Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Debunked: 11 Myths About Global Warming

Any religion that does not endorse the belief that its followers are custodians of this divine gift called planet Earth, has no right to be called a religion. You could ask any religious person, anywhere in the world, if they see life and this planet as a gift from their creator, and they would all agree. If you were to then ask if they have a spiritual obligation to act as custodians for this big wonderful world, most would also agree. The ones that disagree seem to me to be heavily influenced by propaganda from the fossil fuel industry that wants to see the party continue, business as usual. I see the brainwashing somewhat in the U.K. and Australia, but mostly in the USA. I'm not religious, but I have to ask, how do Christians come to terms with this?

Global warming and climate science has been going on for 150 years. Most of the scientist in the 1800’s understood that CO2 was a greenhouse gas. But now, a century and a half later, we see the true “dumbing down”. A situation where the average Joe in America either doesn’t understand what the “greenhouse effect” is, or simply doesn’t believe that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

A litany of arguments spew forth from the right-wing think tanks. A never-ending cacophony of lies, spin, and deception, all designed to keep their party going. They want to keep using fossil fuels until our ecosystem is devastated beyond repair.

Lie #1, “CO2 is such a small percentage of the atmosphere, how can it possibly affect temperature?”
We all understand that greenhouses do work. If they didn’t work, people wouldn’t use greenhouses. I don’t need to get into the science to prove it, we just know it works. How thick is the glass or plastic for a greenhouse? I’ve seen some very large greenhouses, and that thin piece of glass for the roof and walls makes up a very small percentage of the overall volume of the greenhouse, but IT STILL WORKS!!!

Lie #2, “It is the sun that causes warming, not man.”
This is actually true, but misleading. Of course it is the sun. What good is a greenhouse without the sun? Then again, what good is a greenhouse without a roof? In other words, if the sun makes it hot, then a greenhouse in the sun makes it hotter. Duh!

Lie #3, “Plants need CO2, how can it be harmful?”
Plants need water too, but what happens when they are flooded? Water is good for humans, too. What happens when we get too much? If you look at the last 500,000 years of ice record, you can see that every time CO2 levels go up by 100 ppm, the temperature goes up about 18 degrees F. There is a lag time because the earth has such a huge thermal mass and it takes decades to equalize. But, like it or not, we are due for much higher temperatures, flooding, economic disruptions, food shortages, etc.

Lie #4, “The world has had higher concentrations of CO2 before”
Yeah, when dinosaurs were here and humans were not. Life will survive, but not life like we know it. The plants we have now mostly couldn’t survive. It takes a long time for plant and animal life to evolve to handle extreme temperatures and humidity. It takes ocean life tens of thousands of years to evolve to survive under high concentrations of carbonic acid. So, life would still be here, but it isn’t pretty.

Lie #5, “How can other planets in our solar system be warming too?
Short answer, they aren’t. That is a myth.

Lie #6, “The natural carbon cycle is far bigger than anything man does.”
This is true, but misleading. Nature can handle the normal CO2 cycle. But we are throwing excess into the system that it can’t handle fast enough. If we released that much CO2 over eons, it would be fine, but we are doing it in 200 years. Not a good idea.

Lie #7, “The climate models are so complicated and the scientists never get it right.”
Actually, the energy balance equation is simple. We look at all the energy coming in and how much leaves and we figure how much warming will occur. That is a done deal and we’ve been able to do the math for CENTURIES! What we don’t know are things like how fast it will happen. We know it WILL happen, just not how fast. Air currents, ocean currents, subtle variations in weather, pollution, solar activity, etc. make models very complicated. The think tanks use that fact to trick people into thinking that the science is too complicated. But let me make it simple, if we don’t change, life will not be very pleasant in the next 50 to 100 years.

Lie #8, “First they said we would enter an ice age, and then global warming. Which is it?”
All the scientists understood CO2 and the greenhouse effect. They also understood that pollution blocks the sunlight. What they were unsure about is which would win. By the 90’s, it was finally understood that CO2 would win, while pollution just slows down the global warming.

Lie #9, “Warming has stopped, we are entering into global cooling.”
From NASA’s website “The ten warmest years in the 132-year record have all occurred since 1998.”

Lie #10, "Global warming is just a religion"
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a religion just faith based beliefs in spite of science or any contrary proof? Enough said.

Lie #11, "We've had many natural warming and cooling cycles in the past, long before man was here, so man can't be the cause of any warming."
Really bad logic here. Just because something has happened before doesn't mean that we can't change it now or make it worse. It is like saying, "Men died from all kinds of natural causes long before cars were invented, therefore, driving a car recklessly can not possibly kill you." The truly sad part is that I have to even address this lie.


There are many more lies, but these are some of the ones I see most often. I know it is hard to figure out which party is telling the truth and which one is spinning with an agenda. Just look at the end result. Is what you believe taking care of the planet or is it destroying the planet? Does your belief ensure a clean sustainable planet for future generations, or does your belief help some elite make money while they leave us with a putrid stink hole?

All I can hope is that whoever reads this is not so far gone and brainwashed by big oil, that they can’t honestly and critically look at the situation that we are in. Besides, imagine how future generations will judge the science deniers, the evil minions that groveled at the feet of elite bastards that don’t care for life, but only profit. They will probably judge the deniers more harshly than the elite. At least the elite have a reason to lie, what’s your excuse?

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I decided to play the Monopoly game the other day, but I wanted to change the rules slightly. 

1) An extra person can play the "role" of the bank.

2) Every time a player passes GO, they don't get paid, they have to pay 10% of their current money plus 10% of their original loan in taxes to the Bank. Income only comes from property ownership. Everytime someone lands on your property, they pay.

3) The bank player doesn't move around the board, the bank just loans money and collects it back with interest.

So, after 4 friends played for awhile, it was down to 2 players that dominated. After a little while longer, it was finally down to one regular player and me (the Bank). So, the player kept going around always paying 10% each time he passed GO, but not collecting any more money because there was nobody left to stay at his properties.

After another 45 minutes, he had no money to pay the bank, so a property was repossessed. This went on for another hour until all properties were owned by me and I won.

But how else could the story have ended? All money in existence was debt owed to the central interest. But the interest was never printed, so everyone defaults in the end. It is a mathematical certainty.

The best way to win the game is not to play!


Fukishima update - Can I eat some Salmon?

My last post on Fukishima, seen here, was back in 2011. I made the statement that North America had nothing to worry about, yet and that it was primarily a Japan problem (I feel very sad for what Japan is going through). I still stand by that statement even though some things have changed.

Firstly, the airborne releases are minimal and not even detectable 6,000 miles away on the west coast of Canada and the USA. That is good.

Secondly, we find out that TEPCO has been leaking 300 tons of contaminated water per day into the Pacific. So, my main question...Is it safe to eat Pacific Salmon in BC.

Well, common sense says that Cessium 137 (Cs-137) and Strontium 90 (Sr-90) should sink in the water. I found a reference to that scenario here. It states:

A swift deep current along the coast of Japan is expected to pull the low concentration of radioactive particles from the Fukushima plant to a depth of about 300 feet and dilute it all by a factor of 50 to 100, researchers said.

The prevailing currents then carry the material out to sea, away from beaches and inhabited coasts.

Swept out to sea, depending on the material, many radioactive isotopes such as cesium-137 and strontium-90 usually sink and then remain suspended at depth in the ocean water, sometimes for decades, but have little direct effect on salt-water fish, scientists said.

I know that Cs-137 doesn't bio accumulate in marine life and I was more worried about Sr-90 because it is absorbed into the bones and any calcium rich organs and stays there. After some research, I found this study, Strontium-90 in fish from the lakes of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

It goes into lots of detail, but the main idea can be expressed in the following graph.

Sr-90 content (specific activity) in organs and tissues of Common crucian carp (Glubokoye Lake):
1 – scales; 2 – bones; 3 – fins; 4 – head; 5 – stomach contents; 6 – skin; 7 – muscles; 8 – internal organs; 9 – roe.

Notice that the scales, bones, fins and head absorb most of the Sr-90, but the muscles absorb almost nothing. Since, we eat the muscles usually, this is a good thing. Also, 70-80% of ingested Sr-90 is eliminated from the fish and also from humans.

This data mostly made me feel better, but I still wanted to see some real world testing. I found an independent test performed last year from a couple living in Seattle, WA. They were testing for Cs-137, but since both Cs-137 and Sr-90 are being constantly leaked from Fukishima, if you don't detect one in a fish, then it stands to reason that the other isn't present in that fish as well. Here is what they got back from the lab.

Sample 1
Cs-134: < 0.902 Bq/kg (minimum detectable concetrations)
Cs-137: < 1.47 Bq/kg (minimum detectable concetrations)

Sample 2
Cs-134: < 0.891 Bq/kg (minimum detectable concetrations)
Cs-137: < 1.26 Bq/kg (minimum detectable concetrations)


The units Bq/kg are Becquerels per kilogram, a measurement of decay rate of an isotope. One Becquerel is another way of saying "one nuclear decay per second."

For comparison, the typical activity concentration of the naturally-occurring isotope Potassium-40 (K-40) in salmon is on the order of 100 Bq/kg, or 100 decays per second per kilogram. So they showed that the activity levels of Cs-134 and Cs-137 cannot be more than about 1% of the K-40 level, which is a very low level.

So, we are good to go on wild Pacific Salmon, but I wouldn't want seafood shipped in from Japan. And we still have the leak going on. I also worry about the next phase of cleanup in which spent rods have to be manually moved from a cooling pond. We'll just have to keep watching this.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Doodlebot for kids - first attempt

I decided to make a kid’s doodlebot. Basically, it is a small cup with 3 or 4 legs made of colored pencils or felt tip markers. It has a battery and a small motor that turns an off-centered weight. It dances around and draws things…circles mostly. He is just a prototype and isn’t very pretty right now. But when we make them with the grand kids, they will have hair, springy arms and googly-eyes. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Large Stator for my E-forge

The E-forge will be designed to bring a piece of iron to red hot in seconds using low voltage and high current. This is NOT an induction furnace or a kiln type furnace. This project involves using a homemade transformer to step voltage down to about 2 VAC while increasing the amps many times over. First test was with a microwave oven transformer and achieved 650 amps and melted a 3/16 stainless bolt in half. The next phase involves using a 15 HP ac motor stator and homemade windings to get up to 3,000 amps at about 2 volts through a piece of steel. It will be red hot and ready for shaping in a matter of seconds.

I picked up a large 15 HP AC motor stator today. I think it will work nicely. I paid scrap price for it and will get some of that back when I take out the copper wire and the outer body.

I will be left with just the internal stator made up of metal layers. It should look something like this.

I will then use normal 14/3 house wiring cable and loop it though the “donut” about 50 to 100 times. I can then take the output of wire 1 and connect to the input of wire 2, and the output of wire 2 to the input of wire 3 and the output of wire 3 is the end of the daisy chained wire. So, if I wrap the “donut” 100 times, I effectively have 300 turns on my primary coil. Or if I did 50 wraps, that would be 150 turns. You get the picture.

I might place in a bucket of transmission oil to “Oil Cool” it as well. I don’t think I’ll have to though. The duty cycle is pretty low.


Solar Powered Air Compressor

I had an idea about solar powered pneumatics. What if you had black pvc pipes that heated in the sun? One way for air to get in to the pipes via double check valves, and the way out has double check valves going to a compressor tank or more pipes acting as storage. Make sure the storage is in the shade and the black pipes are in the sun.  The sun heats the black pipes, air inside expands and can only go to the air storage tank until equilibrium is reached. At night, the pvc pipes cool and suck in air, and repeat the process the next day. It would also, somewhat repeat a cycle with a passing cloud. Also, having about 2 or 3 times more heated volume than the tank will mean the tank could be filled in one day. 



I originally came up with this idea for a friend that needed a few psi air pressure to slowly push a drip irrigation system. Last night I decided to check the math and used an ideal gas law equation.

P2 = P1 (T2/T1) where P is pressure and T is temperature in kelvin.

It turns out that going from 50 F to about 120F on a sunny day (even though the outside temp may be 85 to 90F, the black pipes will easily heat up to over 100F.), would only produce about 2 psi of pressure. So, this has very limited applications. You might be able to use black metal pipes and use a giant Fresnel lens to heat it, but that would only produce about 50 to 60 psi. Not that efficient.

Probably a lot better to just use a small solar panel and a small air pump that charges a tank.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Homemade Hot-wire Acrylic Bender

I threw some scrap together today; aluminum tape, wood, screws, and 20 AWG stainless steel wire. I power it with either a 12 volt battery or a battery charger. It draws about 7 amps at 13 volts, or about 90 watts. I twisted the wire using a drill to make it like a spring. This concentrates the heat in a smaller area and also allows for metal expansion and stops the drooping effect.

Here is a couple of laser cut acrylic stepper motor mounts bent on my hot wire bender.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Poor man's Homemade DIY CNC

Made some more progress. I have the upright fixed arms installed and I laser cut acrylic bearing blocks for the Y axis.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Homemade CNC machine

I did some work on my CNC machine. It will use heavy duty drawer slides for the linear bearings. And the framework is made of wood. The movement will be stepper motor driving threaded rod and a homemade delrin nut to minimize backlash.

I noticed that the bearings were tight for the first 10 inches of movement, so I modified them so that I could get 8 inches the back way as well. That way, I have it set for about 16 inches of movement, and NO PLAY AT ALL!

 The idea is to have one end of the threaded rod suspended in a bearing block. I used bearings from a used pair of roller blades. The threaded rod is 1/4 inch.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

CNC - Poor Man Style

I've started a Poor Man Style CNC machine. It will have the capability to be converted to a 3d printer if I wish. Here is a video of the testing of a free stepper motor I got from a friend. I'm using the Arduino to test.

It will be made of wood and will use heavy duty drawer slides instead of linear bearings. The drawer slides have no play in them except when you extend them too far. So, I modified them so that they go forwards and backwards to split the difference and they stay tight.

Makerspaces on campus

The makerspace concept is really catching on. I am a member of the Victoria Makerspace as well.