Pres. Trump Chooses Science Advisor

| February 21, 2017


I’ve been waiting to find out who will be Pres. Trump’s science adviser. It appears to be physicist Dr. William Happer, a physicist currently teaching at Princeont University, and former Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science from 1991–1993. He’s no slouch as a scientist. His work for the Air Force on the sodium guidestar laser  platform for the military’s missile defense program provided information on the tropopause layer in the upper atmosphere, which is where atmospheric wave fronts distort both starlight and laser emissions, and where heat either begins to leak into space or does not, depending on how much and what kind of gas is blocking heat radiation.

The tropopause is the boundary between the troposphere, where we live and where weather takes place, and the stratosphere. The layers above that are the stratosphere, where stratocirrus clouds form as floating clouds of ice, the mesosphere, the thermosphere and the top, very thin layer, the exosphere. Beyond that is space.

Dr. Happer’s view of the whole climate thing clashes badly with the PC crowd’s notions about it, mostly because during the development of the sodium guidestar, he had to learn the physics and chemistry of the troposphere and the tropopause, and the layers above the troposphere.

I’ve tried to photograph Mars with a Superzoom camera attached to a tripod, and believe me, the wind distortion in the layers above the troposphere is intense. The best shot I got was a red squishy blob. I’ll have to try again later. If it’s really busy up there, bustling along like a bat out of hell ahead of a storm front, even the Moon has wiggles in it, all caused by high speed atmospheric wind at high altitudes distorting the image. And frankly, when I shot the photo attached to this article last summer, the sky really was that deep, clear blue. It was late afternoon ahead of a storm.  Where’s the pollution?

As it is, I’m quite sure that Dr. Happer knows far more about the physics and contents of those high layers of air than the people who’ve tried to turn weather and climate into some sort of cultist ideology.

And that includes that moronic, greedy, fraudster sideshow barker, Al Gore. I was particularly intrigued by the jackass at George Mason University last year who wanted ‘climate deniers’ (whatever that is) persecuted under the RICO Act.

Some pimple-brained Australian music teacher living in Austria back in 2012 wanted anyone to get the death penalty who disagreed with the then-popular ideology of global warming. He published his opinion on the website of the University of  Graz, where he was teaching. Shortly after that, the embarrassed University publicly rejected what he said and he had to publicly recant his diatribe.

A few years ago, Greenpeace tried entrapment on Dr. Happer in a sting, getting him to give his view of the climate’s properties to them through a false e-mail address. That backfired on them.

I think he’s the right person for the job. I think he has what it takes to open reasoning dialog on this contentious subject, instead of allowing only one side to be heard. Since the media kowtows to the incipient cultism coming out of the leftist crowd, I want to see what happens when requiring the publication of real results instead of mulched numbers is required to get grant money, especially since it’s easy enough for us plebes to get the raw, unaltered data from public websites.

Science is not ideology. Ideology does not accept opposition or dissenting views. Real science does.  This whole thing about ‘climate this and that’ has taken on the characteristics of cultism. The noisy crowd on the left side of the fence scream and holler loudly at you if don’t agree with whatever their stance is on the climate, but if you try to pin them down about the chemistry, physics and biology of the whole thing, they can’t give you answers. They can’t tell you anything about weather.

And frankly, I don’t think they even like rain because they hate getting wet. But they want their veggies, which require rain, lots of it. They want your tax money spent on silly, useless, daydream programs instead of on keeping reservoir dams in good repair, because it never rains in Southern California. Oh, that rain? The forecast was for two inches, period. The total so far has been well beyond that, so much so that the Andersonville Dam spillway, per a twitterpated photo, is operating in full force now. 3 to 6 inches of rain at the lower levels in California translates to 30 to 66 inches of new snow in the Sierras.

That is going on now.  The National Weather Service has forecast heavy snow in the Lake Tahoe area with a high avalanche danger until Tuesday in an area of the Sierra Nevada from Yuba Pass to Ebbetts Pass. Forecasters say the winter storm could drop up to 5 feet of snow in areas above 7,500 feet. Lower elevations could see between 8 and 24 inches of snow.

In regard to CO2 levels in the atmosphere, Dr. Happer would likely agree on the following simple statement. This planet we live on is a closed biosystem. It is symbiotic in nature, with animals of all kinds from tiny insects to humans to elephants depending on plants as a basic source for food and shelter, and plants depending on animals at all levels for the one thing they need the most: CO2 – carbon dioxide. Plants combine the carbon dioxide, produced by earth activities and by animals, with water to produce sugar, a/k/a sap, which is what they live on. I learned that in the 3rd grade, a very long time ago.

This doesn’t count noxious trace gases in the atmosphere, such as nitrous oxide, ozone, chlorine and phosgene. Dr. Happer has said that we need to find ways to reduce those noxious gases.  I would add that we desperately need to find more ways to be more accurate in forecasting weather events, and we need to spend money on real projects like strengthening levees and dikes on major waterways like the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to avoid disastrous episodes of flooding like the 1993 floods.  $15 billion in damages could have been prevented if the levees hadn’t failed.

Biology is really very simple. We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. We in the animal kingdom are as dependent on the plant kingdom for our existence as plants are on dependent on us for theirs. If there is insufficient carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to support plant life, plants will die off and the entire animal kingdom, right down to the smallest insect, will die off.

Category: DC Government

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  1. News of the Week (February 26th, 2017) | The Political Hat | February 26, 2017
  1. 11b-mailclerk says:

    I have to differ on one point, and it is a very large one.

    Our biosphere is an open system.

    Energy from the sun crosses inbound. Heat radiates outbound.

    Mass arrives via solar wind and meteorite accumulation. Mass departs via atmospheric blowoff.

    That makes it “open” system, and that has profound impact on the physics of the biosphere, as well als the biologics.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      It’s a closed system in the sense that a terrarium and a fishpond are closed systems. You can introduce other fish, add rocks, change the water, feed the reptile flies or crickets, but they can’t leave unless you provide a means of escape.
      Unless we find another habitable planet within striking distance, we’re unable to migrate to another pond or terrarium.

      • AW1 Tim says:

        And what is interesting, is that the oceans have a similar system as the atmosphere, just more dense.

        There are layers you progress through, which light also travels through, and which helps both biologics and platns grow and thrive. Or not.

        Each layers acts upon the others as well, and all in all, it’s a fascinating subject. It kept me employed with ASW and lots of interesting concepts with the Navy.

      • jonp says:

        In a sense your right however, the atmosphere is not a glass greenhouse which is what the climate fetish people would have everyone believe.

        • Ex-PH2 says:

          True, jonp, but neither a terrarium nor a fish pond have glass covering them. A proper terrarium has a screen and a fish pond is open to the air.

  2. HMC Ret says:

    I’m glad Trump chose someone who had done extensive research on the tropopause layer in the upper atmosphere. That’s a relief.

    Memo to Self: Try to find out WTF the tropopause layer is.

    • Medic09 says:

      Please add to the memo to let me know, when you do find out.

    • Graybeard says:

      The “tropopause” is the phase Mother Nature goes through just before “menopause”.

      • OC says:

        Oh fuck, Graybeard wins the internets for the day!!!!!
        That’s just fucking beautiful.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        Just for enlightenment, the mesopause is that moment in a Japanese restaurant when you’re trying to decide if you want the miso soup or just want to skip it and go with teppanyaki by itself.
        The stratopause is what you do when you get up in the morning and forget to shut the bathroom door and the cat wanders in, giving you curious looks.

      • jonp says:

        ^^^^ding ding ding

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      The tropopause is the boundary, at 7 miles up, between the troposphere and the stratosphere. For reference, Felix Baumgartner’s record setting jump from 128,000 feet (15 miles) put him halfway into the stratosphere (7 to 31 miles).

      What was interesting about that was that when he reached that height, the maximum his balloon could achieve, the balloon inflated a small amount from solar heat and rise just slightly, and when it cooled, it would sink just slightly.

  3. The Other Whitey says:

    As before, I still have my misgivings about Trump, tempered by cautious optimism, but he’s assembling one hell of a band!

  4. West says:

    Just as a note, I’m pretty sure that wind does not bend light any more than passing through a similar amount of still air would. Water vapor and other aerosols, carried by wind, with varying densities over time because of the wind, cause the blurring of images.

    Thanks for the info on Dr. Happer, sounds like a good choice to me!

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I was trying to be brief.

    • Graybeard says:

      I would argue that “the wind” in the sense of fluctuations in the flow and thickness of a given mass of gasses causes those gasses to distort the light passing through them much as fluctuations in any flexible lens distorts light.

      Distortions in the atmospheric layers also are behind variations in radio-frequency radiation propagation. Any experienced Ham has stories about “skip” and odd transitory experiences with signal propagation.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        And when we still listened mostly to AM, I could get Baltimore, MD, radio broadcasts in central Illinois, but the ceiling had to be high enough to allow that. It was fun.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      From “Signatures of tropopause folding in satellite imagery”:
      The close relationship between altered brightness temperature and total
      ozone (from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) and the GOES sounder)along this gradient confirms the utility of AWV imagery in detecting the tropopause break. Transects constructed from aircraft lidar and in situ observations of ozone illustrate the
      existence of tropopause folding along the AWV gradient. Ten out of ten available transects during the February to May study period show tropopause folding where indicated by the satellite imagery. This is strong evidence that folding is ubiquitous across the polar/
      stratospheric air mass boundary during the study period, and that the associated intrusions of stratospheric air into the troposphere can be located continuously using AWV imagery.” [Wimmers, Moody, Browell, et al., Journal of Geophysical Research Vol. 108-2003]
      It’s kind of long and detailed, but I can link to it if you want to read the entire thing. I was just trying to be brief.
      The boundaries between atmospheric layers are not static, but rather are mobile, pliable, and very active. Any gases or vapors contained in those boundaries contribute to optical distortion of starlight and/or satellite imagery as well as ground observation platforms such as the large telescopes at Narrabri Observatory in Australia, Mauna Loa and Cerro Paranal in Chile’s Atacama Desert. This ‘folding’ mechanism had to be taken into account when Dr. Happer was working on the sodium starguide platform.
      Like I said, I was trying to be brief.

    • Hondo says:

      Actually, moving fluid does have different light propagation characteristics than does that same fluid when still.

      Both air and water are fluids – the former is compressible, while the latter is not.

      However, I’d guess the effect is generally negligible in most real-world situations.

  5. Deplorable B Woodman says:

    Thank G-d it wasn’t Bill Nye the “Science” (koff! koff!) Goy. (spelled on purpose)

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Yeah, me, too. He’s one of those jerks who want people with dissenting opinions persecuted as criminals. (I used persecuted instead of prosecuted on purpose.)

  6. Chad says:

    Weather/climate and politics have become similar the last 15 yrs. There is very little left that is unprecedented but the headlines.

    I’ve lived/hunted in NorCal long enough to know that about every 7 yrs there is going to be Biblical rains…what happens in between can be a normal rain yr to a drought. We are located 1/2 way between a desert and a rain forest… guess what bobbles in the jet stream do around here? Google Gulf of Alaska Blob. Guess what blob started breaking down last fall after being in the GOA for 3 years? Guess what was supposed to be the new normal in the GOA?

    Looks like “new normal” isn’t going to vary much from the good ol’ days

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      What I’d like to know, Chad, is why TPTB knew that the Oroville Dam and spillway needed repairs and didn’t do them. Was this because they thought the drought would never break and it wasn’t necessary to make those repairs? All droughts come to an end at some point.

      The reason I ask is that the levees and dikes along the Mississippi River were thought to be more than adequate to contain excessive water volumes, but didn’t take into account the recurring, but irregular, episodes of excessive spring melt and summer rain, which is what happened in 1993. Several people were killed in that flooding. Seeking levees break and water pouring through them was appalling.

      You can’t assume anything about Mother Nature, including what the spring and summer water levels on a river like Ol’ Miss will amount to.

      I’m just trying to understand, that’s all.

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        If you spend the government budget money on graft and vote buying and various other boondoggles, you can use the inevitable “emergency – no funds!” situation to take emergency fundraising actions (like new taxes and demands for outside help) that would -never- fly for boondoggles directly.

        If you fund the cops and firemen and roads properly, it is very hard to elbow the people into that emergency “temporary” sales tax whammy to fund studies of left handed art students or hiring more whazzit counters in the department of sumthin.

        Now, if you can say with a straight face “We have to cut back on cops and firemen, doom impends!”, then the People can be expected to Baaaaaa! and vote for that extra tax and the bond issues that will require even more shortly.

        CaliFAILia has about wrung that Golden Goose to death. The impending infrastructure fails will be … epic.

        Federal bailout and repair funds demanded in 3…2…

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        So, 11B, the idea that the voters can be repeatedly scammed over something like the needed repairs at Oroville has never occurred to the local/county/state government?
        Yeah, that’s just about the level of stupidity I would expect from La-La-Land.
        Well, I do hope that some people ‘in government’ lose their jobs over this and the people living there snap out of their fog of delusion. Bound to happen some day.

    • Perry Gaskill says:

      There are lots of people, including many who live in California, who tend to not notice the dog not barking about the state’s water situation. The news media loves to get hysterical and clinch its little butt cheeks anytime there’s an incident like the Oroville Dam. It’s also ironic that those of a conservative bent who love to rag on Governor Moonbeam seem to have no problem getting in bed with the Sierra Club about the dam’s spillway issues.

      Here’s a little tip: If the state had actually decided to pave the spillway in question, it would have been no surprise if the Sierra Club had filed a lawsuit demanding an environmental impact report. And then filed another lawsuit once the findings were released. It’s how they roll.

      Those paying attention to the longer-term implications of California water, and know what they’re talking about, tend to be more concerned with the lowering of ground water levels in the aquifer. Part of this is due to drought, but a bigger part is due to a shift in types of agricultural crops. Where I live is rangeland which tends to not be water intense; a few miles south, and the grazing land has been converted to vineyards which suck up a lot.

      Bottom line, according to local well drillers, is that a few years ago it used to be common to get good water at around 200 feet. Now the depths are down to around 700 feet.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        A drop of 500 feet? That is not a good sign at all. Even worse, drought-busting rains like those going on now won’t affect the aquifers in anyone’s lifetime. Takes too long for surface water to make the trip down into the aquifers.

        At some point, those are going to run dry. Hmmm…. I’d guess that notion doesn’t cross their minds.

    • The Other Whitey says:

      Down here in SoCal, the best weather sages tend to be the old US Forest Service guys. Every single one of them said we’d see drought-busting rains this year, or next year at the latest. How did they know? Because this is not even slightly unprecedented, and they’ve seen the cycle before.

      Of course, we’re headed for the worst fire season ever. Again. Because EVERY year in SoCal is going to be the worst fire season ever.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        Hyperbole and panic attacks are the only way the media know how to report the news or the weather. They who label themselves ‘reporters’ or ‘journalists’ have a list of words that are supposed to get more attention, e.g., ‘disastrous flooding’ instead of ‘the creek overflowed its banks and damaged the road’.

  7. AW1Ed says:

    Bill Nye the Science* Guy kicks rock, stuffs hand in pockets, walks off muttering.

    *Actually not a Scientist, just plays one on TV. And not very well at that. Really a bit of a lefty idiot with an agenda, but that’s just me.

  8. Tom Huxton says:

    Al Gore rhythm … song with a stupid beat

    Al Gore ithm …. stupid math

    Al Gore ism ….. stupidity repeated