A new twist on an old grade school science project

Steve Maley:

This why we don’t have to worry about Peak Oil: at some point, price and necessity drive innovation*. It has been that way since the days of Thomas Malthus.

*Government cannot and will not mandate innovation. They may be helpful in funding basic science, but as currently executed government subsides and maintains the status quo. That works counter to the creative destruction necessary for transformational change.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

From Stanford University something familiar to most anyone who has taken science – electrolysis of water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Stanford scientists develop a water splitter that runs on an ordinary AAA battery

Stanford scientists have developed a low-cost device that uses an ordinary AAA battery to split water into oxygen and hydrogen gas. Gas bubbles are produced from electrodes made of inexpensive nickel and iron. Credit: Mark Shwartz/Stanford Precourt Institut for Energy

In 2015, American consumers will finally be able to purchase fuel cell cars from Toyota and other manufacturers. Although touted as zero-emissions vehicles, most of the cars will run on hydrogen made from natural gas, a fossil fuel that contributes to global warming.

View original 586 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top 10 reasons the new WordPress Beep Boop Boob editor is a stunning failure.

Steve Maley:

I associate myself with the gentleman’s remarks.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

(WUWT readers, please excuse this distraction while I holler at WUWT’s hosting provider, wordpress.com. As Willis would say, “my blood is mightily angrified”.)

I have generally been supportive of most wordpress.com upgrades, for example the recent upgrade to allow the top editor bar to float with scrolling is a HUGE time saver.

Unfortunately, the new Beep Beep Boop “upgrade” is a crash-and-burn moment in user interface design.

Top 10 reasons the new WordPress Beep Boop Boob editor is a stunning failure.

View original 389 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Garbage In, Consensus Out: Part I

In the July 8 Wall Street Journal, Robert J. Caprara describes the process of computer modeling, and the motivations of the modeler. He was a consultant charged with building a detailed computer model of the nation’s fresh water sources, including drinking water intakes and sewage discharges. He tuned and tweaked the model, and was happy with his preliminary conclusion: the EPA program he had been asked to study had reached a point of diminishing returns and should be wound down.

Confessions of a Computer Modeler (Paywall)

Any model, including those predicting climate doom, can be tweaked to yield a desired result. I should know.

When I presented the results to the EPA official in charge, he said that I should go back and “sharpen my pencil.” I did. I reviewed assumptions, tweaked coefficients and recalibrated data. But when I reran everything the numbers didn’t change much. At our next meeting he told me to run the numbers again.

After three iterations I finally blurted out, “What number are you looking for?” He didn’t miss a beat: He told me that he needed to show $2 billion of benefits to get the program renewed. I finally turned enough knobs to get the answer he wanted, and everyone was happy. …

I realized that my work for the EPA wasn’t that of a scientist, at least in the popular imagination of what a scientist does. It was more like that of a lawyer. My job, as a modeler, was to build the best case for my client’s position. The opposition will build its best case for the counter argument and ultimately the truth should prevail. …

Surely the scientific community wouldn’t succumb to these pressures like us money-grabbing consultants. Aren’t they laboring for knowledge instead of profit? If you believe that, boy do I have a computer model to sell you.

A terrific op-ed; you should read it all if possible.


Image from International Reservoir Technologies, Inc.

Modeling Oil and Gas Reservoirs

Reservoir modeling per se is not my area of expertise. In my capacity as a technical manager for an oil company, models have been prepared by others under my supervision. Basically, I didn’t run the software, but I needed enough of a working knowledge of the process to be able to understand it and ask intelligent questions. 
The goal of modeling is to create a numerical representation of a reservoir that honors what is known about the system to be able to make accurate forecasts about its future behavior.
The first step in modeling a reservoir is to represent its geometry, as shown above. Each cell in the representation is represented by descriptive parameters, such as volume, pressure, porosity, fluid transmissibility and fluid saturations. As production is “withdrawn” from the model in each time step, the software honors the physical constraints (gravity, fluid flow laws, conservation of mass, etc.) to calculate the interaction of every cell in the model, how fluids move within the model, and to what extent pressure decreases.
The next step in the modeling process is achieving an acceptable “history match”. Through the production phase, withdrawal of fluids (oil, gas and water) have been carefully recorded over time, along with reservoir pressure. What follows is a tedious process wherein various parameters are tweaked and tuned so that the model’s performance is the same as actual observation. Only when close agreement has been achieved between field performance and the model can the modeler proceed to the next step: prediction.
Posted in Climate, Energy | Leave a comment

Bill Nye @TheScienceGuy and Al Gore, ‘not even wrong’ on CO2 ‘Climate 101′ experiment according to paper published in AIP Journal

Steve Maley:

Another instance of “fake but accurate”: a case study in confirmation bias. Bill Nye and AlGore foist a “proof” of Global Warming’s key mechanism on the rubes, but the underlying physics of the experimental setup is shown to be flawed.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

From the department of  “I told you so and I have an experiment that precedes this to prove it” comes a paper that proves Bill Nye’s faked ‘greenhouse effect’ experiment is also based on the wrong ‘basic physics’. Remember when I ripped Bill and Al a new one, exposing not only their video fakery, but the fact that experiment fails and could never work? Well, somebody wrote a paper on it and took these two clowns to task.

The Hockey Schtick writes:

Oh dear, the incompetent & faked attempt by Bill Nye to demonstrate the greenhouse effect for Al Gore’s Climate “Reality” Project has also been shown by a peer-reviewed paper to be based upon the wrong “basic physics” as well. According to the authors, Nye’s experiment and other similar classroom demonstrations allegedly of the greenhouse effect:

View original 672 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ugly: MSNBC host wants ‘re-education’ for Republican ‘climate deniers’

Steve Maley:

I’ll be happy to compare my Earth Science education and C.V. with Ed Schultz. What a dillweed.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

Wow. just wow. No wonder MSNBC is tanking in ratings. Watch the video:

View original

Posted in Climate | Leave a comment

Mexico Opens Its Energy Sector to Outside Investment

Even Joe Biden would agree: this is a pretty big flipping deal.

To recognize how big, you need to understand that Mexico commemorates the anniversary of the day it nationalized its oil fields and threw the Norte Americanos out as a national holiday. The national oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), is a great source of national pride and a cash cow that funds the country’s social programs. Allowing private companies back in, not merely as service providers but as equity owners of production required amendment of the national constitution.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico has passed laws to open its oil, gas and electric industries to private and foreign investors after 76 years of state control. Now comes the hard part.

Experts say Mexico’s hopes for tens of billions of dollars in outside investment, and possibly a shale gas boom like the one occurring across the border in Texas, hinge on being able to design the kind of tenders, contracts and concessions that would actually prove attractive to companies that already have their hands full drilling in deep sea waters and hydro-fracking elsewhere. …

Mexico’s oil and gas production peaked in 2004 at 3.4 million barrels a day. It has fallen steadily since to the current 2.5 million barrels. With the reform, the government hopes to increase that to 3 million barrels by 2018 and 3.5 million by 2025, by attracting private companies with the expertise and technology to exploit the country’s vast shale and deep-water reserves.

And that’s just it. As an arm of the state, PEMEX’s operations have historically been hamstrung by labor unions and plundered for personal gain. Politicians’ thirst for petrodollars meant that PEMEX could not be run like a capitalist business. Consequently, projects that consume lots of capital and depend on the latest technology (read: deepwater and shale plays) have been bypassed in favor of the large shallow water, conventional offshore fields that have historically been PEMEX’s bread and butter.

Geology knows no political boundaries. Half of the Gulf of Mexico deepwater lies in Mexico’s Exclusive Economic Zone and is relatively unexplored. Onshore, it’s easy to project the Eagle Ford trend of South Texas across the Rio Grande, but PEMEX has only drilled a handful of wells there. Needless to say, the deepwater and shale plays are the prize that has the attention of the major international companies who hope to make Mexico’s relatively unexploited resources their playground.

Since 2007, the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin booms have propelled Texas from a declining 1 million barrel per day producer to 3 million barrels per day (N.B.: greater than all of Mexico). Opening Mexico to capitalist competition for the first time in 75 years is great news for the industry, for North American oil supply and for the Mexican economy.

More on the story here and opinion from the Houston Chronicle here.

The energy opening has been termed “Mexico’s second revolution.” While some may view the statement as an exaggeration, few would dispute that the reform will be transformational for the country. Given Mexico’s immense existing and potential resource wealth, and its other favorable attributes (stable democracy, solid macroeconomic fundamentals, global economic integration, geographic proximity to the US, to name a few), the energy reform should attract international interest appropriate to the unique and unusual opportunity it presents. For those in Texas involved in a booming energy sector, the extension of North America’s energy renaissance is a good thing.

Posted in Economy, Energy, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

You can take the course that Vladimir Putin mastered

From this morning’s email comes an offer for an extremely valuable course:

Leadership IQ Webinar:
Managing Narcissists, Blamers, Drama Queens and more

Do you ever have to deal with giant egos, or blamers, or people who find drama in every little thing? Do you have to work with anyone who always sees the negative in any situation? Or someone who is hyper-sensitive and always gets their feelings hurt?

Sadly, not every person in our organization is nice, pleasant and easy-going. So you’ve got to know how to manage and understand difficult personalities. Fortunately, we’ve identified the Big Five difficult personalities that drive the most conflict in organizations, and we’ve developed specific scripts for dealing with each one.

In this 60-minute webinar called Managing Narcissists, Blamers, Drama Queens and more, you’ll learn specific scripts for managing Narcissists (Giant Egos), Blamers and Finger-Pointers, Drama Queens and Kings, Negative and Overly Sensitive people.

Yes, Putin certainly has the skills required to manage the narcissists, blamers and drama queens in his life. Pretty consistently gets the upper hand.

Posted in Politics | Tagged | Leave a comment

Yelp #fail

Review of the local Cracker Barrel:

“I get the Chicken Fried Steak — the tenderness of the chicken is really good …”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Newly Discovered Siberian Craters Signify End Times (or Maybe Just Global Warming); Mystery of the Siberian crater deepens: Scientists left baffled after two NEW holes appear in Russia’s icy wilderness

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

clip_image002Guest essay by Don Easterbrook

A crater in northern Siberia, spotted by a passing helicopter, has received worldwide attention and continues to be a top news story. Since then, two more mysterious holes have been discovered elsewhere in the region. Now the new holes, smaller in diameter but similar in shape – are posing a fresh challenge for Russian scientists, according to the The Siberian Times. Theories range from meteorites to an explosion of methane due to global warming.

View original 1,078 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vox.com’s Ezra Klein Stumbles Bass-Ackward Into a Cogent Point

From Ezra Klein of Vox.com (“Everything you need to know in two minutes, using two brain cells”) comes an analytically-challenged piece with an awkward title:

A stunning graph on how money polarizes politics

www.id photo app.com www.id photo app.com

Now, I suppose that what young Ezra is getting at is that there is a large moderate slice of the population that doesn’t donate much money to political causes (as shown in the graph on the left), so that the extreme believers (especially the donors of more than $200) on both the Left and the Right ends of the spectrum dominate the discussion. That’s the banal, self-evident point that Ezra thinks his “graph is on.”

Unwittingly, though, Ezra has provided us with an insight. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment