The Cloudy Atmosphere

I read an article today on Ars Technica a site I keep track of though I find it inadequate in many respects, not because of bad writing – the article itself is well written – but because the people writing and editing on this site very rarely try to present a rounded picture.


https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/06/us-poll-shows-broad-support-for-renewables-climate-measures/#p3


The article is about how Climate Change and tackling it have become more important to a majority of Americans and how there is a majority who favor supporting the expansion of renewable energies and increasing government regulation to encourage it;

While it's intriguing to see how many people accept reality, it’s the questions about energy policy that produce the most interesting answers. When asked about whether the US should prioritize developing wind and solar energy or expanding oil, natural gas, and coal, 79 percent chose renewables. That’s considerably higher than Pew’s polls from just a few years ago. That number is the partly due to strengthening support among Democrats, but it’s also the result of growth among Republicans in the last few years—65 percent of whom chose renewables.


This seems like a fairly innocuous commentary – borne out by surveys. The USA is becoming more “Climate Aware”!

But is it really? Did the survey ask the key question – what are you willing to pay in money or inconvenience to achieve the improvements you say you support? How much more per gallon on gasoline? What percentage increase in your electricity bill? What increases in your personal taxation will you support to do this? That is the key about support.

Like a lot of conservatives I am a fan of doing more with less. If we had the money our house would be solar powered and off the grid. As it is we are on our own well and we have a septic system and, should good fortune smile we would install solar not because of fears of Climate Change or Ars Technica articles – but because it is neater and more self reliant. Though I say that in the sure and certain knowledge that, should it become viable for people in our kind of demographic to afford a full off the grid solar set up we would immediately be attacked for the materials used in the panels.

It is easy to get people to say they support programs and initiatives that they do not have to personally pay for. I myself am totally willing to enact a hefty tax, payable by journalists and leftist think tanks exclusively, to fund better gun safety and training in schools. I have my doubts that it would pass, though it should.

I stopped listening to the left and the likes of Ars Technica on the day I realized that they are opposed to Nuclear Power which is the ONLY mass scalable energy supply that has a viable, no emission future.

It has never been about “climate”.

A test is a test…

Boeing may be feeling somewhat slighted. They launched a test flight of their Starliner capsule to the Space Station on December 20th.

HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 24: A mockup of the Boeing Starliner spacecraft is seen inside the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility during a media preview for an upcoming public open house at NASA’s Johnson Space Center on October 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas. The public open house will celebrate NASA’s 60th anniversary and the International Space Station’s 20th anniversary. (Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)


The launch went fine but the main boost failed to fire as scheduled in order to push the capsule to the correct course to the Space Station. This led to bringing the capsule back to earth successfully and safely without it making it to the Space Station.

Safely landed


From the reactions in the media one could be forgiven for thinking that this was just a gnats hair away from a total catastrophe.


Which kind of makes me wonder what the media thinks the point of testing actually is?


Something is tested because the performance of the system under “test” is not yet proven to be reliable. That’s why it is being tested.


So Boeing tested their system – it did not perform as expected. Of course it did show that, had the capsule been manned, the crew inside would have been perfectly safe and would have been returned to earth unharmed along with the capsule.


And now – investigation of the error will, hopefully, reveal not just why the error happened but whether there are underlying assumptions which helped bring the error about and the system will be corrected to take care of it. Making it safer and more effective.