GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE: Statistical Expectations and Humanistic Perspective (Revision 1)

Fundamental Limitations in IPCC Global Warming Report

Notwithstanding a prodigious international effort to assess global climate change, I identify three fundamental limitations in the IPCC global-warming report: (1) Its validity is tied directly to data normalized to the year 1750, which allows for different perspectives arising from other referents, (2) dependence on data-normalization is understated in the report, and (3) day-to-day humanistic considerations and environmental stresses might be more acute and chronic than global climate change.

While written a year or two before the CRU ClimateGate scandal broke out, this Knol has advised caution on giving too much reliance on the reported IPCC data. This version is effectively a 2010 new-year update.

Hyperlinks have been added to facilitate navigation back and forth throughout this Knol, revised for 1 January 2010.

Ethical Irresponsibility in Mainstream Technical and Topical Magazines

(Nuclear Nonsense from Amory Lovins)

Although mainstream technical and topical magazines publish in the public interest, their editors don’t feel obligated to print corrections. Two specific examples are cited, partly because the author of those articles has built an edifice of ostensible authority that since propelled him to fame.

Both magazines refused to give serious consideration to rectification on the grounds that the original papers were published 30 years ago on topics that are still timely and disputed. However, it has taken that long for the facts to materialize and for the opportunity for rebuttal to arise.

Some of this material, with supplementary details, can be found in my Knol, “NUCLEAR EXPERTISE: The Amory Lovins Charade.” Related information is in my detailed Knol “A CENTURY OF PROGRESS in Nuclear Information and Understanding (And the Role of Skeptics, Cynics, Misinformants, and Charlatans).

With the advent of universal Internet access, it has become possible to publish an alternative and timely assessment of professional responsibility.

A Century of Nuclear Progress

Introduction/Conclusions/Table of Contents

This Knol contains just this Introduction, followed by the Conclusions and Table of Contents for the companion Knol “A Century of Progress in Nuclear Information and Understanding.”

It’s been 100+ years since the nuclear genie emerged, more than 70 years since both Nazi Germany and the United States governments became interested in uranium fission, nearly 70 years after the first reactor, and over 60 years since the first nuclear bombings.

During the same time period, many dams have breached, mines have caved in, air pollution has increased, bridges have collapsed, world and regional wars have been fought, infectious pandemics have spread, humans have starved, and other calamities have occurred.

The perspective of time now allows some constructive and manifest observations, supported by a preponderance of evidence, about progress in nuclear-related science, technology, and applications.

[The following propositions have survived intense scrutiny, intuitive repugnance, normal skepticism, informed criticism, and calculated misinformation by naysayers.]

A CENTURY OF PROGRESS in Nuclear Information and Understanding

(And the Role of Skeptics, Cynics, Misinformants, and Charlatans)

This independent review of nuclear trends in the past century demonstrates that the effects of low radiation doses have been found to be substantially less than feared and that the rate of nuclear proliferation has been slowing down .

All too often some repetitive and challengeable themes have been propagated without substantiation. This Knol is intended to help the reader in differentiating between (1) routine skepticism, even cynicism, about some nuclear-related issues, from (2) assertive reports and writings which suffer from insufficient scientific foundation. The differentiation is based on established and defined scientific criteria, as well as comparison with a nuclear “scoreboard.”

Each of these topics listed below in the Primary Table of Contents are active navigational hyperlinks with the six topical Sections, their respective subject matter, and the corresponding Contents at the beginning of each Section. The reader can go back and forth between Sections and topics.

With the radiation age dating back at least a century, and the nuclear age being closing on three-quarters of a century, some long-standing concerns about radiation hazards and proliferation potential are now better understood. (To go direct to concluding remarks about a century of nuclear progress, go to Section VI in Table of Contents and click on “Nuclear Issues Being Resolved.”)

Whatever controversy remains about the underlying science and technology, the realities of nuclear experience after all these years are that nominal radiation exposures are harmless and weapons proliferation has been tamed.

[Version 17 Dec 09]

NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROLIFERATION: Summary and Table of Contents

Delays and Missteps in Arms Control and Nonproliferation

Prominent individuals are now calling for prohibition or elimination of nuclear weapons. To make such goals conceivable requires verifiable nuclear reductions, as well as irreversible demilitarization of essential components.

The fissile materials essential for nuclear weapons are demilitarized when rendered unsuitable for military use in a fission-explosive manufactured by an industrialized nation.

Demilitarization greatly reduces the risk of nuclear-weapons proliferation and the danger from sub-national groups or individuals that might try to make nuclear explosives.

More than 100,000 nuclear warheads were manufactured during the Cold War, and a fourth of them are still stockpiled. Fissile demilitarization will be necessary for meaningful arms control and nonproliferation.

An accompanying five-part Knol series provides supporting details on how to accomplish irreversible and verifiable demilitarization of weapons-grade fissile materials.

NUCLEAR INSIGHTS: THE COLD WAR LEGACY” Volume 3: “Nuclear Reductions” (A Technically Informed Perspective)”

Volume 3: "Nuclear Reductions (A Technically Informed Perspective)"

NOW PUBLISHED (October 2009) and available on Amazon.Com for $15 plus delivery.

Autographed, personally inscribed copies can be purchased by ordering directly through the http://www.NuclearShadowbox.INFO site.

This is the last of three volumes in the “Nuclear Insights: The Cold War Legacy” trilogy.

NUCLEAR INSIGHTS: THE COLD WAR LEGACY” Volume 2: “Nuclear Threats and Prospects (A Knowledgeable Assessment)”

Volume 2: "Nuclear Threats and Prospects: A Knowledgeable Assessment"

Second of three volumes in “Nuclear Insights” series. (See other Knols about Volumes 1 and 3.)

Published September 2009 and available on http://www.Amazon.Com for $20 plus delivery.

Autographed, personally inscribed copies can be purchased by ordering directly through the http://www.NuclearShadowbox.INFO site.