Anthony Watts is a Jester
So Mr. Watts posts a “guest article” from a person named Stephen Wilde, a person who has nothing to do with me or any of the Slayers, and who’s physics musings neither I nor the Slayers have ever promoted, and goes on to associate Mr. Wilde with us and calls Wilde’s musings “Slayer physics”.
Well, this is how this guy Anthony Watts operates – cheap lies.
In a later comment, Watts claims that the Slayers send him articles every week hoping he’ll post them. This is another lie, we don’t send our own writing to Watts (this is Watts thinking himself a gatekeeper, it would appear), and never have, except when requested. And when requested, look at how Watts responds:
It’s worth re-reading that article if you already have, just to remind yourself of what Anthony Watts believed he could engage in and get away with of sophistry and abuse of science.
So the guy challenges us to demonstrate the physics we’re talking about – essentially that cold doesn’t heat up hot! (seriously, this is what Anthony Watts has a difficult time understanding…) – and when we produce for him exactly what is requested, he ignores it and goes on a rant about light bulbs being able to produce more power than you put into them by having them shine on themselves, because we had had a picture of a light bulb in our article answer to him:
Anthony Watts thought he could just ignore the physics and text of our response, and so he just says “you guys have a picture of a light bulb in your article, so, if I turn on the light bulb and it gets hot, then it debunks your article”.
No that doesn’t make any sense at all and it doesn’t address the actual physics of the article, but do you think Anthony wants to care about that? When pressed on the issue that in science experimentation, and pedagogy, it is important to understand the actual underlying physical principles at work in order to properly quantify the results of an experiment, Anthony Watts replied:
“And yet, in the diagram proposed in the essay by Postma, such fine details were not mentioned nor required. Demanding them now post facto doesn’t fly.”
So according to Anthony Watts’ understanding of how science works, demanding scientific accuracy after someone botches an experiment is not legitimate. So in fact, according to Anthony Watts, if you botch an experiment, any subsequent criticism of it is invalid. The experimenter wasn’t wrong, it is the person pointing out that the experiment was done incorrectly who is wrong. (!) I don’t think even a child would invent such a scheme. Well, an insecure bully child would.
As you’ll see in the review of the article links, not only did Anthony Watts botch a very basic experiment, he and Curt Wilson didn’t even quantitatively analyse their results to see if more power was being produced than was being put it. I mean the whole thing was a rather embarrassing expose of the bully mindset and its insecurities, and it would be embarrassing for Anthony Watts if he wasn’t just such a complete idiot. That’s the advantage of being that stupid: you just don’t know when you’re making a fool of yourself.
Here, I’ll put in order the sequence of events and other articles I’ve had the misfortune of having to write involving Anthony Watts:
The Maths and Physics of Heat Flow
The simplest equation under the simplest geometry (two plane parallel walls with unit emissivities and absorptivities) for radiant heat flow is:
1. q_dot = σ(Th4 – Tc4) = σTh4 – σTc4
- ‘q_dot’ is the flow of heat energy per unit time per unit area, unit Joules per second per square meter (J/s/m2)
- ‘σ’ is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant which governs how thermal energy is converted into radiant energy on a surface (5.67 x 10-8 J/s/m2/K4)
- ‘Th‘ & ‘Tc‘ are a hotter temperature and a cooler temperature, respectively.
It is the most basic statement of thermodynamics that heat flows from hot to cold. Given that Th is a higher numeric value (i.e. a number) than Tc, then the right hand side of the equation is positive and it indicates that heat is flowing (q_dot) from the larger number (hot) to the smaller number (cold). The heat flow is that quantity which corresponds between the two relevant parameters and their geometry.
Alarming Greenhouse Physics
Sophistry is a simple thing: you simply say things which appear to have meaning because they follow the accepted rules of grammar and syntax, but without having any ontologically (i.e. “in reality”) meaningful content. For example: “This sentence is a lie”. It is easier to detect a simple sentence of sophistry, whereas if the sentence is strewn with scientific words whose definitions are overly technical and of which very few people are knowledgeable on and especially if the statements are mathematical, then detecting such “Gödelian Incomplete” sentences of sophistry becomes very difficult. Indeed, one can brainwash entire populations with such sentences.
And so this is what proceeds with the above equation. Simple as it is to someone like me, for most other scientists and lay-people, it can be mistranslated into physically meaningless sophistry. This has been the work of many people, but Anthony Watts’ friend Robert G. Brown of Duke University is one of the worst offenders. The following is precisely how the sophistry develops, in regards to the basic heat flow equation from above, and is essentially a direct quote from Dr. Brown:
“Since ‘q_dot’ is a fixed quantity because it is the heat energy from the Sun, then if the colder temperature increases, the warmer temperature subsequently has to also increase in proportion in order to keep the equation (‘q_dot’) constant. Hence, if the atmosphere rises in temperature (which is Tc), then the ground surface (Th) has to increase in temperature as well, in order to keep ‘q_dot’ constant, since ‘q_dot’ is the heat energy from the Sun. Hence we see that cold does indeed warm up hot”
So mathematically what they then do, once these sentences have been stated, is to rearrange equation 1 into
2. Th = (q_dot/σ + Tc)1/4
at which point they claim proof that cold can heat up hot since if Tc increases on the right hand side, then Th must increase on the left hand side. So now, should we believe that cold can heat up hot and that thermodynamics has been making erroneous statements all this time about heat flowing from hot to cold only, or, should we go back and check Anthony’s and Robert’s (and all other greenhouse alarmists who’s beliefs depend on this exact same interpretation) work? Let us check their work!
First, they say that ‘q_dot’ is the heat energy from the Sun, and that this is fixed. Then they say that the hot and cold temperatures in the equation are that of the Earth’s ground surface (TG) and Earth’s atmosphere (TA), respectively. Let us specify these assertion in the actual equations then:
1b. q_dotSun = σTG4 – σTA4
So now the first equation says that the heat flow from the Sun depends on the difference between Earth’s ground temperature and Earth’s air temperature. Question: Why would the heat that the Sun produces be dependent on the difference between some things which only have to do with the Earth? That is simply illogical and nonsensical. The heat which the Sun produces is constant and does not have anything to do with what is happening on the Earth – the Sun is an actual nuclear source of energy and the Earth is only a tiny, tiny passive receiver, 150 million kilometres away.
So that’s it. Robert Brown and Anthony Watts (and all related greenhouse alarmists) just made up a reinterpretation of the heat flow equation using sentences which, while appearing to be meaningful, were fundamentally devoid of logic and ontology. The heat produced by the Sun is not determined by the temperature difference between Earth’s surface and atmosphere!
Remember what we said about the heat flow equation above: “The heat flow is that quantity which corresponds between the two relevant parameters and their geometry.“
So let us try to meet the greenhouse alarmists half way and say that if the left hand side is the heat flow from the Sun, then it must have to refer to the heat flow between the Sun and the Earth as a whole for the equation to be meaningful. Then if we have the temperature of the Sun (TSun) and Earth (TE),
1c. q_dotSun = σTSun4 – σTE4
which then rearranged according the greenhouse alarmists logic, results in
2c. TSun = (q_dotSun/σ + TE)1/4
Does this help them out at all? Well now the equation says that the temperature of the Sun will increase if the temperature of the Earth increases. Talk about a positive feedback mechanism! Imagine that – the Sun heats up the Earth, then the Earth heats up the Sun, then the Sun must heat the Earth some more, etc etc., ad infinitum. Well, the temperature of the Sun doesn’t depend on the temperature of the Earth. That’s that.
So not only was all of their logic wrong, half of their logic was too! That’s really quite funny.
It was Robert Brown’s very first statement which was the sophistry – the claim that ‘q_dot’ represents the energy from the Sun. It does not.
1. q_dot = σ(Th4 – Tc4) = σTh4 – σTc4
The energy from the relevant hot and cold sources are indicated on the right hand side of the equation, by the Th & Tc terms. The Sun would be the hot term, the Earth the cool one. The energy from the Sun is not ‘q_dot’ – this is only a dependent term called the rate of heat flow and it does indeed go to zero when the Sun and the Earth, represented in a planar geometry factored for scale, are in energy equilibrium; ‘q_dot’ is not a constant, it is a term which indicates the presence of thermal equilibrium which is when its value goes to zero.
So, these greenhouse alarmists are either really bad scientists, or they’re really good at lying to the unwary.
For a review of the simulacra of greenhouse alarmism and its relation to an ontological greenhouse, please see here:
The Greenhouse Alarmist
Let it be known that anyone who is a greenhouse alarmist, of the likes of Robert Brown and Anthony Watts, are indeed climate alarmists and they operate in full, 100% support of the climate alarm agenda of carbon vilification and productivity taxation designed to be the new cognitive control system of guilt and sin and monetary enslavement for the mass populace. The whole thing operates upon the long-established cognitive archetype of (original) sin and guilt for being human (see the “Religion of Climate Change” category for more information). This time, the original sin is for that of half of your breathing cycle – exhalation, which releases carbon dioxide. As Anthony Watts and all of the other greenhouse climate alarmists will always tell you – “It’s not whether carbon dioxide causes heating (evil), it is simply a question of how much.”
Translation: “It is not a question of whether or not humans are evil, it is a question of how evil.” Of course, they have never justified why heating should be considered evil, or that carbon dioxide can even cause any heating at all (it never has before in the geological record, so why would it now?), they have always ignored the fact that modern climate change is benign and negligible compared to the past when humans weren’t around, that we are in a millions-of-years-long ice age with characteristically lower temperatures than usual (yes, even now, still), and they of course ignore the tiny little fact that carbon dioxide is the very basis of life itself and is an essential, beneficial, green, and organic, natural atmospheric fertilizer no matter what source it comes from.
All of their alarm and their agenda rests specifically and exclusively upon the alarmist simulacrum version of the greenhouse effect, and so to defend it ipso-facto makes one a supporter of the climate alarm political agenda whether they admit it or not or realize it or not.
Ontological Climate Math
We saw above how greenhouse alarmists like Robert Brown and Anthony Watts attempt to make a statement about the energy from the Sun and that of the Earth, but they mix all of the terms of the heat flow equation up into things they don’t mean and use parameters which don’t match what the heat flow equation is intended to demonstrate. They attempt to make a statement about conservation of energy but mess up the whole equation with the claim that the heat flow rate from the Sun is conserved between the Earth’s ground surface temperature and atmospheric temperature, which simply makes no sense at all since the energy from the Sun doesn’t depend on the temperature of the Earth!
The ontological thing to say, and mathematically write, would be:
“In conservation of energy, the radiant power from the Sun and absorbed by the Earth (PSun) would be equal to the radiant power output from the Earth itself (PEarth).”
Mathematically this would just be:
PSun = PEarth
However, the radiant power from the Earth can be broken up into multiple terms, for example ocean, land, and atmosphere. If we just keep it relatively simple for demonstration we can write down a total contribution from the Earth’s physical surface and one for its atmosphere, so that
PSun = PSurf + PAtmo
It is more interesting to break up the atmospheric terms into the components of the atmosphere theoretically able to emit radiant power. The main components of the atmosphere are molecular oxygen & nitrogen, water vapour, and carbon dioxide, with characteristic emissivities (ε), and so
PSun = PSurf + PO2 + PN2 + PH2O + PCO2
and expanding the terms in general
PSun = PSurf + σ[εT4]O2 + σ[εT4]N2 + σ[εT4]H2O + σ[εT4]CO2
In radiative physics, a substances emissivity ‘ε’ is a measure of it radiant efficiency – the higher the ε, the easier it is for the substance to radiate heat energy, and hence the lower the substance’s temperature. If a substance has a low emissivity ε, this means that it inefficiently radiates heat energy and hence it has to have a higher temperature than it would otherwise, in order to radiate the same amount of power.
Well, O2 and N2 have basically zero emissivity, which means that they can’t lose any heat energy by radiation at all! This means they hold on to heat energy very efficiently and can hold a higher temperature than otherwise. Carbon dioxide and water vapour however are said to emit and have high emissivity, hence they are what allows the atmosphere to cool by shedding heat energy via radiation, in as much as the atmosphere radiates by them.
Let’s look at the simpler second equation again,
PSun = PSurf + PAtmo
This is very simple: if the atmosphere increases its power output, which is exactly what happens if it increases in temperature since power emission goes as temperature to the fourth power, then for PSun to remain constant, PSurf must decrease which means that the Earth’s surface must decrease in temperature. Note how different this ontological result is from the greenhouse alarmist’s botched equation we analyzed above – it’s the exact opposite result.
Well, what do you expect from these guys. They mean to enslave you to a hyperreality, not help you.