Tag Archives: Science

The Climate Change Pope, Part 2

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In my recent post The Climate Change Pope, Part 1, I provided a brief historical context as to why I believe i can speak to this issue with some clarity from the standpoint of science and mathematics, as well as modeling.    I have done my best to take an unbiased look at the data, and have also studied a number of the less black and white issues around the idea of human-caused climate change (which used to be global warming, but I’m convinced that it became obvious that this claim was going to be problematic – nonetheless, climate change is still, generally, used synonymous with a precept that the planet is warming, and that is undergirded by a precept that the warming is caused by humans).

My past history has led me to the conclusion that the theory that humans cause global warming is mostly false.   Call it the Diatribe-o-facto-meter.   I say mostly false because I think there does appear, in my past research, that over the past few decaded the temperature anomalies ride slightly higher than what is otherwise nicely explained by incorporating cyclical trend analysis.   The differential, however, is not what I would call significant.    The fact is, there are very long term warming and cooling trends that take place over time.   We all know this without being science majors – there have been series’ of ice ages and series’ of warmer ages.   One can easily find historical charts dating back millions of years that show these cyclical patterns, determined through different scientific analyses.   Then there are intermediate term cycles withing these longer term cycles.  Finally, we know of at least two sixty-ish year cycles that take place with ocean warming and cooling patterns.    Throw on top of that the solar cycle that lasts a fraction of that time, and it’s easy to see why trying to jump to conclusions by looking at a 10, 20, or 30 year temperature trend needs to consider all sorts of things before you can start talking about what the actual impact of human activity does.

In my past blogging, I attempted to do just that, and my conclusions are that we are in a long/intermediate trend of warming at about 0.4 degrees Celsius per Century.   This has nothing at all to do with human activity.    From the mid 1970s through the 1990s we were in one of the short-term upward cycles.   My analysis showed that we peaked a few years ago, are on top of a wave where temps would be relatively stable, and then start a gradual decline for a number of years before starting to increase once again.    I posted this observation a number of years ago and it’s exactly what happened.

My analysis also showed that recent anomalies where slightly elevated after considering these cycles.    This could have to do with recent solar cycle contribution, or it may well have to do with human contributions.   So I accept a contributory impact.   But it is such a small contribution that it cannot possibly justify back-breaking action.

So, moving on from all that, why is this important?    I have always felt it is important, primarily, because I think we are victims of a combination of honest mistakes and outright lies.    Honest mistakes can be reviewed and debated and corrected.   Outright lies means that there is something more to the story.   The question is, “why would they lie about something like this?”

And this is where the Pope becoming complicit (I believe with good intentions) is quite problematic.    The goal of those who really, really understand the science behind this issue is to promote a particular socioeconomic outcome.   Increase taxation, disallow more and more land use, thus reducing private ownership of land (I just read today that during Obama’s 8 years, he has federalized enough land to fill Texas three times – that is alarming and something we should resist greatly), and – the greatest evil of all – to paint human beings as intrinsically at odds with creation and of lower value than planet earth.

In my next, and final, post on this, I will further explain my position.   In a nutshell, I am not suggesting the Pope doesn’t have a proper concern in making sure we are reminded of our human responsibility to care for God’s creation.   He makes great and humbling points that need to be considered.   My issue is moving beyond the more general spiritual directive in reminding us of our overall responsibility and the broad considerations we need to make in all our actions, and moving into much more specific case of climate change and fossil fuels.   There is a very real danger in how his words will be taken by many odd bedfellows, and in my opinion not only creates potential confusion but also actually, albeit indirectly and unintentionally, aids in the advancement of evil.

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Landscheidt Part 2

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Why am I sharing this?    Well, it’s past writings prior to Catholic Diatribes.   Really, I was just re-reading and rekindling my interest in the climate change debate, and more importantly what the sun might have to do with all of this.

I don’t find it inconsistent at all to stray into other areas of interest in a Catholic blog.   All creation is made by and designed by God.   The realm of science is embraced by the Church as long as its study is aimed at helping us understand creation, and by extension, a little itty bit of the mind of our Creator.   Where we run afoul is somehow thinking that science helps explain things absent from God.   That is a perversion of science, and unfortunately most science has run afoul of the limits of its own discipline.

In addition to that, when I see injustice suggested in the name of science, especially erroneous science, it is entirely Catholic to look for the truth in that issue and combat injustice.   In our day, what should be good – a focus on good stewardship, proper environmental concerns, taking care of our planet, etc. – is elevated to religion and is not kept in balance with human needs.   People are put out of work because of silly environmental policies, but even worse we have started to accept the premise that human beings are bad for the earth.   This leads to further promotion of contraception, abortion, once child policies, sterilization, etc. as an actual good.   But it is not a good – all those are innately evil.

So, with that, let’s talk about the sun and the solar system.

The sun (more accurately, the Center of the Sun – heretofore known as CS) revolves around the Center of Mass of our Solar System (CMSS) as the CMSS traces an orbit around the galaxy. The sun is a ball of plasma. As the CS goes around the CMSS, which is changing relative to the sun’s position based on the dispersion of the planets in their respective orbits around the sun, it traces a path in a Helix-type pattern, at different orbital curvatures and distances from the CMSS. When things revolve around a fixed point, there is Torque and a change in angular momentum. Plasma being a charged (ionized) gas, the revolution around the CMSS creates a magnetic field with a certain potential (vector potential) that is driven by the changes in angular momentum. This then is a key driver of solar activity.

 

While I refer to the sun’s movement about the CMSS, it is a more accurate representation to refer to the CS’s movement about the CMSS, since CMSS is often within the boundaries (or “limb”) of the sun.   So, from this point on, I will use the more accurate CS in referencing the sun when discussing orbital movement.

As mentioned before, I only do this to try and boil it down so that laypeople can take something away from it, because I feel it is largely a missing piece of the climate change debate.

We are still on the ABSTRACT:

Sentence three: Relatively strong impulses of torque A L occur at mean intervals of 19.86 years.

Landscheidt identifies a period of time within the secular cycle (defined in the previous discussion) of 19.86 years where the torque reaches its maximum. To think of an impulse of torque, imagine swinging something attached to a string. If you swing it in a steady motion, there is a constant torque. Let’s say every now and then you give it an extra “oomph” and whip that sucker around. That is a torque impulse. Landscheidt says that this happens with the sun every 19.86 years, on average, in its path around the CMSS. This coincides with a minimum in distance between the CS and the CMSS.  The reason it happens at minimum will be fully explained later, but can be boiled down to a couple things: CS has a tendency back to an equilibrium distance from CMSS, and we can think of being at minimum from CMSS as that point on a spring where it’s fully stretched and wants to “snap” back.   More technically, at minimum distance from CMSS, CS is still revolving, which means it is in its tightest orbit, driving up angular momentum. All this will be looked at in more detail later, but for now, just note the 20ish year period.

Sentence Four: Four consecutive impulses respectively define a permanent wave with a quasiperiod of 79.46 years which determines the distribution of positive and negative extrema in activity.

Quasiperiod is actually defined functionally, but its use in this case really refers to the fact that the 79.46 period is determined by a goofy shape that doesn’t really wrap around on itself, although it is a repeating pattern. The wave aspect of this tells us that there are peaks and troughs of solar activity, and the 19.86 year period defines the length of this “wave.” There is an average cycle of minimum distance between the sun and the CMSS, on average, every 19.86 years.   Depending on other criteria, these distance minimums either drive increased solar activity or solar inactivity.

 

News of the Day, January 24, 2008: Playing God and other stuff

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Originally posted on http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com on January 24, 2008.

So, after not keeping up with the blogging thing for the last few months, I got the itch to write an entry. The 1-minute version of our life:

1 – Expecting our 7th child

2 – Nearly 2 weeks into breaking in a new puppy, Tillie, a black lab

3 – Didn’t pass my actuarial exam

4 – Packers had a great year, pretty pumped, but disappointed in the loss to the Giants. And yes, I was there.

And so here we are. I’m sure I could write numerous posts on the minutia of our lives, and if I did so, it would be pretty boring. So, I decided to do something completely different. I decided to just post some quick comments on some of the news of the day. There are no rules to this game. Here goes:

Scientists close to creating life

Since I don’t want to break any laws by posting parts of the articles, please follow the links. Synopsis: Scientists feel they are close to putting together strands of DNA that will create a new life-form.

OK, so I don’t want to be seen as a fanatical doom-and-gloom guy, but I’ve seen both sides of the argument here about why this is or isn’t a good thing. One one side, you’ve got the verse-quoting fire-and-brimstone enthusiasts, and on the other side you have the people who tell me that this is just progress, and people once thought that flying was evil. Or something like that. For good measure, let’s throw Galileo in there too, because whenever anyone questions whether or not a particular scientific advance is ethical or good, people just throw his name without regard to the rationality of it.

Well, I don’t want to go quoting Bible verses. It is true that I can’t find a specific quote anywhere in Scripture that tells me “Thou shalt not create a new DNA strand.” But let’s try to be a tad reasonable about this. I don’t expect an atheist to understand this, so I direct it to people of faith who appreciate scientific advance and find themselves thinking “What’s the big deal?” Well, it is a big deal.

First of all, as many rightfully point out, the scientists are not “creating” anything. They are manipulating very tiny elements of creation. So, no matter what the outcome, nobody can and will convince me that even the step of “creating” a new life form diminishes the idea of God. That is not the issue. In fact, it is this very fact that many will use to defend it. “What’s the difference in forming a new life form, just like we form cars and airplanes and everything else using what God has given us to work with?”

Well, regardless of potential benefits, the problem with it is really quite simple. It is completely against the natural order of things. Other things we’ve done are as well. The fact that we’ve gone there doesn’t mean it’s right, nor is it a license to continue pushing the envelope. It also opens up potential risks. How are we to know what this new life form is capable of? Are we certain we can contain it? Will it mutate? Scary stuff.

On a general note, I just feel like we continue closer to some sort of “tipping point.” Don’t ask me what it means, but let’s just think about God’s reaction to all this. I believe he affords us scientific opportunities that have great promise in its benefits, but at the same time can be used for evil intent. Perhaps it is a test of sorts – which way will we go? At some point – which only God knows – He will conclude that our opportunities are done. We will have “chosen poorly,” as I am reminded of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Cloning… Chimeras… mixing human DNA with animal DNA… synthetically creating a new life form, not intended to be part of our universe… At what point does God determine that we have crossed a line in which we have just doomed ourselves unless He intervenes? And when He does, I am pretty certain that our idea of His intervention is not a happy one. The more complacent we are, the quicker we welcome His intervention. Review some of His previous interventions when Israel fell away from Him, and let me know how much you’re looking forward to it.

It’s freakin’ cold here.

Comment: It’s freakin’ cold here. But I’ve been watching Siberia, and it’s been hitting 76 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. I guess it could be worse.

My mom apparently took a stroll on Mars

Follow the link, read the story, and watch the video – it’s just a minute. Good stuff. While I know many will really want to believe it’s somebody playing in the sand, I’m pretty sure it’s a rock. But let’s play a game: what do you see? At first I see a woman in a burqa. But it could also be my mom, who always wears a head scarf when she’s taking a walk if it’s windy outside. Or cold. Or too hot. Or cloudy. In fact, I think unless it’s exactly 77 degrees and sunny with no wind, she wears a scarf. But I digress.

But if you think it’s a martian, let me just remind you of “Mars Attacks.” Do not treat this creatures lightly!

Suicide bomber trips down stairs and blows himself up

All death is a tragedy, and it is sad that some people would resort to violence that not only takes their lives, but intentionally takes the lives of others – particularly citizens, women and children. But can we at least take a small break to make fun of this clumsy killer, who thankfully ended up only killing himself because he can’t navigate a staircase? It’s funny in a tragic way. I suppose the fact that I find any levity in that exposes one of my many faults.

Well, I’d do more, but I must turn in. I kind of enjoyed that. Maybe I’ll try it again soon. Or, alternatively, maybe not…