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Climate Change and Tommy Cooper

Tommy Cooper

Tommy Cooper

I remember an old  Tommy Cooper gag that went something like this;

I went to the doctor and said,  “Doctor, doctor.  It hurts when I do this”  (Cooper raises his knee upwards to demonstrate)

The doctor said, “Well don’t do it, then

The point is that it’s exactly like our prolific consumption of carbon-based fuels, but even worse,  the now openly thought assumption that Global Climate Engineering is an antidote to global warming. An Elastoplast for the weather!  Ha Ha.

Because of the world’s dependence on burning carbon, no-one wants to stop doing it.  Economic growth, health, prosperity, comfort and status.   We can’t afford to.  No-one can.

A few days without petrol in 2000 in the UK demonstrated that admirably.

Why, oh why, didn´t I take the blue pill ?

Why, oh why, didn´t I take the blue pill ?

So instead of reducing consumption, all the mad-cap ideas ever invented are now being loudly mooted which will put it into people’s heads that not only are they possible, but also that they will happen People will think that climate change is like an illness, and can be treated with an aspirin.

But it’s not.

The trouble is, that all the ideas are possible, but the consequences have never been tested.  Because it’s the climate on the world we inhabit, there is no dummy test run for any of these plans.  And because the Thermo-haline Circulation (THC) in the oceans takes ~1000 years to complete it’s full circuit, and because the THC is a major component of the Earth’s climate (because water and salt are such good heat stores), any changes we make now and have made in the past, will take centuries to smooth out.  In short…..

We’ve got one shot at it.

Royal Society afforability and effectivness graph

Royal Society afforability and effectivness graph

There are host of ideas; wave-powered pumps to speed up ocean circulation; salt crystals in the sky to increase planetary albedo; space mirror to reflect sunlight;  grind up scrap cars for ocean fertilisation to increase algal growth; artificial trees (to replace the ones we’ve chopped down?) – in short, heaps of them.

But none have been tested and none can ever, ever, be tested.  There is no sandbox area.  No roll-back facility.  No system restore.  No Backup.  That’s it.  It’s all or nothing.

Q. Why?  A. Because the climate is a very complex thing and errors done at the macroscopic level will take millennia to work out of the system, if at all.  Remember, the climate doesn’t smoothly vary. It swings wildly between two or more stable states, currently “Ice Age” and “Not quite Ice Age“.

The simplest way to reduce global warming, and at the same time make our nations less strategically dependant on others, and without all the problems of over-compensation, is just as Tommy Cooper’s doctor said,

Don’t Do It!

Don’t burn so much, don’t consume so much.

The tipping point, from the guys at the Royal Society and James Lovelock, will be when I’m about 75.  Reduced pensions in my old age will be the least of my worries!

desolation-wilderness

Further Reading

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Megrahi and Calley Compared and Contrasted

Who?  Who Are Megrahi and Calley

  1. Megrahi: the only person convicted over the Lockerbie bombing

    Megrahi: only person convicted over the Lockerbie bombing

    Megrahi is a Libyan, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering 270 people by blowing up a 747 over Lockerbie in Scotland – but released early after 8 years (but 10 years in prison) and sent to Libya to die of cancer.

  2. William Laws Calley - convicted American war criminal

    William Calley - convicted American war criminal

    Calley is an American, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on 22 sample charges of  murdering over 500 people by shooting, beatings, torture, mutilation and sexual abuse in Vietnam – but released early after 3 years and has so far lived quietly for over 35 years.

Further similarities and differences exist.

    1988: wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 in a field in Lockerbie, Scotland.

    1988: wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 in a field in Lockerbie, Scotland.

  1. Megrahi has always said he was innocent and was convicted on one piece of clothing evidence and the say-so of a disgruntled acquaintance in Malta.
      Moammar Gadhafi - Libyan Dictator

      Moammar Gadhafi - Libyan Dictator

    • It’s been suggested that people at the highest level in Libya organised the plane bombing.  Gadhafi has always remained aloof, grunted and ambiguously farted.
    • The evidence could have easily have been tampered with as it remained for many months in disputed, easily corruptible circumstances.
  2. My Lai massacre

    My Lai massacre

  3. Lt Calley admitted the murders but always claimed he was acting under orders.  This higher command, Ernest Medina, has always disputed this.  Medina too, was tried.  His trial lasted 60 mins and he was acquitted of all charges.  Nevertheless, this ‘innocent’ man’s career was over.

Current Status

When Calley was released by the soon-to-be-disgraced Republican President Nixon, many in the US and elsewhere were outraged and shocked.  Calley was hidden from view and eventually forgotten about, except for his recent admission that he’s ‘sorry every day’ – see news link.

Along with a whole charade of political shenanigans including the notable damning silence from prime Minister Brown, Megrahi has been released to Libyan custody who immediately paraded him as a Terry Waite-like hero.  The custody thing is a blur.  He will die soon.  Megrahi’s public statement on his release bears detailed reading.  If he is telling the truth, his words are those of a patient, honourable man, restraining himself against the unjust forces of the world.

  • He bears no ill-will to the Scottish people, medical and prison staff.
  • For the victims’ relatives of the bombing, he expresses sincere sympathy.
  • For his trial, he expresses disillusionment at the failings of a supposedly fair system.  I’ve studied his face in Amsterdam and elsewhere.  This is genuine.
  • Now these are his actual words:
  • I cannot find words in my language or yours that give proper expression to the desolation I have felt. This horrible ordeal is not ended by my return to Libya.

    It may never end for me until I die. Perhaps the only liberation for me will be death.

    And I say in the clearest possible terms, which I hope every person in every land will hear: all of this I have had to endure for something that I did not do.

    The remaining days of my life are being lived under the shadow of the wrongness of my conviction.

He finishes by saying,

I say goodbye to Scotland and shall not return. My time here has been very unhappy and I do not leave a piece of myself. But to the country’s people I offer my gratitude and best wishes.

Conclusion

V for vendettaThese are not the words of a lying man.  He is a disillusioned patsy, a fall-guy for bigger forces.  This is the likely reason for his release.  It’s as if there’s an un-written code that everyone knows but dare not admit – but it must be enacted to equalise the communal guilt of an informed nation that suspects a gross injustice.

V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta

Gadhafi, on the other hand, is laughing up his sleeve.  And the rabid right in the USA just use his release as fuel for their strident cries for battle.  The real power in the USA just sit tight, saving that fuel for another day, when another mass of innocents are mown down for profit in the hills of Pakistan.

Calley, exams failure of the US schools system, is right to think on his actions every day, and to think how truly lucky he is to be alive.  Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, ha ha.

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Flight AF 447 Upward Jets, More Evidence

Continuing on From…  What Killed Flight AF 447

Air France A330-200

Air France A330-200

Since the search for the ‘black boxes’ of Flight 447 was abandoned a few days ago (20th Aug 2009 – see news item),  only 3 days later, Nature’s On-line version has published reports of the jet things I was going on about in my first article about my thoughts on the disaster.  A free synopsis is here:

Quantification of the troposphere-to-ionosphere charge transfer in a gigantic jet

The article points out the currently known differences between the various electrical strikes, or jets, but two common things are stated in the summary:

  1. They all go upwards from the weather tops towards the edge of space.
  2. They all have massive amounts of charge.
Gigantic jets can travel more than 60km (40 miles) into the ionosphere

Gigantic jets can travel more than 60km (40 miles) into the ionosphere

Furthermore, the BBC has published a photo of this rarely seen phenomenon, “upwards lightning”.!

It turns out that the work (by Duke University), was done last year, but has only come to light in Nature today.

And Now?

For now, because there’s been no real extra evidence produced, jets or lightning strikes like this one (and others in the YouTube videos on my first article), I still think are a very good candidate for an explanation of the plane’s demise.

There are several reasons for this:

  • Air France Flight 447

    Air France Flight 447

    Several other planes were in the same area of the (large scale and not unusual) storms.  They were basically untroubled by the storms.

  • The other planes  saw nothing (apart from one which saw a possible flash of an explosion), which only adds fuel to the elusive quality of these electrical discharges.
  • This rarity of the strikes (as in the recent image above), coupled to their speed, all helps to confirm that if such a strike happened, it would be unlikely to have been seen.
  • The recent Duke research proves that such a strike, would be very powerful.
  • Modern planes are tested for many eventualities.  But a rare, high-power bolt of energy, is, by definition, very hard to test against.  Probably, the only way it could be done, would be to wheel a plane to a high power underground physics lab – but could it fit? !!
  • AF447 Rudder

    AF447 Rudder

    The plane crashed into the sea almost certainly in one piece (i.e. – no air break-up) because ,

    • unlike some other air-break-up crashes, the passenger bodies were not seriously damaged by a high-speed blast of air and rapid decompression.
    • large pieces of the aircraft were found – high altitude break-ups normally increase fragmentation and the bits aren’t large
    • the tail-fin damage proves it was attached when the plane hit the water
  • Apart from garbled radio alerts from the confused auto system, there were no human alerts from the crew of any kind…. ?    This means that either,
    • all of the crew were very busy
    • all (or most) of the crew were incapacitated
    • none of the normal communication systems worked
  • This suggests, to me, that the plane went into a flat spin or shallow dive, but not so extravagant as to snap the wings, tail or fuselage.
  • Coupled to the lack of messages, it suggests that most, if not all, electrical systems were dead.
    • It also suggests that the auto reporting system was more robust and had an independent power supply – which is true.  It, however, was getting duff information from the plane’s sensors, hence the garbled and conflicting automatic radio reports.
  • This all suggests a massive electrical strike, so fast and rare that no-one else in the area saw it.
    • If this incapacitated the crew, no-one is saying…  the reports I’ve read make no mention.

Ergo, upwards lightning, a blue jet or some other similar thing, but just enough to incapacitate the plane and most of it’s electrics…

Flat Spin

There’s an interesting video below, of a trained fighter pilot (arguably more proficient and clear-headed than an airline pilot), flying an F14 Tomcat into a flat spin.

The pilot says virtually nothing, even though comms were working.  The plane just spins and spins, dropping 15,000 feet until the guy bales out.

But notice how the plane does not break up in ‘flight’….

Q. So what does it mean?

A. It means the F14 was notorious for this and that even the best of pilots get spun into speechless confusion.

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Technical Xenophobic BBC Air Crash Reports

Introduction

You may not have noticed the co-incidence yesterday, but an Iranian aircraft crashed and the US Space Shuttle took off.  the co-incidence was in  the strange reporting that envelops such events.

Iranian Crash

Fly home, AF447

Fly home, AF447

This, as air crashes go, was pretty ordinary – something went wrong, it crashed, everyone died.  You’d expect some reasoned discussion, bearing in mind that one of the most modern and newest planes in the sky plummeted into the South Atlantic little over a month ago.

This is what the BBC said about it near the end of the piece:

The plane was built in Russia in 1987.

It was the third deadly crash of a Tupolev Tu-154 in Iran since 2002.

The BBC’s Jon Leyne says Iran’s civil and military air fleets are made up of elderly aircraft, in poor condition due to their age and lack of maintenance.

Since the Islamic revolution of 1979, trade embargoes by Western nations have forced Iran to buy mainly Russian-built planes to supplement an existing fleet of Boeings and other American and European models.

West v East technology

This is all well and good, but the deadly tone with an emphasis on old and/or Russian aircraft makes a bad taste in the mouth, does it not?…  Why?

A.  Because there’s very little technical difference between the Russian and Western aircraft.

challenger

Challenger

Indeed, on the very day that the Shuttle takes off, I’m reminded of the technical superiority of Russian astronautics and space exploration.  While not putting a man on the moon,  they pragmatically put a robot there instead, paving the way for the robots we now have placed on Mars & Venus, etc.

They have a long and distinguished history of space “firsts”…  But the ultimate irony is that the much vaunted Space Shuttle has had very public catastrophic failures in the past and is soon to be retired.  And until the US gets a new launch vehicle, for the next 4-6 years they will be relying on the Russians to put men in space!

Actual Crashes

So much for balance!  The BBC article then continues in a box-out,

IRANIAN PLANE CRASHES

Feb 2006: Tupolev crashes in Tehran, kills 29 people – E
Dec 2005: C-130 military transport plane crashes near Tehran, kills 110 – W
Feb 2003: Iranian military transport plane crashes in south of country, kills all 276 on board – E
Dec 2002: Antonov 140 commuter plane crashes in central Iran, kills all 46 people on board – E
Feb 2002: Tupolev crashes in west Iran, kills all 199 on board – E

Looks bad doesn’t it?

A Russian airliner that crashed near a city in the Urals, killing all 88 people on board, caught fire in mid-air, reports say.  The Boeing-737-500, belonging to a branch of the national airline Aeroflot, was on a flight from Moscow to Perm, near the Ural mountains.   One witness said the blaze lit up the whole sky

A Russian airliner that crashed near a city in the Urals, killing all 88 people on board, caught fire in mid-air, reports say. The Boeing-737-500, belonging to a branch of the national airline Aeroflot, was on a flight from Moscow to Perm, near the Ural mountains. One witness said the blaze lit up the whole sky

Compare and contrast this to this little list of large plane crashes (from the BBC article, but as a link), and count the relative abundance of Eastern versus Western manufactured planes…..

2009

15 July: A Caspian Airlines Tupolev plane crashes in the north of Iran en route to Armenia. All 168 passengers and crew are reported dead. – E

30 June: A Yemeni passenger plane, an Airbus 310, crashes in the Indian Ocean near the Comoros archipelago. Only one of the 153 people on board survives. – W

1 June: An Air France Airbus 330 travelling from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashes into the Atlantic with 228 people on board. Search teams later recover some 50 bodies in the ocean. – W

20 May: An Indonesian army C-130 Hercules transport plane crashes into a village on eastern Java, killing at least 97 people. – W

6 April: An Indonesian army Fokker-27 crashes on landing near Bandung, West Java, killing 24 people. – W

25 February: A flight from Istanbul to Amsterdam crashes short of the runway at Schiphol international airport. Of the 135 people on board, nine are killed and at least 50 injured. – W

Forty-nine people were killed when a flight from Newark to Buffalo crashed in Clarence Center, a suburb of Buffalo, in New York state. One person was also killed on the ground.

Forty-nine people were killed when a flight from Newark to Buffalo crashed in Clarence Center, a suburb of Buffalo, in New York state. One person was also killed on the ground.

12 February: A passenger plane crashes into a house in Buffalo, New York, killing all 49 people on board and one person on the ground. – W

8 February: A passenger plane crashes into a river in the Brazilian state of Amazonas, killing 24 people, most of whom were from the same family. – W

2008

14 September: A Boeing-737 crashes on landing near the central Russian city of Perm, killing all 88 passengers and crew members on board. – W

24 August: A passenger plane crashes shortly after take-off from Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, killing 68 people.- W

20 August: A Spanair plane veers off the runway on take-off at Madrid’s Barajas airport, killing 154 people and injuring 18.- W

Wreckage of the Spanair MD82, 21 August 2008 [Pic: EFE]

Three days of mourning was declared after the Madrid air disaster

2 May: South Sudan’s defence minister is among 22 people killed after engine trouble causes a plane carrying a military delegation to crash about 400km (250 miles) west of Juba. -N/A

15 April: Some 40 people die when a DC-9 skids off the runway while attempting to take off in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Goma during heavy rain, smashing through a wall and into a busy residential area.- W

24 January: Nineteen people die when a Polish Casa C-295M military transport plane crashes in the country’s north-west, carrying officials who had attended an air safety conference.- W

Conclusion

For 2008 to 2009, I make the totals, as reported by the BBC, 1 unknown, 12 (W)estern manufacture, 1 (E)astern manufacture.

Now do you see the technological xenophobia that I’m talking about?

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Nice Car -such a Shame.

New Jaguar XJ

New Jaguar XJ

New Jaguar XJ

In common with most cars like this, it’s a lovely looking machine – a style marvel; sleek and vapid, mercurial.

It’s also a waste of space and a waste of effort.

It’s two tonnes of mass for a 400kg payload is pants.  An ecological disaster zone.

Money for Old Rope

New York Congestion

New York Congestion

Not only that, with the firm reputably losing £1m per day, it’s cost of >£50k to a tad under £90k means that 10-20 will need to be sold each day just to cover that loss, without any pretence at covering their own manufacturing costs.

Utah Congestion

Utah Congestion

Tata, it’s Indian owner paid $2.3bn for the company.  Now the UK and Europe are being asked to bail it out for £300m to keep the 15k workers in jobs and preserve the veneer of a static environmental world, bathed in an everlasting sea of fossil fuel.  Ravi Kant sees profits in two years…

Worldwide, Jaguar sold ~65k cars in 2008.  Most luxury makers are seeing sales drops of  at least 20% for each of the last two years.  Many barely made money even in the good times!! This figure covers some fuzz though.  Because these 65k cars cost from ~£20k to ~£80k, a simple like-for-like calculation cannot be made.  The intention is to drop some models next year in favour of the more expensive car.  So 65k cars again?

I don’t think so.  Call it 50k cars.

Melbourne, Australia congestion

Melbourne, Australia congestion

The irony isn’t just in the financial gloss applied to make it appear that Shangri-La is returning very soon;  a bizarre hope exists of a ‘business as usual’ scenario, when we can repeat the whole cycle again.

The irony is in the design of the vehicle, it’s presentation to the public, and the public’s perception of the machine as a desirable status symbol, swooping over life’s problems like fuel shortages, the congestion of our urban sprawls and speed limits.

The Jaguar website provides full technical specifications for the vehicle, which show it to have good acceleration and economy.  They fail to point out that the standard laws of physics mean these aren’t at the same time…

Jaguar cub

Bored young Jaguar

The slow-motion pictures at the beginning of the launch video aren’t slow at all.  This is real-time speed in a traffic queue, the place where the vehicle will spend most of it’s travelling life.

And whenever the Jaguar owner feels like opening it up to it’s 155mph limited maximum, hopefully they’ll be reassured that it’s lightweight, rivetted aluminium structure is stronger than that of the similarly shiny, magnesium and aluminium Mercedes which was in this crash below, at only 125mph.

The point is that rapid transport itself is a luxury.  Although we in the West have become accustomed to ever cheaper travel of all types, this has been at the expense of the future.  Like the credit crunch, we are “leveraging” today’s resources against tomorrows expectations of a miracle.  The pot of black gold isn’t bottomless, but the continuing production of anachronisms like this beautiful car, seeks only to deceive us that it is.

The only miracle will be if people see the truth that they’ve been living in a dream world for the past century.   In the 35,000 years of human existence, these last hundred are but a plip in a pond.

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