Thursday, 15 April 2010


That was the noise Mrs S made upon reading the news that all non emergency flights out of the UK are grounded because of dust kicked up by an Icelandic volcano. This has been coming a while because the fault currently spewing dust into the air faster than a Chinese Coal Manufactory is often known to kick off following other recent eruptions of an adjoining fault system. Norway has been similarly afflicted by the dust, so no surprises there.

When volcanic activity can have an immediate modifying effect upon the weather (Clouds of ash filtering out solar energy - How's them renewables workin' out for ya?), and the current failure of all those clever computer climate models to predict anything, what does perplex me is the continuing United Nations political circus deciding that a global tax on carbon can control the Earth's climate. The UN must be full of very clever people who are doing what very clever people often do; assume they are so clever they can't be wrong. Even when it is patently clear to even the meanest intelligence the postulation that CO2 levels are a primary climate driver simply ain't working. As many Geologists keep pointing out, CO2 temperature rises lag temperature by around 800 years, the Vostok ice core record proves it, and all the rhetoric to the contrary won't change that.

It occurs to my limited cognition that there must be some kind of cleverness event horizon, which once crossed, nosedives into extreme stupid. This must be why extremely academically clever people are often poor decision makers. For proof; how many members of MENSA are multi-millionaires? Not that many.

This is why Academics and Theorisers need Technicians and Engineers who can turn (or not) their nebulous theoretical castles in the air into clanking, whirring reality. Technicians and Engineers are (At least in my experience) generally aware at some level of their limitations, yet ironically are often the translators of cleverness. I cite the builder of the worlds first electronic computer, Thomas H Flowers, a Post Office Telephone Engineer as such an example. Turing was the 'Genius', as was Max Newman, but Flowers actually built 'Colossus'.

Notwithstanding, none of this helps if your transatlantic flight has been cancelled in case volcanic dust causes catastrophic failure of your airliners engines and causes it to drop precipitously out of the sky. There are some things that can be fixed in flight, and Jet engines aren't one of them. Well, certainly not while on a near vertical downwards trajectory at any rate.

Hi ho. Gorgeous morning here in Western BC and I am going to take lots of sun breaks whilst writing reports.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails