policy is adequate?” Schellnhuber replies:
No. It can only be the beginning of a deep-seated shift. The German Advisory Council on Global Change, which I chair, will soon unveil a master plan for a transformation of society. Precisely because of Fukushima, we believe that a new basis of our coexistence is needed.”
A master plan for transforming society drafted by a climate scientist, a person who admits having no background in sociology. This plan no doubt will be asserted by authority, and not democracy. Schellnhuber and others have indicated many times that democracy is flawed and is a nuisance. It’s getting in the way of solving the “world’s crises” (like zero temperature growth over the last 15 years).
Well, here is a little history lesson for the all-knowing Herr Schellnhuber and his bunch, who are frustrated with democratic principles and individual freedom, on where this type of contempt can take us if left unchecked:
This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of 4 million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe they have absolute knowledge with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods…Every judgement in science stands on the edge of error, and is personal.”
I’ve brought up this Ascent of Man clip before, and am bringing it up again, and will continue to bring it up in the future. Watch the entire following series Ascent of Man, Knowledge or Certainty: Ascent of Man – Knowledge or Certainty
In the wake of the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan, a tsunami of hysteria has swept the German Green Party to a stunning victory in elections in the state of Baden-Württemberg.The Greens also piled on in the Rhineland Palatinate elections as well. One thing is clear: Angela Merkel’s coalition government with the FDP liberal democrats were punished for their horrendous handling of energy policy in Germany.
One-year ago Merkel and her government approved operating lifetime extensions of nuclear power plants in Germany, giving 8 older reactors the seal approval, certifying they were safe and reliable. That, they were. Indeed German reactors and their management are among the best and safest in the world.
But then came Fukushima, followed by the tsunami of panic generated by an irresponsible media, anti-nuclear activists and opportunistic Greens, who fanned the flames of hysteria with vigor.
But rather than standing up and putting her full faith in German nuclear reactor technology and management, Angela Merkel panicked, blinked and turned her back on the industry, ordering the shutdown of the 8 nuclear reactors that were built before 1981. By turning her back on the nuclear industry, she in the end will have turned her back on the country. The days of cheap, competitive and reliable energy are coming to an end in Germany.
Turning her back on the nuclear industry also made her government’s earlier approval of the reactors appear like a farce. Angela Merkel only succeeded in showing where her priorities are – political survival. Her stance with regards to the Libya war was also pure political calculation.
Now it’s time to pay the piper. Angela Merkel’s government is now collapsing faster than Japan did under it’s 9.0 March 11 earthquake. Rarely does anyone witness ineptitude of this magnitude. She deserved to fail. All of this now clears the way for the SPD socialists and environmental Greens to sweep into power in 2013 in the national elections.
This all clears the way for the German renewable energy experiment, as the reds and the greens are eager to go full throttle with the renewable energy madness, which in the end will make Germany vulnerable and dependent on its neighours. Thanks in part to Merkel, the way is clear to embark on something that has never been tried: an experiment to see if it is possible to power an industrialised and developed country without nuclear and carbon-based energy.
Here’s a scary clip produced by some green Marxists at the German Federal Office of the Environment, who seem to have taken it upon themselves to tell the rest of us how to live. If this represents the government’s view and the target it has in mind for its citizens, then it’s awfully spooky. (Clip is in German – main points are described below).
It’s back to central planning, housing project living, and being told exactly how to live – all the failed experiments of the past, all combined and packaged as a religion that promises salvation.
Remember how the communists promised paradise for workers? This is the same pipe dream. The problem with all of it is that it is not based on the fundamental laws of economics, and so it will definitely fail. Many of the diagnoses offered in the first half of the clip are not even true, and the remedies proposed thereafter contradict each other.
The makers of this clip are sure that the world’s problems are because we are all behaving badly, and that we have to be made to behave differently – dictated – in a way that suits their world view. The world is threatened, says the film, by population growth and our consumption, and demands a system of redistribution.
Here are some of the main points:
1. We are all spoiled. We cannot, or simply do not want to, go without the things we use daily. We are using more than what nature is capable of giving. We are using much too much. We are living way beyond our means. 2. We are addicted to a huge array of products that we believe make our lives easier. We are leading lives of profligacy, which requires gigantic amounts of resources like, water, raw material and energy. The planet will soon be depleted.
The disgruntled among us have been saying this for at least 2 centuries. Yet, everyday we keep finding more than we need. Things are better today than ever.
3. The guilty parties are North America and Europe. The industrialised countries use more than their fair share. Each German uses 60 tons of material annually, Americans 130 tons. This can no lonager be tolerated.
This is called prosperity. Obviously a concept that the clip’s makers have an aversion to. Note that most material is not consumed – but used. It doesn’t disappear.
4. By 2030, 20% of the most important raw materials will reach their production limits. 5. All this consumption is leading to many things, particularly climate change and species extinsction. 6. Expanding deserts, multiplication od disaeases, wars and resource shortages are threatening future generations.
The clip doesn’t say which materials. And actually deserts are shrinking. They tend to grow when the planet cools.
7. People in industrialised nations are only able to be so wasteful because people in other poor countries have to go without raw materials. 8. Our level of prosperity is not possible for everyone.
That’s false. It’s people in developing countries that need to learn how to use raw materials. This comes with free markets and education. Any normal person with a 4th grade education or more knows that the planet gets destroyed in undeveloped countries, and protected in developed countries. The solution is for the rest of the world to live like we do. The clip claims:
9. We have to change our thinking radically. Only through a drastic reduction in our consumption of resources through dematerialisation will we be able to sustainably secure our future. We have to consume less. 10. For example, many of the things that we seldom use can be borrowed among friends. Things like the electric drill, lawnmower. We have to redesign our tools so that they have longer lifetimes, or can be repaired, easily dismantled and to recycle.
This is so stupid – economic ignorance now in full display. Imagine if we designed a long life copy machine to last 20 years. It would be obselete in three years, and so it would wind up consuming too much energy and operating too slowly during the remaining 17 years. This film was made by technical and economic illiterates. The clip then suggests we need to:
11. Use public laundermats, buy second hand clothes, ride bicycles and have fun at “sustanaible parties”.
WTF? Yeah right, When I was young I worked years with the target of getting away from having to do that. This is back to Soviet living. And the clip says we ought to think about using kooky ideas like:
12. Wind-powered ships, wind-powered buildings. 13. Powering everything with renewables.
Get ready to pay a fortune for an unreliable and primitive source of energy. Indeed get ready to fork it all over. The film then has the temerity to say:
14. Today’s prices do not reflect the ecology. That has to change. 15. Taxes on resources have to go up!
Yes, they want to take everything away from us. Everybody has to get along with much less – except for the state, of course. For them it’s more! more! more! Now we know what all this is about – state power. Power and wealth to the state, and not the individual. This clip is an example of the propaganda, one that despises humanity, that we are getting in Germany for our tax euros.
Folks, you’ve got to start talking to your local and regional politicians and business leaders about this. The higher-ups are all drugged up with their “let’s-take-over-and-save-the-planet” fantasies. It has to start from the botrtom up, like the tea party candidates.
It’s not the people that “need to drastically change their thinking”. It’s the intoxicated politicians that do.
The Fukushima nuclear reactor crisis has provided anti-nuclear activists with an assortment of (unsubstantiated) scare stories for turning the tide of public opinion against nuclear energy. So it’s little wonder that few places have been so gripped by hysteria as Germany, home to a large number of eco-stalinists and chronic doomsayers in the media.
German warmist website klimaretter.de (climatesaviour.de in English) writes that this however is not the case in Finland. Despite Fukushima, Finland is still very much in favour of using this plentiful source of zero-emissions energy. Klimaretter writes:
Despite the bad experiences encountered building the Olkiluoto 3 reactor– which will be finally finished 4 years later than planned and at double the cost in 2013 – the government approved the new construction of two additional nuclear reactors. And approved is approved, ways Mari Kiviniemi, head of the government.”
And why not? Nuclear power has been the safest of all sources of energy so far, as I mentioned in a previous post, renewable energy sources have many more deaths per terawatt-hour of electricity produced than nuclear. The dangers of nuclear power are mostly hype, and nothing to do with reality.
The Finnish government reminds us that in Finland there is practically no danger of earthquakes or tsunamis. And klimaretter reminds us:
The emergency power supply in the event of a disruption of the external power source für is already with the old reactors are designed twice as safely as the Japanese damaged reactors.
One thing that the panic purveyors seem to forget is that there are concepts in engineering and design called “applying lessons learned” and “continuous improvement”. No doubt the Japan earthquake exposed the weaknesses of the older Japanese reactors and safety systems. ´But in the end, this will be a blessing in that the lessons learned can now be implemented into the design of the new generation reactors, thus making the safest source of energy out there even safer.
Silly, desperate argument: “What if a plane crashes into it!”
This is a silly argument because planes could crash into anything, and so then nothing ought to be built. What if a plane crashed into a hydro-electric dam? A chemical plant? A football stadium?
Like anything else, all we can do is reduce the risk. And the best way to reduce risk in energy supply is to use the system that has proven to be the safest. That choice is obvious.
Thanks to reader DirkH for this video of a test plane colliding into a conrete wall at 500 mph. Risk dispelled!
And attention morons, drones, and other like-minded believers in superstition and ritual behaviour.
At 8:30 p.m CET tomorrow evening it is Earth Hour. It’s that time again to participate in yet another useless collective ritual of madness, by switching off the lights along with all the other drones, in a bid to get the climate gods to bestow nice weather upon us (and even stop bush fires – to and solve all the other world’s problems. Let’s call it: Be Like North Korea Hour.
Here’s one example drone-controller spokesperson, treating Australians like a bunch three-year-olds, asking them to take part in this ridiculous embarrassment of a modern rain-dance:
Now that we are all done throwing up, let’s continue.
In Germany, parents tell their toddlers to finish their food on the plate, otherwise it’ll rain tomorrow. Well now it’s live in the dark, or else it’ll rain a lot, or not enough, or whatever. “Let’s all turn off our lights altogether now so that we can have a better future. Aren’t we all just good little boys and girls! Hooooray!”
Yes, it’s time to call the doctor. Personally, they can ram this retardation where it’s permanently dark.
I guess some creatures and criminals of the night will especially like this. Women stay home (and leave the lights on outside and inside).
Hungary International Airport to switch off tarmac lights!
And get a load of this craziness: A bunch of moron officials at the Budapest Hungary International Airport are going to play around with the tarmac lights! Talk about making the world a safer place to live. Read here.
Of course, we can counter all this madness. For example I’m going to upgrade my light bulbs.
The 500-watt flood lights work well too. Do your part to light up the world. Make your neighbourhood safer tomorrow. Light it up!
Back in January I wrote about how the Arctic had gained 2000 cubic kilometres in icevolume. This was calculated by comparing the sea ice thickness of January 2008 to that of January 2011, see the following chart.
Blue color shows thin ice, while green shows thicker ice. Clearly the Arctic’s ice was much thicker in Jan-2011 than it was three years ago in Jan-2008. There is about twice as much solid green in 2011 than in 2008, thus yielding the net gain of about 2000 cubic kilometers.
5000 cubic km more sea ice?
Now that we’ve just past the March-peak in Arctic sea ice area, I thought it’s a good time to take another look at the Arctic sea ice thickness again. What follows is a comparison of March 23, 2008 (the old death spiral days) and March 25, 2011.
Well lo and behold, we see yet another huge increase. That ice thickness increase has grown even more.
Note the huge difference in just three years. Today practically the entire Arctic cap is green…meaning an average thickness of over 3 meters. In 2008 the average thickness down to about 2m. This is all further confirmed by the current Catlin Arctic Survey (h/t: tomnelson.blogspot).
Some of the ice we crossed was really thick multi-year ice that was just too thick to drill through. Our drill goes to four and a half metres and it wasn’t breaking through. In other areas we were able to drop our measuring devices down to a depth of 200 metres below the floating ice.”
I wonder if Mark Serreze is taking note. Hopefully he’ll behave as the scientist he claims to be and make the observation.
I haven’t systematically calculated the March differences above, but you can assume that the core cap itself has an area of 5 million square km. Now multiply that times one meter of added thickness and you get a volume growth of 5000 cubic km!
Okay, that’s just rough guesstimating (perhaps) on the high side, but the ice gain is whopping no matter what. Dr. “Freeze” Serreze can make the calculation himself. Predictions of higher sea ice extents come September are well-founded. The recovery appears to be well on the way. Arctic warming has disappeared.
Steffen Hentrich of the German liberal institute presents a comparison of the safety of various sources of energy. Much of the media, many politicians and a host of activists have all told us that nuclear energy is too dangerous to be used by man.
Is this claim founded on solid data and facts, or is it run-away hysteria? You be the judge. Shown are the number of deaths per terawatt-hour of energy produced.
By far, probably to James Hansen’s glee, coal, with its dangerous mining work, is the most dangerous of all. Surprisingly, even hydro, wind, and solar power are far more hazardous than nuclear.
Photovoltaic power generation kills, per terawatt-hour, 11 times more people than nuclear.
Using the arguments of the anti-nuclear activists, we can say there needs to be an immediate moratorium on windmills, photovoltaic panels and biomass plants. Compared to nuclear, they’re simply too deadly.
So what does all this mean? Hentrich writes:
With this in mind, nuclear energy alone becomes the scapegoat, and this illustrates the glaring denial of reality in politics and in the public. This also shows that a rapid stop of nuclear power generation will in no way reduce the risks involved in power generation.”
Indeed, stopping nuclear power makes the power generation industry much more dangerous, and not safer.
Last Saturday polar bear poster child Knut died unexpectedly, much to the horror of viewers and fans internationally. Knut was only 4 years old. Polar bears normally live to be more than 30.
Of course, everyone is asking why. What was the cause of death?
Media reports say Knut had some sort of brain ailment. Activists are blaming it all on the Berlin Zoo.
German tabloid BILD claims that offcial cause of death was drowning. But Wolfgang Röhl at German blog achgut.com doesn’t buy it. He writes:
Please – since when do polar bears drown? No, there has got to be something else behind all of this. Professor Stefan Rahmstorf of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, you’re on!”
Yes, the “experts” can clear up all of this – with an authoritive peer-reviewed paper, of course. The consensus is there after all; the science is done. Everybody today knows what every (bad) thing is caused by.
As usual, there have been more horror reports in the media today about the Fukushima crisis in the German media. German Zettels Raum blog brings us back to reality today.
Leading the way with the horror stories was Der Spiegel, which had the headline here at its online site:
Increased Radioactivity – Nuclear Power Plant Fukushima completely evacuated”.
So terrible has the media been with reporting on the nuclear crisis in Japan that Zettels Raum was compelled to write:
You always have to remember that when dealing with the media, journalistic research is something comparable to a chimpanzee dealing with the question of how one can prove the existence of anti-matter.”
It’s that bad. While media outlets like Der Spiegel propagated information distorted into horror stories, here’s what Japanese NHK said of the situation, 7:13 pm Japan time (emphasis added).
TEPCO: Black smoke rises from No.3 reactor
The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says black smoke was seen rising from the No.3 reactor building at the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant at around 4:20 PM on Wednesday. TEPCO told reporters that it received a report 1 hour later that the smoke had gradually cleared.
The company said that the level of radiation near the main gate of the plant, 1 kilometer west of the No.3 reactor, was 265.1-microsieverts-per-hour at 5 PM. They added there had been no major change in the levels after the smoke was observed. On Monday afternoon, gray smoke was seen rising from the same reactor building. TEPCO said that the plumes turned white before disappearing.
The power company evacuated workers from the control room of the No. 3 reactor, as well as firefighters from Tokyo and Yokohama preparing for a water-spraying operation. The firefighters had to abandon their planned water spraying operation for the day.
The evacuation took place at only one of the control rooms of the 6 reactors. Click here to see a graphic on radiation levels at the plant. Here you can see that radiation levels are trending down.
The prices that is. The UK Daily Mail reports today that inflation has reached the highest level in 20 years. Price increases have been fuelled primarily by an increase in VAT from 17.5% to 20%, and spiralling energy prices. The Mail writes:
For millions, the biggest battle is finding the money to fill up their car. The average price of petrol and diesel has never been higher. For example, a 50-litre diesel car now costs £70 to fill, compared with £59 last year. Unions said the inflation figures from the Office for National Statistics show ‘how tough it is for working families struggling to afford the most basic necessities, like food and fuel’.
Dr Ros Altmann, the director general of Saga, described the inflation figures as ‘truly dreadful’.”
Indeed a litre of petrol is up 14.7% in February over a year earlier, a litre of diesel is up 19.7%. And a litre of pure vegetable oil is up a whopping 42% and electricity up 6.5% . For petrol and diesel that all translates into something like $8 or$9 a gallon. This is the near future in America if you let the envirokooks get their way.
Risk of blackouts in Germany
Meanwhile in Germany electricity prices are also jumping. And as the country shuts down 7 of its nuclear power plants in a panic reaction to Fukushima, pressure for even higher prices will certainly mount. FOCUS magazine reports here that:
Many consumers are now threatened with a bad surprise when they get their next electric bills. According to an energy portal, prices will increase at 43 utilities. Also gas consumers are hit.
The announced price increases of the 43 utilities are at an average of 6.5%, according to the consumer portal.”
Natural gas prices are also rising. FOCUS reports that 37 utilities will jack up the prices.
High energy costs are not the only factor causing woes for German consumers. Soon they may no longer be able to rely on a steady supply. Yet another FOCUS report warns of possible blackouts, writing:
The German Energy Agency cautions on an overly hasty shutdown of nuclear energy. Switching off seven reactors power outages. The power grid needs to be massively expanded.”
The expansion of the power grid of course is to accommodate offshore windfarms and solar panels. The 7 nuclear power plants are scheduled to be shut down in May.
We have to keep repeating this because the irresponsible media keeps distorting everything.
Zettels Raum brings the latest update here. So far every single one of his reports has been spot on.
Here are the latest main points:
Works on the nuclear power plant have made amazing progress. One can say with high probability that no big accident will occur. The catastrophe, which the media has been filled with, will not take place.
The first days of activity focused on preventing a meltdown of the reactors. To do this the pressure inside the containment had to be lowered by releasing air out of the containment and into the reactor building. That led to two consequences:
1) the air was radioactive and escaped into the surrounding environment. This improvement naturally led to a worsening situation on the other hand. This makes every decision a difficult balancing act.
2) hydrogen had gathered in the room between the containment and the building roof when the valves were opened, which led to an explosion. The resulting harmless fire outside of the containment made for good pictures for the media and led them to falsely claim that the reactor had been reduced to rubble and ash. These picture were shown repeatedly on TV. See here.
The fact is that there was very little damage – and workers were back immediately putting the system back into order.Such trade-offs have been the order of the last day.Now also Blocks 3 and 4 are now connected to the power grid and so this allows the control room to be put back into operation. But switching on the the power is not possible as long as huge amounts of water continue to be sprayed onto the reactor building. This leads to a difficult decision: When can you risk stopping the external cooling – at least temporarily – to allow the power to be switched back on and to change over to normal cooling by pumps?
As NHK reported this evening at 18:01 CET, normal cooling of Block 3 will begin tomorrow, provided that the external cooling of this block ends. This is all about making the transition from improvised cooling over to normal cooling operation in a coordinated manner, and making sure that cooling goes as uninterrrupted as possible.”
Thanks to Zettels Raum blog for keeping us informed.
Many of you may have noticed that Steve Goddard at his Real Science site has recently posted a number of similar articles, putting to rest that weather extremes are exclusive to today (because of our CO2 emissions). Indeed they were just as frequent in the past.
Der Spiegel starts by mentioning that Mexican construction workers in 2007 in Tula had excavated into an ancient Toltec chamber which held the skeletons of 24 youths, all under the age of 15. Among the bones were small statues of the god of rain, Tlaloc. The children had not died of natural causes, but had been sacrificed – in the year 1150 AD.
They had been the victims of futile weather appeasement rituals performed by high priests.
Tree rings show extreme droughts in the past
A recent study by author David Stahle, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, shows that an ancient drought, previously confirmed for the U.S. Southwest, extended into central Mexico from 1149 to 1167, and thus likely delivered the potentially fatal blow to the Toltec culture.
Stahle and his co-authors assembled a new and complete 1,238-year-long tree-ring chronology – the longest and most accurate of its kind – for ancient Mexico and Central America (or Mesoamerica). It is the first to reconstruct the yearly climate of pre-colonial Mexico over more than a millennium and identifies four ancient megadroughts down to their exact years.
Stahle’s team used 30 specimens of the more than 1000 year old Montezuma bald cypress trees near Tenochtitlan, which served as the captial of the Aztec empire, and Tula. Our amazing planet.com writes:
Tree rings give a precise estimate for wetness for every single year, Stahle said. The researchers determined the year of formation for each tree ring and analyzed what the rings’ growth patterns had to say about how soil moisture varied from growth season to growth season over the years, a parameter directly associated with rainfall.”
Stahle and his team stumbled upon the reason why these children had been sacrificed: Severe droughts had been decimating the Toltec population, and so the Aztec priests appear to have had the children sacrificed to in a bid to end the weather extreme that had gripped the region and parched their agricultural activity. Der Spiegel writes:
For many years the fields yielded too few crops to feed the people. At the end, the drought was so bad that the residents of Tula offered the god of rain the blood of children in a bid to gain back mercy – but the drought stayed.”
The drought lasted 18 years, from 1149 to 1167, forcing an entire generation to grow up under constatnt hunger and killing thousands. Der Spiegel also writes that another major drought could be easily discerned from the tree-ring chronology, one beginning in the year 1514, five years before Cortez and the Conquistadors landed on the Mexican beaches, and ending in 1539. Like the Toltecs, the Aztecs also performed human sacrifices. Der Spiegel:
Similar to the Toltecs, the Aztecs tried to appease god of rain Tlaloc; archeologists discovered the skeletons of 42 executed children in the large pyramids of the Aztec capital if Tenochtitlan.”
Strangely the ouramazingplanet.com article issues a message of warning to today’s societies, though probably not the one it intended. University of Tennessee/Knoxville archaeologist David Anderson says:
This study will prompt a great deal of follow-up research by archaeologists and paleoclimatologists alike, and offers lessons for our own civilization — specifically how vulnerable complex societies may be to drought-induced crop failures.”
If any lesson ought to be learned from all this, it is that rain-dancing and performing rituals to appease the weather gods with the aim to prevent “weather extremes” is not only ineffective, but is pure madness.
The difference today is that at least Toltecs and Aztecs waited until things were really desperate before embarking on their madness. In today’s modern world, at the very height of human prosperity, we have science lunatics proposing the same mad behaviour in a bid to prevent weather extremes in a distant future – based on tea leaves and crystal balls.
Now if global warming causes more, and more intense storms, then there must be some serious cooling going on right about now. Storms are practically off the radar! Here’s the chart for the last 40 years.
Dr Maue writes, adding his own emphasis:
Global Tropical Cyclone ACE does not show an upward trend in communion with global temperatures.”
Where’s the media? He also writes (emphasis added):
The March 21, 2011 00Z ECMWF deterministic 10-day forecast does not indicate another TC developing during the month. This will bring the previous 12-month total of global TCs down to 63 — by far the lowest in the last 40-years or more.”
Dr, Maue also says that this level is possibly “unprecedented”.
So what should we start expecting from the “climate scientists? First they said global warming would lead to warmer temperatures. But then they changed their minds and said that it leads to colder winters. That means we can expect them to reverse on tropical storms and claim that warming will cause tropical storm inactivity.
But don’t count on it. For that to happen, the global warming “scientists” would first have to jump out of the pockets of reinsurers and into the pockets of those with interest in no storms, whoever that could be.
The animated graphic below was created by geophysicist Joachim Saul from the Helmholtz Association GFZ Research Centre for Geosciences, read here and shows the sequence of quakes since March 9. The animated image is available at www.gfz-potsdam.de. Click the image to activate.
The GFZ press release writes:
It shows the earthquake activity in the region of Honshu, Japan, measured at the GFZ since 8 March 2011. After a seismically quiet 8th March, the morning (coordinated universal time UTC) of the March 9 began with an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 off the Japanese east coast, followed by a series of smaller aftershocks.
The morning of March 11 sees the earthquake disaster that triggered the devastating tsunami. This earthquake is followed by many almost severe aftershocks, two of which almost reach the magnitude 8. In the following time period the activity slowly subsides, and is dominated today (March 16) by relatively small magnitude 5 quakes, though several earthquakes of magnitude 6 are being registered on a daily basis.
By analysing over 500 GPS stations, the GFZ scientists Rongjiang Wang and Thomas Walter have found that horizontal displacements of up to five meters in an eastern direction occurred at the east coast of Japan. The cause lies in the earthquake zone, i.e. at the contact interface of the Pacific plate with Japan. Computer simulations of this surface show that an offset of up to 25 meters occurred during the earthquake.
Calculations of the GFZ modeling group headed by Stephan Sobolev even yielded a displacement of up to 27 meters and a vertical movement of seven meters. This caused an abrupt elevation in the deep sea, and thus triggered the tsunami. The images of the GPS displacement vectors and the computer simulations can also be found among the online material provided by the GFZ.
Already shortly after the quake Andrey Babeyko and Stephan Sobolev of the GFZ modeled the propagation and wave heights of the tsunami in the Pacific over the first 16 hours. The tremendous force of the earthquake is highlighted here, too: in the open Pacific, relatively large wave heights of over one meter were calculated, which agrees very well with the observations. How high the tsunami is piled up on the coast is largely determined by water depth and the shape of the coastline. The GFZ material also contains an image and an animation regarding this work.”
Some sad news I am compelled to report today. The German poster child of Arctic ice melt, polar bear Knut, died mysteriously yesterday at the Berlin Zoological Garden.
No animal had ever been so instrumentalized by the German media for the purpose of rallying attention and sympathy to the mythical plight of the polar bears in the Arctic. According to Wikipedia:
Knut (born 5 December 2006 – died 19 March 2011) was a polar bear born in captivity at the Berlin Zoological Garden. Rejected by his mother at birth, he was raised by zookeepers. He was the first polar bear cub to survive past infancy at the Berlin Zoo in more than 30 years. At one time the subject of international controversy, he became a tourist attraction and commercial success.After the German tabloid newspaper Bild ran a quote from an animal rights activist that decried keeping the cub in captivity, fans worldwide rallied in support of his being hand-raised by humans. Children protested outside the zoo, and e-mails and letters expressing sympathy for the cub’s life were sent from around the world.
Knut became the center of a mass media phenomenon dubbed “Knutmania” that spanned the globe and spawned toys, media specials, DVDs, and books. Because of this, the cub was largely responsible for a significant increase in revenue, estimated at about five million euros, at the Berlin Zoo in 2007. Zoo attendance figures for the year had increased by an estimated 30 percent, making it the most profitable year in its 163-year history. Knut died at the age of four on the afternoon of 19 March 2011.”
Unfortunately, Knut did not fare well in captivity. His chances surely would have been better if he had lived up in the Arctic (assuming no rejection by his mother), where the polar bear population has quadrupled over the last 50 years or so.
I wonder if Germany is going to declare a national day of mourning. Knut’s death is being reported everywhere. Rest in peace, Knut. Hopefully where you are now, you won’t have hordes of enviro-drones gawking at you all day long.
Am I being too hard on Knut tourists? Was there a “Brennpunkt” news special yesterday evening? Flags flying at half mast?…
Reading the controversy part of the Wikipedia account, I have to say the let-Knut-die proponents have an inhumane view. It wasn’t his fault he was born there. The keepers have a young animal on their hands, and it is their moral obligation to care for it. Sometimes I ask myself what for barbarians are out there. As short as his life was, I’m sure he had many moments of content.
ARD public television is Germany’s flagship news channel which broadcasts its “Tagesschau” news at the prime-time slot of 8 p.m. You can compare it to the BBC News (unfortunately its reputation is following the same path).
It’s no secret that the German media has über-hyped the news in Japan in order to über-dramatize the nuclear power plant accident. So dramatic was the response to the incident in Japan that Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered the immediate shutdown of 7 of Germany’s older reactors in order to restore some semblance of calm among Germany’s freaked out population.
As an example of the media’s reckless reporting, Zettels Raum blog here brings our attention to 14 factual errors made in the ARD news last Thursday evening. Zettels Raum writes:
You will probably not want to believe what you are about to read, but it is the truth: In itsPrime-time newscast yesterday at 8 pm, the “Tageschau” reported 2:30 min on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. In these two and half minutes, there were 14 factual errors.”
The Zettels Raum author then lists all 14 errors and corrects them. As a whole, the entire ARD report was what Germans would call a media GAU (huge media meltdown). Of course all the errors, every one of them, served to exaggerate and over-dramatize the situation. I’ll now describe briefly each error.
Error 1: ARD claimed the military used water cannons and helicopters to cool the reactor, when in fact the water cannons were used by the police, and the military used helicopters of the fire department of a military base.
Error 2: ARD claimed that personnel risked their lives. Zettels Raum calls this claim “absurd”, saying that the guidelines for exposure to radiation by workers were fully adhered to.
Error 3:ARD claimed the radiation in the area had increased sharply, when in fact the radiation had dropped from 3. 8 mSv/h to 1.6 mSv/hr.
Error 4:ARD claimed that a video had been published in the Internet showing the destruction, when in fact the video was news footage from an NHK program.
Error 5: ARD claimed that the helicopter that made the video “flew over the reactor grounds,” when in fact it was 30 km away.
Error 6: ARD claimed that the army way trying to prevent a reactor meltdown, when in fact the risk of such had not been in existence for days. The real concern were for the used fuel rods that were outside of the reactor.
Error 7 and 8: ARD claimed attempts by helicopters and water cannons to cool the reactors were interrupted and so precious time was being lost in the fight against a nuclear catastrophe, when in fact the water cannons were replaced by the more powerful fire-fighting vehicles of the military, and the claim that “precious time was being lost” was freely fabricated by ARD.
Error 9: ARD claimed that there was a hydrogen explosion at the building, in Block 3 an explosion in the building, when in fact the explosions did not occur once “at” and once “in” the building, but with both blocks in the reactor building.
Error 10:ARD claimed that the fuel rods had been exposed at times and that there was an explosion in Block 2 that may have damaged the reactor core and that after a fire the fuel rods were exposed and could not be cooled. But in fact, Zettels Raum blog writes:
A connection between the fire (likely burning lubrication oil) and exposed fuel elements is not known up to now. The elements are no longer suffciently covered by water because the pumps didn’t function, and the water in all cooling ponds – whether there was a fire or not – had evaporated.”
Error 11:And so, ARD claimed that the exposed fuel rods would eventually heat up to the point they would melt, penetrate the concerte reactor encasing and eventually reach the earth and then radioactively contaminate the groundwater. Zettels Raum calls this claim: “one of the most absurd errors in this “Tagesschau” report, saying reactors 1-3 had long since ben cooled and that reactor 4 had not been in operation and thus no heating to lead to such a scenario.
Error 12: ARD claimed that experts were working feverishly to lay an emergency power supply line to the power plant in order to switch on the cooling system, when in fact it wasn’t an emergency power supply, but a line to the ordinary ordinary high voltage power grid.
Error 13: ARD claimed that line would be finished earliest on Friday, and that it was unknown whether or not the cooling unit would even switch on. At this point German viewers were probably biting their fingers off. But the fact was that it was already Friday in Japan – 4 a.m. – when the ARD report was being aired. So there was no way for the line to be finished on Thursday or earlier.
Error 14: How the ARD knew that it is”unknown” whether it would function is their “secret”. Of course pumps can be repaired and put back into operation. But you need power to do this.
Zettels Raum concludes as follows:
Is that only a mess, sloppiness or pure ignorance? Or is it political agitation? What is obvious, in any case, is that all the errors were made without exception in a way that exaggerated the actual damage and actual danger. If this were simply sloppiness, one would then expect some errors to be made in the other direction too.”
In none of the reactors are there processes where there is a danger of something going out of control. The nuclear catastrophe is not taking place.”
That’s quoting Zettels Raum blog description of the deescalating situation at the Fukushima Diichi facility. Zettels Raum blog has been monitoring the Fukushima incident since the start, and reports on the latest.
Water is being pumped into the reactors with high-capacity airport fire fighting vehicles used by the military. A special piece of equipment has been flown in from the USA as well. Zettels raum writes:
Yesterday 44 fire fighting vehicles with 141 firemen arrived from Tokyo. According to the NHK , these are ‘elite units’. One of the vehicles is equipped with an unmanned extinguishing tower that is 22 meters tall and is designed to fight fires that are difficult to reach. In addition the military is using 5 extinguishing vehicles. So far today, 60,000 litres of water have been sprayed onto Block 3. The operation today will last a total of 7 hours.”
Things are getting under control there. But if you listen to the mainstream media to get the news about what is going on, you’ll quickly find yourself buying a Geiger counter, getting iodine tablets and digging a bomb shelter in your back yard. Again, it’s messy work and things don’t happen right away. On the power situation:
NISA has informed that power connections to Blocks 1, 2 , 3 and 4 will be completed on Saturday. In Blocks 5 and 6 the cooling systems have been put into operation.”
Zettels Raum also reports on radiation:
Radiation on the premises is decreasing, but is fluctuating.”
Around the atomic power plant there is a 20-km evacuation zone , and a 30-km zone in which people have been requested to stay indoors. Most measurements taken beyond these zones show higher, but not dangerous, radiation levels (between 0.0005 mSv/hr and 0.052 mSv/hr).”
And Zettels Raum ends their status report, as mentioned above, with:
Probably the most important news missing in the NHK report: Information that is a cause for worry. In none of the reactors are there processes where there is a danger of something going out of control. The nuclear catastrophe is not taking place.”
And for the rest of you (the gullible alarmists out there who believe everything the MSM spews) – this is for you: