There are a whole series of diseases from simple allergies to some form of arthritis where the normal behaviour of the body’s immune system somehow stops just attacking foreign invaders and instead starts attacking the body’s own tissues as if it were a foreign matter. I see much similarity in the way academics now attack commerce, industry and their antithesis “practitioners” and “sceptics”.
Why do academics love battery cars?
I was thinking this morning, that much of the problem of academia stems from the way it has become divorced from the reality of real life. That e.g. researchers will spend years investigating battery technology for some supposed Utopian future without hydro-carbons … when it has long been known that batteries are an inefficient way to store energy.
In case it is not obvious, this is because batteries like hydro-carbon fuels are just ways to store chemical energy. The big difference is that the “other side” of the process in hydrocarbons is the freely available air … whereas the “other side” of a battery has to be in the battery on “the other” plate. The result is that a petrol tank is 100% full of energy giving chemicals. In contrast even if the battery were 100% full of chemicals … they would only have 50% of the energy because they carry both sides of the reaction whereas the other side for hydro-carbons is air.
But it is much worse, in a battery, the chemical store is a thin coat on a 2D plate which must have all the additional complexity, bulk and weight of the electrical plates to hold that chemical store and transfer the energy. Batteries are far from an ideal way to carry energy and you’d have to be a nutty professor to think they are.
So, why don’t academics research how to convert Carbons & water into hydro-carbons? The answer is simple – that was worked out a long time ago and therefore there is no grant money to promote the proven and useful technology which requires absolutely no change to our cars
The real alien conspiracy
Likewise, when academics try to find aliens, they leave their brains behind and go into this fantasy world of benign creatures setting out to talk to each other – ignoring the fact that any signal is unlikely to reach any civilisation before they are all long dead.
But the daftest thing, is the most ubiquitous “fingerprint” of humanity is the curse of every astronomer: STREET LIGHTS. Streetlights, that as most engineers will know is likely to be AC, is likely to be sodium. Which makes it a massive and very precise beacon of civilisation that could easily been seen across the Galaxy.
But no! Academics don’t do the simple or the obvious. They think aliens will be watching doctor Who. Or let’s turn that around … they have equipment needing grants … and one way to get a grant for their equipment is to suggest that aliens might be watching Dr Who!
And yes, it is the same with global warming. There is a very simple explanation for why the world warming in the 20th century … and that is because the world has and always will warm and cool. But academics don’t do simple. Why can’t they see the obvious? Why do they always try to make simple things sound complex? Why call it “anthropogenic global warming” when they clearly mean “Man-made global warming” and only those trying to pretend it is something it is not would say otherwise?
Lack of customer focus
In the good old days when engineers got on with making Britain great and academics knew their place as the repository of knowledge and not the adviser to government economics, global warming & social policy, engineers led and academics followed. So, we invented the steam engine … they encapsulated that theory in gas laws. We practitioners learnt how the layers of geology could be used as a road map to find coal. They took our road map and claimed they discovered geology. Practitioners like John Harrison invented the navigation watch that saved countless lives and mapped the world … and the Royal Society followed by going into a huff because it had given a prize for doing that and couldn’t tolerate the idea that they had been barking up the wrong tree trying to determine longitude using observations of the moon.
OK, academics claiming all this information determined by others was “theirs” had some credibility, because even if they information did not originate with them, they did great the overall picture as well as doing their job to collate this information and disseminate it. So, even though the actual claim of “discovering” was dubious to say the least, it did benefit every engineer and practitioner to have a common pool of knowledge of which the academics were less “originators” than guardians.
But now, that focus on “simple” has gone. The “customer focus” went when academia advised government as I would put it: “the future isn’t simple, it isn’t engineering”. When academia told British government that the future was not engineering … it was part of what is almost an auto immune disease in the UK and perhaps the US. The Guardian of our knowledge store, was now turning against the originator of that knowledge and the originator of the wealth that gave academia its funding and its purpose.
It was almost a turf war
The best way to describe this is to highlight the situation in the BBC, an organisation which as far as I can remember, has never had a good word for “engineers”. I finally understood when one day during an program I felt was particularly hostile to my way of thinking had several “technical difficulties” and I though “good … I hope some engineer was pulling the plug”. And then I realised that maybe they were!
Could it be that within BBC broadcasting there is this turf war between the “celebrity broadcasters” who lord it over us on the screen … and the “practitioner engineers” who make it all happen? The more I think about it, the more this explains the BBC hostility to sceptics (most of whom seem to be engineers).
Have you noticed how often in some programs, there is a “technical hitch”. Now imagine a scene where BBC engineers have just been told that global warming is true that they are just a bunch of deniers … etc. etc., the worst thing is that the lovey doveys in front of the camera have no way of telling whether there is any real technical hitch and the engineers are probably fed up with the way they get treated.
Decline in respect for engineering
And so, for a number of reasons: the inevitable decline in some industries; to the delight of the BBC attacking any “engineer” in society, but most of all because academia has now ordained that engineering is dead, we have seen a decline in both quantity and respect for industry and engineering.
For example, there used to be a “Science and Engineering Committee” in the UK parliament. That changed to “Science and technology” … the way things are going it will soon just be “Science”. Because engineering is being written out of British life. E.g. have you never considered how odd it is that the government have a “Chief Scientist” but no “Chief Engineer”? Even the Starship Enterprise had a chief engineer … but not the starship UK which is (not) boldly going anywhere.
The result of this anti-engineering, anti-commerce, pro-academic, pro-public service culture that is now endemic in British and particularly Scottish society is that engineering quite literally a “dirty word” to some people meaning a dirty nasty even perhaps morally corrupt group. The result is that as a group engineers have been written out of British life. E.g. I cannot remember when I last saw any positive portrayal of an engineer on the BBC (although positive portrayals of any men are rare). The result is that the tie to industry and commerce that used to keep academic’s feet on the ground has lessoned, whilst their dislike & even in many cases hatred of engineering and commerce has increased.
The result is very like a religion: A new religion that was essentially anti-industry, anti commerce and at its core was a hatred for the source of power for industry and commerce: fossil fuel.
That religion was largely social & political and summed up as “anti-capitalist”. But the effect has been to attack our wealth creation through the “capitalist” proxy of fossil fuel. It is like an auto-immune disease producing a culture of hostility against practitioners & wealth creators and those like sceptics who dare to challenge those who believe this new religion.
So, the disease is something akin to an auto-immune disease, whereby academia has turned against industry and commerce or perhaps more accurately** has become detached, less tolerant, less knowledgeable about real wealth creation and the real world as they now sit behind their computer models. (**The upper class old scientists were always hostile to those in industry.)
The Academic Closed Shop
As we have seen on global warming, in many areas, academia is now claiming to have a monopoly on knowledge. For anyone else, even to say “it has not warmed in 15+ years” has become beyond the pale … it is as if we are challenging the high priests of this new religion; As if only they have a direct line to their goddess Gaia. But it is really a professional closed shop. Engineers have always had to do these kinds of calculations. Indeed having worked on temperature monitoring control and design I am far more professionally qualified to do the calculation than any academic. But normally engineers do it for their own companies, but now we do it for the whole world. So what is the response? Out come the “brothers & sisters” of the academic Union to demand we stop us evil engineers treading on their turf and doing “their” work. It is a closed shop mentality – that no other group can participate in what they consider to be “their” area.
Hence the violent and vitriolic attacks
This I believe is the fundamental reason that all those academics have closed ranks against the clear and unequivocal evidence that climate models do not work. They are being like creationists – claiming some godly insight into the workings of the world which has no evidential basis at all – and actively attacking those whose views are based on the evidence: that climate models do not work, and that academics are in denial about this.
There is no basis for these attacks. I don’t know of any sceptic who is funded by fossil fuel. I know many many academics and wind companies are. Their vitriol has no basis in fact, and therefore it must be a social phenomena akin to the Trade Unionist closed shop mentality.
And I cannot believe the stupidity as academia as an institution. For there is no doubt that future generations (and future even future academics) will laugh at the stupidity of academics today. Some will no doubt try to rationalise it as something such as a pseudo political movement and “anti-capitalist” conspiracy the misled academia: but I’m going to be very interested to see how they deny all responsibility for this almighty cock-up.
But the truth is that almost all academics in some sense or other have gone along with this global warming non-science. Not because they support their colleagues who assert rubbish like the Hockeystick, but because they tolerate & even encourage their colleagues attacking others when…
… it is academia that will never consider the blindingly obvious.
The Astronomer … whose views is blinded by street lights … who then suggests looking for a radio signal using their massive radio-telescope.
The geologists … who don’t see that any miner would have understood the rocks through which they dug were not from “the flood”.
… it is those with practical experience who created the modern world
The watchmaker … who proved a simple watch, not complex science, could navigate the world.
The sailor … in whose boat the curvature of the earth is visible just a mile or so away and did not need to be told the world was round.
The engineer … who knew how gases expanded and how to make a steam engine without an academic to advise them.
The farmer … who knew how to breed sheep, long before an academic worked out how.
They were all practitioners and “sceptics”
People who questioned what they saw, did not accept the blind assertions of authority and who went on to change the world. But now that blind assertion of authority is almost a state religion in academia & particularly Science. It is a religion with its own inquisition and dogma, and which now actively attacks the very people who in former years created the wealth and knowledge of this world for these “librarians” of academia to collate.
The simple fact is that natural variation, as we see throughout the climate record, can easily explain all the climate variation in the 20th century.
But academics don’t do simple
The disease is that they now actively attack those who not only understand simple, but know how to make the world simpler. Those who know how to do things simply and make a better and more profitable society for us all!
And so I’ll end with the old joke:
How many scientists does it take to change “the world”?
Just one … and an inability to do simple.
the world: “A spherical globe of Earth’s whose lithosphere is divided into several rigid segments, or tectonic plates, that migrate across the surface over periods of many millions of years. It’s surface is covered by water contribute to the hydrosphere. …”