A new source for cheap, clean water

I saw this good news in a blog post. I was reading at a science blog and I was shocked to read about the following news reports of a new way to make water drinkable. I had missed this recent news article, from Reuters:

Pentagon weapons-maker finds method for cheap, clean water

(Reuters) – A defense contractor better known for building jet fighters and lethal missiles says it has found a way to slash the amount of energy needed to remove salt from seawater, potentially making it vastly cheaper to produce clean water at a time when scarcity has become a global security issue.

The process, officials and engineers at Lockheed Martin Corp say, would enable filter manufacturers to produce thin carbon membranes with regular holes about a nanometer in size that are large enough to allow water to pass through but small enough to block the molecules of salt in seawater. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter.

They make the filter out of graphene. I had never heard of the stuff. I bet most people have not.

“It’s 500 times thinner than the best filter on the market today and a thousand times stronger,” said John Stetson, the engineer who has been working on the idea. “The energy that’s required and the pressure that’s required to filter salt is approximately 100 times less.”


Humans are very creative and ingenious. Given cheap energy, we can meet our needs on any front. The need for clean, pure, drinkable water is one resource that has been in the news lately. All kinds of people have been hollering that we are “running out of water“. I even hear that on the news here in Florida which is a swamp from one end to the other, and we live on a big ball of water called the earth. Maybe some don’t know about the oceans because they don’t live near one like I do, but surely they have seen photos.

But potable water, ah, now there is the key. Potable water (drinking water) is needed to support life and to grow crops. If the southwest USA and northern Mexico had a nearly unlimited supply of clean water we could feed the world many times over. Think of it, we could pump sea water out of the Gulf of Mexico and desalt it, thus giving farmers all the water their little hearts and large crops could ever want. Cheap food? Now there is a problem I wish we had.

As proof of the possibility, look at what Israel has done with old style technology. They can clean up 5 gallons of sea water for one cent. That is 500 gallons for a dollar.

cost efficiency isreal desalinationFigure 2. Cost per cubic metre (black) for desalinated water around the world. I have added the cost per 100 US gallons in blue. The four outlined plants are in Israel.

Now it takes large amounts of energy to pump seawater though reverse osmosis filters and so we will still need relatively cheap energy. But with the graphene filters we might see an increase in efficiency of up to a factor of 100 times present methods. That would be up to 50,000 gallons for a dollar.

Since Israel is already desalinating 300,000,000 cubic meters of water per year now and is said to be building capacity to go to 600 million in a few years, we see that the new technology will make desalinating sea water even much more practical than it is now. Tampa Florida is using some seawater now as part of their water management plan. This graphene news can only be great news for everyone: but especially the poor of the world. The poor need clean water and this new advance can make it 100 times cheaper to provide it.

This news also reminds me of the people who keep saying that we are running out of water. That has never been true. We have shortages of pure, clean drinking water in places. We need to develop the technology to clean sea water to meet our needs. This is of course exactly what the new development of the graphene filters means for the reverse osmosis desalination of seawater plants.

But even with this breakthrough, it still takes energy to purify water and if the mindless fraud of “catastrophic man-made global warming” means we can’t use coal or gas then the cost of purified sea water will remain too high for the common man — and especially the poor. The cost of the water is a function of the cost of energy.

If energy is cheap then using endless seawater to turn the deserts green is practical and profitable. If energy is made ultra expensive by the so-called “fact” that CO2 is “poison” then the poor of the world will suffer greatly and many will die.

What Global Warming?

I wrote before that “essentially all climate data has been tampered with over the last decade. Temperature records as well as the records of the rise in sea level have been inflated to show warming that is not there. In the 1990 IPCC report, they showed a 10 cm rise in sea level over the previous century. And yet recent literature shows almost double that rise over the same time period. Unless the “scientists” got a time machine and went back in time to measure the planet again we have to conclude they are lying yet again.” But what about the temperature records? Scientists have tossed many graphs at the public that claim to show the data in pictorial form, and some of the graphs have been notoriously misleading or even fraudulent, but there are many that are very interesting.

We all know that the iconic and debunked “hockey stick” graph, showing temperatures recently shooting up into the stratosphere has been thoroughly discredited and yet millions of people still believe Dr. Mann’s fraud as seen in that horrible fantasy movie by Al Gore who made a billion dollars off of his scare mongering “catastrophic man-made global warming”. There was even a recent “hockey stick” graph by another “scientist” that was published and then debunked within a week. That may have been a record.

But there have been a host of graphs shown to the public and their government masters that are just as important, if not more so, than that famous “hockey stick”. Those graphs, showing how temperatures have changed in recent decades, greatly exaggerate those changes. The “scientists” do this by narrowly focusing just on “temperature anomalies” showing how they have risen and fallen round their average level in the past 30-odd years rather than the actual level of global temperature, as it is measured above freezing point.

Lawrence Solomon recently published in his Financial Post newspaper column a graph showing the temperature changes of the past 15 years in proper perspective. He used figures from the most prestigious of all official temperature records which are compiled by the world famous UK Met Office at its Hadley Centre.

The result is astounding. He included that huge part of the data usually left out and hidden from the view of the public and when he did — his chart shows a line that is virtually flat. Is this the “warming” that we are told will kill us all if we don’t toss Trillions at solutions? Is this the reason we should all live like cavemen to reduce CO2 output? (mother nature generates the vast majority of CO2 by the way)

The actual data show that today’s climate changes are relatively tiny compared with those rises and falls of several whole degrees the world survived in the past. The idea that CO2 is going to kill us all falls victim to the visuals of real world data. Even  Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Hansen of Nasa, and the Met Office have all conceded that there has been no warming at all since 1997 while the CO2 levels have continued to rise even faster than before. There has been a small increase in temperature in the last 100 years as the warming started about 200 years ago at the end of the “Little Ice Age”. Simply, we are coming out of the Little Ice Age that began in the early 1300’s.. The warming is a good thing by the way — I want even more of it.

Greenland ice core isotope past 4000 yrs

As this graph shows, modern warming is far below that of the past 4,000 years. Why were the Romans able to thrive in much higher average temperatures and we are now said to be so fragile that we would keel over dead? Follow the money. Government pays handsomely to those who claim that only government can save us from certain catastrophe.

By the way, about 380 to 400 million years ago our earth had an atmosphere with 10 times the present carbon dioxide levels or approximately 4,000 ppm (parts per million). Ten times? Yes, ten times. Those elevated levels did not produce runaway global warming back then so why would we be fooled by computer models into thinking it will happen now simply by our going from 350 ppm to 400 ppm? CO2 is a trace gas.

Plant life thrives under enriched carbon dioxide levels and commercial greenhouse operations provide elevated C02 for better plant growth. Evolution tells us that plants must have evolved in elevated CO2 if they respond so well to increased CO2 concentrations.

The Daily Mail in the UK has a good article today on this issue:

Geology tells us that fossil fuels are predominantly carbon which was part of our atmosphere before being locked away in the earth millions of years ago. At that time, there were more than 4,000 carbon parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere. Over time this has been as low as 270ppm and is now about 385ppm. It is obvious the world can live with these fluctuations in the level of atmospheric carbon. There is a correlation between temperature and CO2, but some of my colleagues have put the cart before the horse.

The evidence shows CO2 levels follow temperature, not the other way around. Indeed, there may be many factors that determine our climate. Australian scientist David Archibald has shown  a remarkable correlation between the sun’s activity and our climate over the past 300 years. Climate scientists insist we must accept the ‘carbon’ orthodoxy or be cast into the wilderness.

But the scientists behind  the theory have a vested interest – it’s a great way to justify new taxes, get more money and guarantee themselves more work.

The reality is that man-made global warming is a myth: the global temperature is well within life’s limits and, indeed, the present day is cooler by comparison to much of Earth’s history. Perhaps this will be the moment that this fact becomes the new scientific orthodoxy.

It is time to put this fraud behind us and to worry about real environmental concerns. Pollution is still a problem; but CO2 is not pollution. I hope that soon this issue is retired to the trash-bin of bad ideas.

A Market Anarchist as Tree Hugger

A friend on Twitter asked me a to comment on the idea of what would happen if we had anarchy and someone wanted to cut down all the trees. She then went on to say that she was concerned about the environment and how that would be handled in the absence of government. I don’t claim to be an expert or fortune teller but I will give my thoughts on environmental issues and government.

This issue reminded me of the day I was sitting with my father sometime in the 70s watching a special on TV about the polluted environment and how we needed to clean it up. They showed various companies and were using the examples to show how we needed stronger laws to make all those dirty bastards clean up. I made some comment on how those companies were just terrible for doing that sort of thing to the environment and that they needed to be sued. My dad was a union member and a Democrat so I was surprised when he said that the biggest despoiler of the environment was the Government. He cited the government installations at Oak Ridge, Tennessee as his main example and then he went on to talk about all the cites that were dumping raw sewage into the Tennessee river at the time. There are numerous other examples. (or see here)

Over the years many people have pointed out the huge environmental mistakes of the governments around the world. It turns out that the stronger the government the worse the government is for conservation of the environment. Even if anarchy is not perfect, the record says that government is a far greater danger.

Now after five decades of observing the greens, it looks like the “environmentalist” is often just a communist hiding behind a green facade. The best description I have seen is “a watermelon;  green on the outside, red on the inside”.  They hate free market capitalism and private property with an unbridled passion and use the environment as their stalking horse. In contrast to the watermelons, a conservationist is one who is genuinely concerned about conserving natural resources. I have been a conservationist all my life.


I believe we should be good stewards of the earth’s bounty. The question is: how can we best accomplish that goal while remaining free, peaceful, and prosperous? There seems to be two essential claims of the environmentalists. They say that continued economic progress is impossible because of the impending exhaustion of natural resources. Peak oil is just one specific example of this. The slogan “reduce, reuse, recycle” that some use is an example of this sort of thinking. The other claim is that continued economic progress is destructive of the environment and we must return to a more primitive time even though that might mean the death of billions of people now alive on this planet.

The essential policy prescription of the environmental movement is the prohibition of free and self-interested individual action. They want to make the government strong and dictatorial. Heck, they want the return of the USSR. The leading example of this policy prescription at the present is the attempt to force people to give up all sorts of things due to the fraudulent claims that CO2 is a poison that will destroy life on this planet. They want to force individuals to give up such things as their automobiles and air conditioners on the ridiculous idea that they cause catastrophic, runaway global warming that will melt the ice at the poles and drown us all. This same example is just the present leading chicken little scenario of the alleged dangers of economic progress but there have been many others and there will be more once the claims of global warming fall to observations of the real world.

Scientific and technological progress will render some “basic necessities” obsolete as progress continues. After all, do you burn whale oil in lamps to read by at night? Besides, new technologies have us swimming in oil and natural gas as I write this. Nature presents the earth as an immense solidly packed ball of resources and it has also provided comparably incredible amounts of energy in connection with this mass of chemical elements. Given laissez-faire freed markets, man’s ingenuity, and scientific progress we will continue to provide goods and services sufficient to meet our needs.

OK, OK; but what about all those trees that my friend was worried about?

In an anarchy where the resources are owned by some individual or group of individuals, the incentive is to conserve the resource, just like companies try to maintain all their capital equipment now. Since strong government is the recipe for environmental disaster, it follows that the less of it the better. No individual or company would destroy all the trees since that would destroy their income. It is to their economic advantage to conserve the product they sell. Besides the incentives involved, there is also the spectre of millions of people boycotting these companies if it became common knowledge that they were despoiling the environment.

To me the main point is how would a polluter by handled by private libertarian courts in a market anarchist world. It is obvious that anyone whose property was despoiled due to the polluter’s actions would be able to sue the pants off the bastards and get restitution. At some point the polluter will clean up his act or else the people that he wrongs will end up owning his business and stop it themselves. Is this perfect? No, there has to be pollution first, an aggrieved party to bring lawsuit, and only then restitution. But that beats hell out of the present highly corrupt and inefficient system that favors the large corporations who pollute rather than the people who have to live with the pollution.

For a more detailed (and long) account of how the free market protects the environment see here.

When backed by effective liability laws, private property rights tend to work well. Because well-tended property increases its value, private owners generally take care not to despoil their land.

This safeguard works even when owners care only for themselves, not for their heirs. For at the very first signs of poor stewardship–the first indications of land erosion, for instance–appraisers and potential buyers can project the results into the future, and the value of the property declines immediately.

With an effective liability system, these pressures can also keep corporations from despoiling land or property that they do not own. Although disputes occur, the obligations of those who harm others’ property are so widely accepted that many people do not even have to go to court when their cars are damaged: insurance companies generally handle such cases routinely.

Until man’s nature changes and he becomes like the angels, we will not see a Utopia on earth and we will not see everyone act just as we wish they would; but the closest we will come is by a system that encourages free-will, voluntary cooperation among men: anarchy in other words.

Science Propaganda is used to Control You

I have mentioned before that the government and the ruling class need “intellectuals” and other opinion makers (like the press) to convince the underclass general population that government is good for us or at least it is necessary. One of the ways that the intellectual class is helping to sell the myth that government is necessary is by having “scientists” claim that we are all going to die if we don’t demand that government control us and save us from “cataclysmic man-made global warming” caused by our release of the “poison” CO2.

But is it true that the earth is warming? Yes it is. The planet has warmed and cooled for millions of years and we know that the planet has been warming since the glaciers retreated from North America. We are in an interglacial period and thank the gods! A world warmer than the terrible cold of a glacial period  is much better for life.

But what about the temperatures recently? Essentially all climate data has been tampered with over the last decade.  Temperature records as well as the records of the rise in sea level have been inflated to show warming that is not there. In the 1990 IPCC report, they showed a 10 cm rise in sea level over the previous century.  And yet recent literature shows almost double that rise over the same time period. Unless the “scientists” got a time machine and went back in time to measure the planet again we have to conclude they are lying yet again. They claim they are “adjusting” the data and I wrote about that once. When I was in school the professors called that sort of thing cheating and fraud. I think it is still fraud. Never adjust the data to match your preconceived beliefs.

But is the planet warming? The planet has been warming since the end of the last glacial period. There were glaciers over the north east U.S. that were 3 to 4 km thick according to Wikipedia. They tell us about the current ice age:

The current ice age, the Pliocene-Quaternary glaciation, started about 2.58 million years ago during the late Pliocene, when the spread of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere began. Since then, the world has seen cycles of glaciation with ice sheets advancing and retreating on 40,000- and 100,000-year time scales called glacial periods, glacials or glacial advances, and interglacial periods, interglacials or glacial retreats. The earth is currently in an interglacial, and the last glacial period ended about 10,000 years ago. All that remains of the continental ice sheets are the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and smaller glaciers such as on Baffin Island.

The alarmists never want to discuss the unadjusted data or the records of the past over the longer time line that shows that what we are experiencing now is nothing unusual. NASA (run by activist Jim Hansen) has been caught numerous times changing the records in the 30s. How does one justify changing the temperature records in the distant past? Time machine?

But what about the Arctic ice all melting? Surely that can’t be fraud also! An Investors Business Daily Article noted that:

If the alarmists are getting only limited cooperation from man, they are getting even less from nature itself. Arctic sea ice, which sent the green shirts into a lather when it hit a record low in the summer of 2012, has “with a few weeks of growth still to occur … blown away the previous record for ice gain this winter.”

“This is only the third winter in history,” when more than 10 million square kilometers of new ice has formed in the Arctic, Real Science reported on Tuesday, using data from Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois.

At the same time, the Antarctic “is now approaching 450 days of uninterrupted above normal ice area,” says the skeptical website Watts Up With That, which, also using University of Illinois Arctic Climate Research data, notes that “the last time the Antarctic sea ice was below normal” was Nov. 22, 2011.

But what about the famous 97% “consensus” of all scientists that CO2 is poisonous and that we are all going to fry or drown? More fraud, debunked many times. The “consensus” from the 1970′s was that cold and ice were in our future. The linked video is actually quite a good, which shows how different perceptions were, only a few decades ago. It is narrated by Spock (Leonard Nimoy). Another very short video shows that contrary to the conventional wisdom today, the real danger facing humanity is not global warming, but more likely the coming of a new Ice Age. What we live in now is known as an interglacial. Nothing unusual has happened since either of these videos were made. The global temperature has changed by less than during most of the Holocene. Temperatures have been essentially flat for the past 16 years. But the public’s perceptions have changed, due to the relentless propaganda.

Speaking of propaganda, the president gave a State of the Union speech recently and here is some of the propaganda in Obama’s speech.

Now, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods, all are now more frequent and more intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it’s too late.

Here’s Marc Morano’s devastating point by point rebuttal. Obama’s war on climate change is a war against a mirage. There is no warming to be concerned about at present and the warming that we saw in the 80s and 90s is part of the natural cycle of climate change. Obama is selling a theory that only exists in the discredited computer projections of a shameless cabal of grant-eating activist “scientists” increasingly out of touch with real world data. They function as “intellectuals” who help sell the myth that we need government to protect us.


The problem with climate models and adjusted records

I don’t often write about the “catastrophic man-made global warming” issue, but today I wanted to say a few words about the “adjustments” in the record, computer models, cherry picking, and what that means to climate predictions. I don’t have time at present to do any links, this is just a short rant and my opinion. I hope to do a much longer piece this summer when I have more free time.

Many modern climate “scientists” (I speak of the alarmists here) are paying more attention to their computer models than they are to the actual real world data. And when they do use collected data it is “adjusted” data that for some reason is always adjusted higher in the present and lower in the past. That is most convenient for them.

The real problem though seems to be that they take temperatures from 1980 to 2000 and compare those readings to the CO2 increase during that span and come up with a climate sensitivity number. But if you add 2000-2010 to the equations then climate become less “sensitive”. In fact, the climate shows no warming with rising CO2 during the 2000s at all.

The climate scientists could have gone back to 1910 to 2000 and compared temperature change to CO2 increase. If they had done that then they would have come up with a far less sensitivity to CO2; or possibly even no sensitivity at all. They intentionally picked a portion of the temperature record where the slope of the curve was close to the slope of CO2 increase and decided that there was a cause and effect relationship.This cherry picking was called fraud when I was in school many years ago; but somehow these “scientists” see no problem with coming up with a hypothesis and fudging data to support it.

The scientists could have noticed that the change in temperature from 1910 to 1940, using unadjusted data, was nearly identical to the the change in temperature from 1975 to 2005 and the curve of CO2 change was quite different during the two periods. Somehow this obvious fact was overlooked in their rush to claim that we are all headed toward a climate Armageddon if we don’t give them Billions in grant money and enable the governments to force us to freeze in the dark by cutting back on energy use.

But now with the lack of any warming (or even cooling) of the last 16 years they are being forced to explain the lack of recent change, even as they are going back into the databases and altering them to remove the previous rise to create the illusion of continued warming. They are “adjusting” the databases and in a couple of decades the record will look back at our time and reflect no stop in warming at all. In other words, I have little doubt that 20 years from now we will see in the databases that warming never stopped after 2000. The hiatus in warming will simply be adjusted away as if it never happened.

The CO2 is poison mantra has become a religion with these scientists and their “environmentalists” supporters. There does not seem to be any way to talk logic to them since it is now a religion with them. No matter what the present weather is they holler global warming did it! Record highs, record lows, no snow, record snow, people freezing, people getting hit with a hurricane, record low in hurricane strikes, or whatever … anything at all is proof to them that the world is in danger due to the activities of man.

These charlatans are destroying real science.