Friday, May 03, 2013

F in science for California environmentalists

Radio "shock jock" Hugh Hewitt is warning his audience about a new California "Green" initiative by which a regulatory program for the use of hundreds of common industrial chemicals would be developed.  Here is the link, and upon looking at it, here's what I saw.

On page 1, it claims that chemists are developing new light sources that are fifty times more efficient than a flourescent bulb.  OK, the sources I see suggest that a flourescent bulb is about 25-40% efficient at converting electrical energy to light.  So either some geniuses at Stanford or Berkeley have figured out how to make a lightbulb that returns 12 to 20 watts of energy for every watt it uses, violating conservation of energy, or a group of dumb bunnies on the panel (almost all of them with prestigious Ph.D.s) either can't do math or are spreading fertilizer on a scale that John Deere and Cyrus McCormick never imagined.

Later on, the document presents gross chemical production without specifying units(p. 22), environmental footprint without specifying units (p. 35-6), tries to apply Moore's Law (p. 37) to the problem of green technology, and makes no attempt to quantify the problem they claim to be trying to solve.

It is as if an All-Star panel of professors and activists were trying to violate as many of the rules of evidence, economics, science, and logic as they possibly could.  It would take some doing to "improve" on their try, and quite frankly, it's a rather damning indictment of a lot of very selective schools if their professors can't do better than this. 

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