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Happy Earth Day!

An older friend at a cigar shop insisted on watching the local and national news. On television. In my presence. I already knew it was Earth Day thanks to the wit and wisdom of this morning’s Dustin comic strip. What I didn’t know, the “news” filled me in on: thousands of communists, left-over hippies, stoners, and generally unemployed(able)-looking people gathered in Washington to rave about Earth Day, “science”, the horrors of civilization, and the clock running out on global warming (a farce they refer to as “settled science”).

Here’s a little real science, real facts, math and such, to cheer your Earth Day.

Climate change is real. It seems that the Earth’s conditions are in a continual state of flux. Over the past billion years or so we’ve had everything from a planet nearly frozen solid to a barren wasteland of a world where the only habitable parts (and barely habitable at that) were at the polls.

The static conditions the aforementioned hippies can recall from the four or five hours since their last hit are an anomaly. Pretty much all of recorded history is anomalous as well. Things change and will keep changing. There’s nothing we can do to stop it – or to cause it.

Here’s a little mathematical information courtesy of Wikipedia (a converged site, so you know it’s accurate):

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“Orders of Magnitude of Energy”. Wikipedia. 

The “J” stands for “Joules” – a measurement of energy. Think of it as one Watt produced in one second. Or not, your business. This particular part of Wiki’s chart begins in the middle of the Exa-Joule range and ends at the beginning of the Yotta-Joule category. That’s what the numbers relate to (i.e. 2.2×1023, etc.). “Exa” starts with a quintillion, 1,000,000,000,000,000,000; “Yotta” with a  septillion, 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. In other words, it’s the difference between a lot of something (in this case energy as measured in Joules) and a whole hell of a lot of it. Follow?

Now the events denoted on the chart: First, direct your attention to the sixth line down, “Total world annual energy consumption in 2010”. That’s not so long ago; it’s probably a really good estimate of how much juice … joules … we all use currently. Then, it was 5×1020 J or 500,000,000,000,000,000,000 J. And much (most) of that consumption did not involve the nasty stuff from tailpipes or coal plants that the Earth Day crew complains incessantly about.

Moving on down the list one sees the various levels of reserves currently known for different power sources. According to this information, which jives with what I’ve read elsewhere, we currently know about 79,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 potential Joules from oil alone. That means we could run, at 2010 energy consumption levels, for the next 158 years burning only oil.

Using all known fossil fuels we could last another 780 years.

“Fasting” Uranium-238, alone, would get us 4,400 of 2010-level power production and usage.

Harnessing the power of the sun, via solar energy that falls on Earth, annually, would give us 110,000 2010s.

In other words, we ARE NOT running out of fuel. There is no crisis in that regard.

The notion that men are somehow driving climate change is also absurd, a non issue. We don’t have that kind of power. Recall that each modern year we produce/use about 5×1020 J of power. In contrast, the meteor impact event which killed off the Dinos, 65,000,000 years ago, instantly produced 5×1023 J of energy. That was, in a single second, 1,000 times as powerful as we are in a whole year. That was an extinction level event mainly because the energy transfer was almost entirely kinetic. Ours is not.

Nature has also dwarfed us in the release of dreaded greenhouse gases: water (very scary) and CO2. Single volcanic eruptions have instantly produced more of these gases than we have throughout all our history.

It’s not on my chart, above, but the next incident is an average, ordinary solar flare, at 6×1025 J. That’s 120,000 times our annual effect (again, at once). Last I heard,  Helios Hyperion does not drive a giant SUV nor burn wood, oil, or coal. Yet and still the Sun’s antics are felt daily on this planet and others.

Other research, by non panicked scientists, shows a general warming/instability on Mars which mirrors that on Earth. There are no Martian SUVs or spray cans that we know of. God only knows what old Marvin is up to up there. The commonality is regional solar activity: the more there is, the warmer a planet gets – any planet.

There is no man-made global warming or climate change. Or, if there is, it is miniscule compared to what ordinarily and naturally occurs. Again, it’s something beyond our power.

And that leads me to what the Earth Day nuts are really after – power, political power. Mixed in with their sobs about nonexistent climate change one hears all the old themes: Income equality. Feminism. Trans-whatever rights. More immigration. Higher taxes. More abortions. Fewer guns. More regulations. Fewer Christians. “Pizza”. Even higher taxes. Fewer Caucasians. More weirdness. Debased education. Unsound money. Smaller toilets. Censorship. Collectivism. Controls on everything on Earth and beyond. To save us from drowning (when the ice caps melt), we must suffer the complete and utter dominion of their god, the government.

It’s important to do what one can to keep one’s immediate environment clean and happy. That’s the spirit that drives hunters, conservationists, and gardeners. Do what you can and don’t worry about the whole planet – it will continue to do exactly what it has always done regardless. Don’t waste energy, not a single Joule, on communism and its hoaxes.

Have a happy and sane Earth Day. (Heck, it’s almost over…)

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