40 thoughts on “Burt Rutan And Climate Change

        1. Rand Simberg Post author

          Well, we all hope that whatever kind of stupidity you suffer from isn’t contagious, either, though recent election results indicate it might be.

  1. Larry J

    Here’s a link to his slides from 2010.

    And for Rutan fans like me, there’s this old joke about “What if Burt Rutan designed the B-17?”

    Now, for the real airplane buffs, that image wasn’t created from a B-17 photo. Can you identify the airplane?

    1. Larry J

      Look closer. It has something that no B-17 ever had. Hint: it was derived from the B-17 but given a different designation.

      1. MfK

        Paul MacCready was fond of observing nature, and copying its form and function. He is also supposed to have said of Rutan’s designs: “You won’t find a canard in nature.”

        Canard is French for “duck,” which I believe is found in nature…

        1. Larry J

          And yet MacCready had canards on his Gossamer Condor, Gossamer Albatross and Gossamer Penguin designs.

        2. George Turner

          Prior to the P-80 Shooting Star, Lockheed was working on an internal project for a canard fighter powered by a jet engine that would also be developed in house.

  2. Jardinero1

    I have a new theory about AGW: “Who gives a shit, let it warm up or cool off or whatever.” That’s what I have been saying lately. It is surprising the reaction I get from people.

  3. Mike Borgelt

    It’s a YB-40. Heavily armed escort version of the B-17. Extra turret on top. problem was after the B-17s dropped their bombs it couldn’t keep up on the way back.

    1. Bruce Hoult

      A bit like Freeman Dyson proposing that all the guns and armor be taken off the Lancaster bomber because doing so would make it enough faster that it wouldn’t need them.

      I’m still amazed it was only 11 years from Lancaster first flight to Vulcan first flight, from the same designer.

    2. Larry J

      Yep. The twin upper turrets are the giveaway that it’s a YB-40 (or perhaps the sole XB-40). The YB-40′s most important contribution was the development of the chin turret. Late model B-17Fs and all B-17Gs had them and that helped address a serious vulnerability against head on attacks. The YB-40 also introduced the staggered waist gunner positions. Earlier B-17s had the waist gunner openings directly opposite of one another and that caused the gunners to interfere with one another. Staggering the openings made it easier for both men to move and fire. The YB-40 had twin .50 cals at each waist position but that probably was pretty unwieldy.

    1. George Turner

      Part of Rutan’s point is that when it comes to climate, there really are no experts in the field, at least when judged by any outside measures. It’s kind of like calling someone an expert in AI and neuro-whatever. They may be the top of their field, but it doesn’t mean they have any valid idea of how a conscious brain actually works.

      Many physicists who look at climate research share Rutan’s conclusions, especially about the quality of what’s published. Just touching on the intersection of aviation and climate models, the climatologists use equations that an aeronautical engineer would say were valid for only a fraction of a second before turbulence renders them useless, but climatologists treat the equations as if they’d hold true for weeks. They even use Navier-Stokes for situations driven by evaporation and condensation, when Navier-Stokes equations are pointedly invalid in exactly those situations.

    2. George Turner

      And Chris, do you think outsiders can make a valid critique of astrology, or are only professional astrologers qualified to judge their field?

    3. wodun

      Climate.science is far too young a field to be entrusted with manipulating the climate. Blind faith isn’t enough, they need to prove themselves worthy.

      Arguments of do what we say or [insert apocalyptical scenario here] don’t fly. This is just using the y2k or 2012 fearmongering of an uncertain future for ideological gain.

    4. Robin Goodfellow

      Al Gore is not a climate scientist either. The point is to follow the evidence. Rutan certainly has done his research, far more so than Gore even did, that’s for sure. Whether or not he’s right is still an open question though, but the same goes for anyone making climate claims.

    5. Alan K. Henderson

      I love it when blog commenters tell us that only the comments of experts can be trusted.

      Remember that experts were responsible for New Coke, subprime mortgages, Operation Market-Garden, Cabrini-Green, and Kelo v. New London.

      1. Chris Gerrib

        Experts were also responsible for the Saturn V, D-Day, the FDIC (which saved everybody’s bacon when banks started to fail), and the Bill of Rights.

        I’d be much more impressed if Rutan had actually done some research into climate science.

        1. George Turner

          And the Saturn V was abandoned as too expensive, D-Day had a screwed up bombing run that left the shore batteries intact (and was followed by hedgerow combat we weren’t prepared for, despite the hedgerows having always been there), and the Bill of Rights was written by amateurs trying their hand at government. None of the Founders had even served in Parliament before.

        2. wodun

          Did you even watch the video?

          Your comments don’t give any hint that you actually know what lies behind the link.

    6. Leland

      Just because he’s an expert in one field does not make him an expert in another.

      Wow, this coming from the commenter who routinely appeals to his own authority as an expert in:

      Military affairs because he once served in the Coast Guard.
      Police matters because he once served in the Coast Guard.
      Finance because he works in a bank
      IT because he does IT in a bank
      Writing because he wrote a book
      All things engineering because he has an engineering degree
      Climate Science because he works on climate models as a hobby

      But sure, we shouldn’t consider Burt Rutan, a man who has designed aircraft and aerospace equipment with success to make himself a billionaire to know anything about the atmosphere.

      Right! LMAO right now.

      1. Andrew W

        Well Rand, if you want to select some point that Rutan makes that you think is original, or somehow disproves the current mainstream science position, point it out.

        1. Leland

          Perhaps you can provide something that is “mainstream” that is either science or disproves Rutan? So far, you just made ad hominem comments.

      2. George Turner

        Andrew, the “mainstream science” position is mind-bogglingly stupid, requiring us to believe that we just happened to have been born exactly as the Earth’s achieved some ideal, optimal climatic utopia, even though any geologist will tell you the temperature swings all over the place. Two hundred years earlier and we’d have been freezing. A thousand years earlier and we’d have been broiling. Personally, I’d prefer the Emian period when palm trees grew in Canada and life thrived everywhere, even with giant monitor lizards in Greenland. No climate models can reproduce the era’s climate because to do that they’d have to actually work, instead of being fed fudge factors until they reproduce scary guesses about the year 2050.

        1. Andrew W

          Heard that one as well George, and that’s a misrepresentation of the arguments, which isn’t that recent climate is better, just that recent climate is what we, our farmers, and other life today are used to, and that if the forecasts of how much the climate could change are correct, within a century we’ll globally see climates different to those seen on Earth for many millions of years, maybe that’ll be great for the people in Mali (or not), but if the Sahara gets a better climate, but the midwest grain belt gets a worse climate (for cropping) the net effect is likely to be a reduction in food production.

          1. George Turner

            Andrew, as I said, that’s stupid. First, our farmers would like the longer growing seasons and better crop productivity. It’s cooling that devastates the crops. It means more bananas, coffee, vanilla and chocolate, and hopefully less cranberries and tundra.

            Second, even if the were right, the rate of change is trivial, with the climate moving poleward at about 3,000 feet or so per year. You could cut two legs off a turtle and it would still keep up with the change.

            Not only will the midwest do fine, but Canadian crops will boom. As I said, during the Emian period life thrived everywhere. During the ice-ages it was confined almost to the tropics. Warming good. Cooling bad.

            An equally stupid fear is that with the sun entering a quiet period, its light output will be reduced by a fraction of a percent, giving nocturnal creatures a decisive advantage over day walkers. This will devastate entire ecosystems and result in the deaths of millions of familiar species as they are vanquished by plants and animals with better dark adaptations. Humanity will have to survive by artificially supplementing the diminished daylight, growing crops in sports stadiums, but eventually civilization will collapse under the onslaught of cave crickets which will devour our crops the moment the stadium lights fail.

            The trick in any religion is to get people to wholeheartedly believe something that’s illogical and stupid and that only makes sense inside the self-reinforcing narrative. History has shows that mankind is quite disposed to believing such utter nonsense, and “mainstream science” is providing quite a confirmation of it. And the thing about new religions is that the people who think they’re the smartest are usually the first to fall for it hook, line, and sinker, even though the message makes absolutely no sense and there’s no evidence to support it. It’s an unprovable idea presented as “truth”, with guilt and punishment, sin and redemption, good and evil on which the fate of the world depends, and people want to believe in “truth”.

          2. wodun

            “and that if the forecasts of how much the climate could change are correct, within a century we’ll globally see climates different to those seen on Earth for many millions of years,”

            The climate will always change and it is the utmost hubris to think that it wont if all the crazy alarmist policies are implemented. Rutan and Turner have pointed out that when the climate was warmer in the past it was not the apocalyptic scenario that is always portrayed by alarmists.

            We were supposed to have a great frequency of hurricanes and yet we don’t but when ever there is a single hurricane it is now treated as the global warming apocalypse has arrived as if there is not a long historical record of hurricanes. Just look at the coastline of the eastern US, hurricanes have been shaping it for millions of years.

      1. Josh Reiter

        Haha, I was looking at that too. I was think, “For a whiz bang engineer his bookshelves seems to be a bit crooked.

  4. Mike Borgelt

    Do you mean the climate of 250 years ago when we were in the little ice age still, Andrew W? Might be easier to grow food when it is a little warmer and the extra CO2 helps too.

    Besides when you take out the “adjustments” it is doubtful if there has been any temperature change, certainly in the US in the last century.
    AGW is a steaming pile of horseshit.

  5. Josh Reiter

    Indoor greenhouse growers actually purposely boost the CO2 concentrations up to 600 ppm with CO2 generators to get the stoma of the plant leafs to stay open 24 hours. Plants grow twice as big in roughly half the time. Also, CO2 enriched plants not only use less water but they actually prefer to be grown at much higher temperatures. Many fruiting plants with normal air prefer temperatures in the low 70′s but with enriched CO2 they will grow gangbuster size fruit at temps of 80-85 degrees.

    Like Glenn Reynolds always says, I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who support catastrophic climate change actually start acting like it’s a crisis. You know the gig is up when the prescriptions to deal with the global cooling in the 70′s turn out to the same fixes for global warming. The “Big Climate” industry only seeks the aggrandizement of its wealth, power, and control. They are the first to know that controlling the climate is nigh impossible but hell why let a good crisis go to waste. And it’s the ones that scream the loudest about skeptics serving “Big Oil” the loudest that are most certainly the ones that stand to benefit the most from a centrally-managed enviro-nazi agenda. Because that’s what leftists do, they project all their inner desires onto others.

Comments are closed.