NASA blows hole in global warming alarmism

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by Trebuchet, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Money. Budget. Government Spending. National Debt. Debt Limit. Default looming August 2.

    After the moon landings, taxpayer appetite for the incredible expense of manned space flight dwindled sharply.

    There has long been a beyond-Shuttle program, but it continually gets delayed by fiscal reality.
     
  2. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    The final cost of project Apollo was between $20 and $25.4 billion in 1969 Dollars (or approximately $136 billion in 2007 Dollars).

    So the entire cost of sending man to the moon cost less than 1/5 of the amount spent to 'bailout' rich bankers in 2008. Worth every penny in my opinion.

    In fact, the ENTIRE budget of NASA from 1958 to present (in inflation adjust 2007 dollars) is only 862 Billion, only slightly more than that single bailout in 2008. Fifty years of space exploration for the price of one year of war.
     
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  3. chogan2

    chogan2 Senior Member

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    There's now a critique of the article by climate scientists on Realclimate:

    RealClimate: “Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedback”

    Turns out the lack of error bars really did matter. How do you get published in a peer-reviewed science journal without confidence intervals or measures of statistical significance?
     
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  4. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    The Shuttle was grossly too expensive for what it did. Performance requirements changed early on but the design was not changed to suit, and the decision to save about $300 million in development costs by using salvageable SRBs instead of completely reusable liquid fueled flyback boosters was, as everyone now knows, a disaster. The President's decision to rely upon commercial launch services in future is absolutely sound and correct.

    A suspicious person might wonder that two successive climate science satellites (Orbiting Carbon Observatory and Glory) were lost on the same launcher model apparently because of the same failure mode despite two years of investigation and design improvement work. It wouldn't take a conspiracy, other than a conspiracy of common interests in the form of one or two fanatics in the right place at the right times.
     
  5. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Regarding 'the blown hole', besides realclimate there are also (apparently quite similar) discussions at scepticalscience and thinkprogress. The discussion at Judith Curry's presents some additional perspectives.

    One would expect some additional publications comparing the approaches of Dessler and Spencer&Braswell. However it appears that some additional transparency about exactly what the latter have done may be required for that. I would not presume that S&B would oppose that.

    If any of this gets us closer to understanding ENSO vs. climate that would be a great thing. It does appear to be one of the hurdles that climate models have yet to overcome.

    (OK, now stop and face a different direction).

    I suppose that a big part of space shuttle cost is the continued maintenance required by the ablative heat tiles. You gotta do it because otherwise you burn up on re-entry. They cover a huge surface area and are partially exposed to 'ice rocks' on initial ascent (with all that cryo nearby).

    Earlier and more recent designs have much smaller areas of ablative heat tiles, and they are protected (covered up) during ascent. This may be a real, non-negotiable limitation on our ability to bring big things down, fast, through the atmosphere.

    The only other innovation I see is Scaled Composite's shuttlecock. It is so draggy that it does not heat up so much during descent. I see no obvious reason why that could not be used on substantially larger vehcles, which would sidestep the problem above.

    Special Master, I was pretty sad too about OCO and Glory. Hoping that we are not quite yet out of money to try such things again. Also, that next time they can be put on some other company's rocket. Just in case :)
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    While that may be your opinion, there have been enough taxpayers and congresscritters and smaller-government types with differing opinions to keep NASA seriously underfunded ever since the moon landings.

    What frosts me about the AGW-Shuttle-retirement 'conspiracy theory' is my feeling that most of its adherents derive from the same crowd that kept NASA underfunded in the first place.

    I feel that the Shuttle and ISS programs soaked up too much of the limited available budget, seriously starving the more cost effective and scientifically productive unmanned programs. The Shuttle didn't come within an order of magnitude of its cost-per-pound-to-orbit and launch-turnaround-time promises. Other vehicles were scuttled because most launches were being directed to the Shuttle, then after the Challenger loss, most launch customers were booted out of the Shuttle program too.

    The 'bailout of rich bankers', TARP, needs a thread unto itself. It can't rationally be mixed with a NASA discussion.
     
  7. vinnie97

    vinnie97 Whatever Works

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    Re: Oh dear me! I think we're headed for another name change!

    The problem is what this evidence is being used to try to usher in, a worldwide carbon credit scheme that enriches the control freaks attempting to enact it at the behest of their puppet governments (yes, you may call me a "conspiracist"), ultimately at the expense of those barely getting by. Do you really think energy producers will just swallow the cost? Hell no. If I could install a wind turbine and/or solar panel to free myself from the grid in my apartment, I would, but that is beyond my capability. The end result of what is being promoted is more hardship for those who are barely staying afloat as it is.
     
  8. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    Re: Oh dear me! I think we're headed for another name change!

    sorry I fail to see the logic; you prefer the current control freaks (oil monopolis) to some hypothetic-improbable-future ones?

    Or is it the case of devil known vs devil unknown?

    The fact that you bought Prius not Corolla, car which makes no economic sense (it would take 180K mi to break even with $4/gal) and opted to give your hard earned money to technology company vs oil company tells that you are not happy with oil monopolies.

    Or maybe it is the case of "don't make the bully mad?"
     
  9. vinnie97

    vinnie97 Whatever Works

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    Well, the price of oil isn't exactly falling...the move was partly anticipatory. The other motivation was to lessen Middle Eastern foreign oil dependence. The devil I don't know is indeed a good point. However, I link you to this:

    Rothschild Australia and E3 International to take the lead in the global carbon trading market « Follow The Money (you may call me a conspiracy theorist until the cows come home; that is an official PRNewswire news release - I most certainly don't want to directly further enrich those who are largely responsible for bringing us to this present economic abyss).
     
  10. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    I'd much prefer a simple, transparent carbon tax to cap 'n trade schemes. If Goldman Sachs is salivating of the idea then it's the worst way forward.
     
  11. priuscritter

    priuscritter I am the Stig.

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    Generally speaking, i'm against any kind of "sin" tax. it's a formula for disaster. it's a catch 22. it's a vicious circle.
     
  12. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    it is a case of pay now or pay later. As a nation we had an option to put a 50cent tax back in 90s, when gas was 99cent a gallon (I have a pics paying 67 cent per gallon at Shell station in Georgia), we had chosen not to.

    Now we are paying $4 to oil companies. No sin. :cheer2:
     
  13. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    How so?

    It seems to me we can tax things we want to discourage (carbon dioxide production, smoking), or we can tax things we want to encourage (income, profits). Why is the former worse than the latter?
     
  14. robbyr2

    robbyr2 New Member

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    Not to send us down another path, but as with a few other switches, it was the business community that wanted cap-and-trade, particularly the utility companies. The idea was to allow heavy polluters to postpone the investment needed to clean up their act, "buying the time" from those who were able to make the investment earlier.

    A simple carbon tax would do the same thing but it would hit everyone whether they were financially strong or weak. Better for the business community to pay for a PR campaign to deny AGW.
     
  15. tonyrenier

    tonyrenier I grew up, but it's still red!

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    Re: Oh dear me! I think we're headed for another name change!

    Since Climate Change has become a political issue instead of a scientific issue, I would suggest you check the Author's political views-Tea Bagger, all the way. They don't need facts, just loud mouths.
     
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  16. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Agreed!

    I'd rather penalize those who use large amounts of fuel for no reason other than to look cool. Why should I have to subsidize their bad habit?

    There could be options for those who work in heavy industry and farming/ranching etc. for them to receive tax breaks. It works with programs like the Williamson Act.
     
  17. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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    One must remember that PC is a vociferous anti tax myope. "all taxes bad"

    Icarus
     
  18. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Funny, I see the 'vicious circle' being with subsidies. Instead of letting the vaunted 'free market' do its thing by equating prices with costs, we give huge tax breaks to oil companies, and completely ignore massive environmental subsidies. The result is that oil companies make more money, and gain enough political power to twist international budgets and legislation to their benefit. Which obviously means more subsidies: lower taxes and fewer environmental controls.

    Don't think of it as a 'sin tax', think of it as 'user pay'.
     
  19. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    To me, the tax isn't a "sin" tax, it's about paying for the externalities that the market doesn't currently build into price of a commodity (for example, coal). Society pays the cost of coal, whereas the utilities pay the market price. The values are not the same for coal, NG, or oil. For things like wind and solar we're paying something much closer to the true costs.
     
  20. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    I presume you actually mean that you don't like politicians.

    A true sin tax is zero sum, so it only costs the sinners money. The problem is that politicians have a habit of turning sin taxes into stealth taxes.
     
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