by Axel Ttillmann
Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Science columnist for the LA Tribune
The current election as seen in the Vice Presidential Debate between Senator Harris and Vice President Pence brought up several controversial topics. Among those topics was again to no surprise climate change.
The subject matter of climate change is a very difficult subject matter to understand and very often statements are made, and it is difficult for the general public to understand what is actually right or what is wrong. Therefore, we need to take a very close look.
Let’s start out with some obvious statements from Senator Harris. She stated that we have an unprecedented global climate change that led to the highest temperatures in California as well as an unprecedented hurricane season in the United States. Those statements cannot be left alone and need to be cross validated. 1913 was the highest temperature wave in California leading even to temperatures of 134°F in Death Valley1, higher than the recently reported 130°F that LA Times falsely reported as the highest recorded temperature2. Other years such as 1901 is recorded heat waves in the Eastern United States, or 2006 in Norther United States.
Neither was 2020 the year of the strongest hurricanes (which was 1935), nor the year of the highest occurrences of hurricanes (which was 1933).3
Let’s now focus on the much larger scale “The Global Climate Change theories”. They started initially as a Global Warming movement and when scientists started disagreeing on the subject matter the topic was changed from global warming to global climate change, which is much harder to argue.
I want to make clear upfront that this article does not promote doing the wrong thing to our environment or misusing our resources but wants to present a perspective on whether or not we can prove there is any form of climate change happening and analyzes what if any we should do about it.
Therefore let’s take a look what the influential factors of our climate are. One thing is absolutely for sure that any activity at the sun level has a tremendous impact on the climate of our planet but there are also a plethora of factors that actually control how our climate is operating. At the minimum the factors influencing our climate probably in the hundreds if not thousands. In mathematical terms we will call these factors is parameters or variables.
All politicians and pseudo scientists often take certain factors in the most primitive way – temperature over time in correlation for example to the Ozone layer. Then they make the general public belief that there is a direct correlation between the three factor. However climate is a system with several hundred factors that are influential. It is not just one or two factors. In the field of science we call this a “Chaos System”.
By definition, a chaos system cannot be mathematically modeled. A pretty good example of this is unpredictability (even up to the day of landfall) of a hurricane. The more days out the lesser the precision of the prediction of the move of a hurricane. With 5 days out the location error is in a range of 350 mi and with 1 day out still 100 mi. And you would think that with 100 plus years going into the science of weather we would at least have a model that gives us a high degree of predictability, for subset of the weather the hurricane movement.
In order to understand the difficulty, we have to unfortunately go a little bit more mathematics. In mathematics a correlation between two parameters this is known as linear correlation, an example of this is Y=aX+b . With a=2 and b=0 this means if X=1 then Y=2 and X=3 then Y=6. Now the next level up is when we deal with three variables (Y=aX2+bx+c), a so-called quadratic correlation. Quadratic correlations three datasets to be solved. The next level up, cubic coalitions (y=ax3+bx2+cx+d) requires 4 datasets to be mathematic resolved. The method is often referred to polynomial regression when you only have data and need to figure out the function to be used. But once you go to Tessera regressions or beyond, it doesn’t matter how many data points you have but you can’t give an unambiguous result. At best have two possible answers so you can no longer say with certainty which is the correct answer A or B.
If we take a step back and look at the fact that we are dealing with hundreds of variables such as the chaos system of our weather or our the entire influences of our solar system, we quickly understand that we are at a loss and cannot mode. This means we cannot make any statement about any particular movement of temperature, hurricanes, or anything such as Climate Change and its progression in time. And if we can’t model, we can’t verify whether we see a deviation of standard behavior by the existing occurrences.
The other fact, that many people do not know or don’t present, is that the earth, since inception, has undergone cycles of approximately 100,000 years in length what that in practice means is that you need to have 2x the datasets in order to even have a chance to predicting the outcome a linear correlation. The last ice age (glacial period) started about 100,000 years ago and ended 11,500 years ago. Any assumptions of sediment and other analysis leads some scientist to agree of Global Warming “Theory”. Everywhere you look in literature anything regarding complex climate is referred to “Theory”. Theory is the opposite of knowledge, and even US history is full of unbaked theories in the field of science, leading to wrong advice and were at a later stage reversed.
But I will entertain for a moment that we have Global Warming – of pardon me Global Climate Change.
Question #1, how much is men influenced or is the main trend a natural occurrence?
Question #2, If we throw an unlimited amount of money at this problem can we change anything?
Question #3, if we don’t do anything what are the consequences?
Question #4, Should we do R&D to escape the planet?
Question #5, When are we going to feel the impact?
All answers to the questions impact on how we should view the proposal of the Green New Deal or even more drastic measures. We need to be careful not to fall into the trap to push a globalization agenda which bankrupts the entire world and throws us into a chaos ala Mad Max.
What I object to is that with these tremendous unknowns and the subject matter is used a the Sword of Damocles as a political weapon to manipulate governments and its citizens to do things that are otherwise unreasonable.
I need to state again, by all means I do not want to encourage doing things with our resources or environment that are wasteful or harmful. As little as you would entertain to water your flowers with vinegar as little should we entertain to be wasteful with our natural resources. Therefore, yes we need to encourage to go to renewable energies but politicians in the past have proven that their commitment is really not executed in the right way.
Instead of subsidizing the alternative industry one should have taxed the conventional energy industry to the level so that it would have become a competitive environment for the renewable energy. This would have put billions of dollars into our tax income instead of taking billions of dollars by subsidizing an industry. Subsidies are addictive and eliminate incentives to become more cost efficient in the fear to lose the subsidies. This definitely slows down the innovation cycle instead of accelerating it . If renewable energy, however, would have been self-competing with traditional energy they would have liked to gain more and more market share and they would have obtained this by making their production form more efficient and therefore cheaper in faster timeframes. Think of this as a multi 100-billion-dollar swing in our nations income statement. Technological acceleration for all renewable energies suffered economies of scale.
Same thing is true with the alleged water crisis that is always put in front of us. The reality is there is no water crisis. There is only a financial crisis for access to freshwater because we have not figured out the correct economic model for the salination. There is so much ocean water that the salination is the method of giving us an almost unlimited amount of fresh water and is currently only by 20 to 30% more expensive than our freshwater resources. So what would be more natural than taking the existing fresh water supply and charging a 30% surplus tax and therefore encouraging the de-salination industry to build plants to augment or even become some of our primary sources for fresh water. Once done we don’t need water bans. The natural water ban will be based an economic decision. If you own a large property and you want to water – fine – as long as you pay for it please go ahead – and if you don’t want to pay for it change your gardening infrastructure. But please don’t threaten society with a so called water shortage that in reality was created by politicians that didn’t understand how to properly encourage these type of industries. It is ironic that the State of California used to have a de-salination plant North of San Diego. But when the dry spell ended the plant was demounted and sold.
In Summary of this:
We should do everything in our power within economic reason to utilize our natural resources wisely. Second we should not use an unknown threat of ”Climate Something” that we cannot prove and burden the economy with actions that have but potentially zero outcome.
Third, understand Theory is synonymous for Religion.
My opinion, The Green New Deal is a dangerous preposition. It will suck valuable resources out of the economy. My deal is proposing the end of subsidies and increase in taxes to find environmentally better solutions. But let’s be careful, in countries with high amount of coal burning electric powerplants the carbon emissions are hardly different between electric vehicles and gas driven vehicles. The energy must come from somewhere – oh they forgot to tell you this?