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Fake News Yields Fake Science!

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FAKE NEWS YIELDS FAKE SCIENCE!

We are all too familiar with the term Fake News. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference at first, but facts are stubborn and immutable things. Therefore, news is often corrected, at least by honest brokers. This is not the case with science so-called.

I want to share a recent "scientific" article with you. Then show you how to discern Fake Science. The article, "Estimation of Methane Emissions From the U.S. Ammonia Fertilizer Industry Using a Mobile Sensing Approach," published May 28, 2019 in Elementa. The work, funded in part by a grant from the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future stated:
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"A Cornell-Environmental Defense Fund research team ...

Using a Google Street View car equipped with a high-precision methane sensor, the researchers discovered that methane emissions from ammonia fertilizer plants were 100 times higher than the fertilizer industry's self-reported estimate. They also were substantially higher than the EPA estimate for all industrial processes in the United States.

The use of natural gas has grown in recent years, bolstered by improved efficiency in shale gas extraction and the perception that natural gas is a less dirty fossil fuel.

'But natural gas is largely methane, which molecule-per-molecule has a stronger global warming potential than carbon dioxide,' Albertson said. 'The presence of substantial emissions or leaks anywhere along the supply chain could make natural gas a more significant contributor to climate change than previously thought.'

To date, methane emissions have been assessed at
a variety of sites - from the well pads where natural gas is extracted to the power plants and municipal pipelines downstream.

To evaluate methane emissions from downstream industrial sources, the researchers focused on the fertilizer industry, which uses natural gas both as the fuel and one of the main ingredients for ammonia and urea products. Ammonia fertilizer is produced at only a couple dozen plants in the U.S.; factories are often located near public roadways, where emissions carried downwind can be detected - in this case by mobile sensors.

For this study, the Google Street View vehicle traveled public roads near six representative fertilizer plants in the country's midsection to quantify 'fugitive methane emissions' - defined as inadvertent losses of methane to the atmosphere, likely due to incomplete chemical reactions during fertilizer production, incomplete fuel combustion or leaks.

Once a concentrated methane plume was detected downwind of a plant, the emissions were measured through dozens of laps around the facility.

The team discovered that, on average, 0.34% of the gas used in the plants is emitted to the atmosphere. Scaling this emission rate from the six plants to the entire industry suggests total annual methane emissions of 28 gigagrams - 100 times higher than the fertilizer industry's self-reported estimate of 0.2 gigagrams per year.

In addition, this figure far exceeds the EPA's estimate that all industrial processes in the United States produce only 8 gigagrams of methane emissions per year.

'Even though a small percentage is being leaked, the fact that methane is such a powerful greenhouse gas makes the small leaks very important,' said Joseph Rudek, coauthor and lead senior scientist at Environmental Defense Fund. 'In a 20-year time frame, methane's global warming potential is 84 times that of carbon dioxide.'

The study demonstrates that mobile sensing is an economical way to pinpoint significant emissions sources and enable rapid and efficient mitigation - vital for rapidly reducing the rate of warming. Albertson is also optimistic about the broad application of mobile sensors, which could be deployed on vehicles such as school buses and postal trucks to characterize sources and rates of pollution - and perhaps influence policy makers.

'Pollution in the air doesn't respect property boundaries, so even if you don't have access to private land, the current revolution in sensor technologies allows us a lens into the degree of cleanliness of a factory,' Albertson said. 'With opportunistic sensing, pushing data to the cloud, doing the proper analysis and drawing inferences, we can build environmental policy that is based on evidence.'"
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Having read the article published in Elementa, let us debunk the whole thing one paragraph at a time as really just Fake Science.

"Using a Google Street View car equipped with a high-precision methane sensor, the researchers discovered that methane emissions from ammonia fertilizer plants were 100 times higher than the fertilizer industry's self-reported estimate. They also were substantially higher than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimate for all industrial processes in the United States."

Of course, the first thing that ought to make you suspicious is the source of the information. Partial funding for this "research" came from the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. The Center is part of Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, a bastion of incredibly left-wing education and the home institution of the late Dr. Carl Sagan, the narrator of Cosmos on PBS.

Quoting from their website, atkinson.cornell.edu, we find the following statements:

"... the Atkinson Center supports the pioneering risk-takers at the very heart of radical collaboration through multiple funds and fellowship programs, including:

Academic Venture Fund - ... seeds original, multidisciplinary research that is not likely to find funding elsewhere because the projects are novel, risky, need early data to establish traction ...

Innovation for Impact Fund - ... Current collaborators include CARE, The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, Avangrid, and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Faculty Fellowship for Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts - ... adds a unique and invaluable perspective by reshaping imaginations, behaviors, and minds." [Emphasis added]

The list of current collaborators should be enough to tell you that this is a united group of Environmental Terrorists. They are all committed to a Green agenda of promoting electric cars, getting rid of fossil fuels and more or less having everybody live in caves.

What is far more terrifying is their statement that they want to reshape imaginations, behaviors, and minds. Of course, I do too; but I want to do it in order to build The Kingdom of God. They want to do it in order to build The Kingdom of Man.

"'We took one small industry that most people have never heard of and found that its methane emissions were three times higher than the EPA assumed was emitted by all industrial production in the United States,' said John Albertson, co-author and professor of civil and environmental engineering. 'It shows us that there's a huge gap between a priori estimates and real-world measurements.'"

How do you prove an erroneous point with Fake Science? You isolate a small and relatively innocent industry and attack it with ardor and fervency making false claims that a liberal media will pick up and voluntarily broadcast for free. This is pretty much right out of the Saul Alinsky 1971 book Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. Dr. John Albertson has degrees from SUNY Buffalo, Yale and UC - Davis. He uses models that he developed during his PhD program to promote his personal and professional interests in Man-made Climate Change. Enough said.

"The use of natural gas has grown in recent years, bolstered by improved efficiency in shale gas extraction [fracking] and the perception that natural gas is a less dirty fossil fuel."

This statement seems innocent enough, but in reality, they are setting up a Straw Man argument. Notice the subtle insertion of "... the perception that natural gas is a less dirty fossil fuel." They want to deceive people into believing that natural gas is not all that clean burning; that it is actually a dirty fossil fuel - because to them all fossil fuels are dirty and therefore politically unacceptable.

"'But natural gas is largely methane, which molecule-per-molecule has a stronger global warming potential than carbon dioxide,' Albertson said. 'The presence of substantial emissions or leaks anywhere along the supply chain could make natural gas a more significant contributor to climate change than previously thought.'"

The choice of words here is a telltale sign. They start with a true statement. Methane does cause a heat rise in the atmosphere greater than carbon dioxide. But, words have meaning. The careful insertion of "could" is where the deception begins! Did he prove this or just insert doubt in the mind of the reader?

Continuing the article:

"To evaluate methane emissions from downstream industrial sources, the researchers focused on the fertilizer industry, which uses natural gas both as the fuel and one of the main ingredients for ammonia and urea products. Ammonia fertilizer is produced at only a couple dozen plants in the U.S.; factories are often located near public roadways, where emissions carried downwind can be detected - in this case by mobile sensors.

For this study, the Google Street View vehicle traveled public roads near six representative fertilizer plants in the country's midsection to quantify "fugitive methane emissions" - defined as inadvertent losses of methane to the atmosphere, likely due to incomplete chemical reactions during fertilizer production, incomplete fuel combustion or leaks."

These statements are prime examples of how to concoct Fake News. They picked an industry that uses natural gas for energy and product; spring boarding from the false belief in Global Warming, they placed fear into the hearts of the readers by saying that these factories were "often located near public roads"; and, that they were going to use mobile sensors to "test" the downwind gases.

Let us think this through. Mobile sensors would be unreliable and ineffective in an open-air environment because there is no way of calibrating them to a "standard" in order to evaluate results. They were not working in a controlled laboratory environment. They chose six "representative" manufacturing plants. They were looking for "fugitive methane". I remember the movie, The Fugitive; in the end he was proven innocent.

What were the criteria for choosing these six? Did they know ahead of time that these would produce the results that they wanted? Did they check to see if there were cattle/dairy/buffalo herds or any other natural source of methane [people] upwind from these plants that might contribute to high levels of methane in the local atmosphere of these plant locations? If there were, did they carefully remove these extraneous sources from their measurements before publishing their "findings"?

What was the vehicle they used to get their "readings"? Google (a known Far Left organization) loaned them a car to use. Boy, that really strikes confidence in the scientific nature of this "research". What fuel was the Google car using to propel it around these locations? Inquiring minds want to know.

"The team discovered that, on average, 0.34 percent of the gas used in the plants is emitted to the atmosphere. Scaling this emission rate from the six plants to the entire industry suggests total annual methane emissions of 28 gigagrams - 100 times higher than the fertilizer industry's self-reported estimate of 0.2 gigagrams per year.

In addition, this figure far exceeds the EPA's estimate that all industrial processes in the United States produce only 8 gigagrams of methane emissions per year.

'Even though a small percentage is being leaked, the fact that methane is such a powerful greenhouse gas makes the small leaks very important,' said Joseph Rudek, co-author [sic] and lead senior scientist at Environmental Defense Fund. 'In a 20-year timeframe [sic], methane's global warming potential is 84 times that of carbon dioxide.'"

If these six locations were chosen because they had higher emissions, then "scaling" them up to represent an entire industry would lead to gross distortions and false conclusions.

Carbon dioxide is currently 380 ppm of the atmosphere, that is 0.00038 of the atmosphere. While methane is currently measured at 1.75 ppm, or 0.00000175 of the atmosphere. The amount of warming methane contributes to the atmosphere is calculated at 28% of the warming that carbon dioxide contributes. The little amount of methane that these plants may or may not leak into the atmosphere is utterly insignificant except in the verbiage of Environmental Terrorist propagandists.

Who is one Environmental Terrorist? Dr. "Joseph Rudek, co-author [sic] and lead senior scientist at Environmental Defense Fund" is one. When all else fails to convert your audience to your way of thinking, it is always best to invent a pure, but seemably believable, lie. You extrapolate out 20 years (when you will have retired); confidently declare an unsupportable number, "84 times that of carbon dioxide"; and, pound your pulpit declaring that "you must believe!"

Next time you read such published articles, please take the time to analyze them carefully and don't ever let them deceive you again!

   
   
         
   
   
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