Thermodynamics

I’ve attended a few meetings/dinners recently which covered different topics but climate change risks were at the heart of all.  The speakers and audience at all these events were well informed and involved in the issues either on a professional level, e.g. government policy makers, politicians, investors, academic, or just plain-interested.  The main thrust is alway about how upcoming man-made climate change is the biggest challenge man has ever faced.  Proof that this is the case is presented in various ways–last night someone recounted the horror of seeing “with my own eyes” polar bears running out of ice in the Arctic.  I consistently heard how CO2 is a “greenhouse” gas and how this has been known for more than a hundred years and is therefore “fact”.  I also hear how there is faith and expectation in our ability to “significantly” increase the efficiency of our energy generation, especially from wind power.  It is asserted by getting those efficiency gains, we can both significantly reduce CO2 emissions and get more energy, thus supporting the current massive investments in alternative energy so as to avoid the atmospheric crisis.

This all jars with with I was forced to learn at my Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday at 7:30 a.m. course at university on Thermodynamics.  While I was probably mostly asleep at these classes, I did attend, and I distinctly remember being confused about and awed at the Laws of Thermodynamics.  One point that sticks in the back of my mind was a lot of discussion about how it is required to have wasted heat in energy generation and to have no “waste” heat means no power can be generated.  I didn’t quite get it then; but I want to get it now.  Maybe I’m remembering wrongly? Time to action my to-do item on re-learning “thermo”.

Cleaes Johnson, a professer in Sweden has been blogging about for quite sometime that there is no science (based on thermodynamics) which supports “CO2 alarmism”.   Professor Johnson, in a blog post at  provides the catalyst to get me going.   He kindly provides links to two documents: “Thermodynamics of the Atmosphere”, and “Computational Thermodynamics”.

Being the techy that I am, I’m going to start reading and remembering “thermo” the best I can and see if I can un-jar these ideas.

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