Planetary salvation; science or by committee?
- June 29, 2019
- 2536 views
The proverb goes a camel is a horse designed by a committee. The analogy is group decision making leads to ineffectiveness due to the incorporation of too many conflicting opinions into a single project through compromise.
As noted a few days ago by the BBC, UN delegates, after two weeks of talks in Bonn, Germany, have backed a key scientific IPCC report, a “compromise”, without targets on greenhouse gas emissions, ostensibly based on the "best available science”.
Some smaller island delegates claimed, legitimately, the move amounted to a surrender to fossil fuel producers.
The IPCC is the ultimate “committee” beholden to politicians whose stock and trade is compromise.
The NASA graphic below, based on the "best available science", demonstrates the annual solar radiation absorbed and infrared radiation emitted annually.
The laws of thermodynamics aren’t beholden to any committee or politician.
They are scientific law that describe observed phenomenon.
They are the “best available science” pertaining to global warming.
In thermodynamics, a heat engine per the following graphic is a system that performs the conversion of heat or thermal energy to mechanical work.
Where: TH is the temperature of the hot source
TL is the temperature of the cold sink
QH is the heat transfer out of the hot reservoir
W is the work output, and
QL is the heat transfer into the cold sink.
Combining Figures 1 and 2 you get Figure 3, which demonstrates “thermodynamic geoengineering” that is a reduction and removal of surplus heat from the vicinity of the equator to deep water and the conversion of a part of the heat of global warming by a heat engine to productive work.
With this process, you get twice as much energy as we are getting from fossils fuels along with the water, food, environment, education, democracy and poverty, terrorism and war and disease reduction Richard Smalley called for in his Terawatt Challenge.
In other words, the kind of things compromising politicians aren’t providing but could with twice the tax revenue derived from twice the energy production that in turn equates to twice the jobs.
We also get a reduction of surface heat and heat transfer from the equator towards the higher latitudes shown by the red arrows in Figures 2 and 3 that in turn leads to less sea level rise and tropical storm intensity, which are two of the greatest risks of global warming.
Two of the distinguishing features of a camel are its humps and poor temperament that compare poorly to the horse our proverbial committee was supposed to make but all the committees and politicians in the world and cacophony of competing energy and interest groups notwithstanding, we can't afford a climate camel.
The “best available science” pertaining to global warming, the laws of thermodynamics, dictate what has to be done for mankind to survive and prosper.