Aviation pioneer and master engineer Burt Rutan on Global Warming

Jeff Id of the Air Vent reminds me with a video recently made available that that Burt Rutan has been giving active lectures on his view of global warming. WUWT covered Rutan’s Oshkosh EAA presentation last summer, but we didn’t have video then, only his powerpoint presentation.


Burt Rutan – aviation pioneer, engineer, test pilot, climate skeptic. Note the car.

Rutan’s PowerPoint file is posted at:


For those that don’t have PowerPoint, I’ve converted it to a PDF file for easy and immediate reading online which you can download here.

And you can watch the video as Rutan presents at EAA:


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Al Gore's Holy Hologram

We have all these Marxist types masquerading as tree huggers and saying we need “Green Tech”. Ask one of these “Greens” to show an example of green technology developed by Greens themselves and you won’t find a single example. What is green technology? It’s a greenjacking of clean, efficient technology which Burt Ratan, a libertarian, has been a pioneer of.

Henry chance

I remember him. One of my staff worked to build Scaled Composites.
I saw his summary several months ago and forgot about it.

Richard deSousa

Isn’t Rutan also a good friend of Richard Branson who is a global warming proponent?


Most of Rutan’s money these days comes from Richard Branson. If Rutan came out anti-AGW, he company would collapse.

On target, up to date, and well explained for lay folk. Top quality. Congratulations Burt and thanks Anthony.


“Al Gore’s Holy Hologram (15:20:29) :
Ask one of these “Greens” to show an example of green technology developed by Greens themselves and you won’t find a single example.”
Don’t laugh. I’m working ATM for a company that develops electronics for PV systems. My boss’s opinion about CO2 and Global Warming: “Well that’s not proven. The connection with cosmic rays OTOH – look at cloud chambers…” so he knew of Svensmark.
We’re all engineering kinda persons and the project we’re in is subsidized by EU money.
Besides, developing these solutions is worthwhile nevertheless.


Has Burt Rutan given this presentation to his Virgin Galactic business partner Sir Richard Branson?


Rutan’s PowerPoint file is posted at:
For those that don’t have PowerPoint, I’ve converted it to a PDF file for easy and immediate reading online which you can download here.

I clicked on the PowerPoint link, I’m looking at a page with “Burt Rutan’s 2009 Oshkosh Climate Change Presentation:” showing “Version 11 in pdf format.”
What’s the difference in pdf’s?

mike roddy

Sorry, Burt, but your analysis is so absurd that I would be terrified to get in an airplane that you either flew or designed. “Those who want socialism”? Really? Who among the alarmists, pray tell, is that?
All of your conclusions about the data are wrong. Please read:IPCC IV, Six Degrees, The Discovery of Global Warming, and any other book on the subject that is written by a credible climatologist. And no, they are not engaged in a cabal to snatch research grants and impose World Government, sorry. I know a number of them personally, and they are a group of earnest scientists who are terrified about what they are discovering. That will never include you, but please do not put together Power Point presentations on a subject about which you know nothing.

rob m


R Dunn

Mr. Levenstein, I presume.
Not to sound sexist, but I am now even more interested in statistics after reading this quote –
“Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”


Go Burt! Not really surprising though. That’s a guy that built a pioneering and successful company by himself and not through political regulation and handouts. AGW has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with power and money and he gets it.
I guess Mr Rutan would agree that electric cars are a wonderful idea: clean, quiet, very cheap (both fuel and maintenance wise and that’s why GM didn’t like EV1).


You can really tell that he is an engineer, not a public speaker.
That’s a pity because what he says is cogent & if better presented would have a significant affect.


you wish that you could somehow get this type of presentation to as many people as you can to show how scary this stuff really is and how diabolical people like waxman and markley are in pulling this scam.


@mike roddy:
The “earnest scientists” you are mentioning are the likes as Phil Jones, who would rather destroy data than show them for verification, or the likes as Joachim Schellnhuber who seriously tells that the world will “explode” in 2050, if we do nothing against that then 9.5b humans want to have a decent quality of life? Just to name those two.
Are you serious?
Intelligent people like Monckton, Rutan, Lindzen and many others try hard to bring common sense back into this misused climate religion discussion.
It’s about time.


mike roddy,
you missed the whole point when you say go look at the Ipcc report. the point is that the ipcc has been manipulating the data for years. And just because you know some people does not mean they are competent. More often than not, scientists that do not beleive in the “consensus” tend to lose their funding and are ostracized.
And yes, you will find that the top political people who are pushing this agenda are socialists such as waxman, markley, kofi annan, maurice strong and just about all of the Upper level echelon of the UN who believe they are the sole authrority.

photon without a Higgs

Burt Rutan is respected by many people. His name alone will change minds about global warming.


mike roddy (16:16:25) :
You should take a closer look at the crowd jumping in the AGW bandwagon. A lot of them very definitely are socialists, though your associates may well not be.
Also consider Engineers Vs Climate scientists.
An engineer’s theories have to work in the real work or he’s out of a job. It doesn’t matter how pretty the theory is or how well he presents it. If it doesn’t work then Poof! It’s gone. As far as his planes go, I expect they work very well.
Climate scientists, on the other hand, merely need to persuade someone and do not need to rely on hard, observational evidence. When their theories don’t match the real world they are paid to reinvent those theories. This is why Dr. Mann and Co remained employed.
Rutan makes his point of view very clear here.
And if it matters, he seems to be a lot greener than the rest of us.


mike roddy (16:16:25)
Contratulations, you took the alarmist bait.
a) You could not allow someone to explain in common language what took millions of dollars of taxpayer money to create through grants.
b) You had to do so in an elitist way, and critisize the presenter.
Prepare to be hacked to bits, I can’t wait for the show.


Took over twenty minutes on dial-up to download the 7MB pdf at the PowerPoint link, while trying not to do anything else online.
Worth it.
Started downloading the converted-PP pdf being hosted on WUWT, says it’s 5.2 MB. About 10 minutes left to go…

photon without a Higgs

I am curios what Burt Rutan thinks of ClimateGate.

photon without a Higgs

robert (17:28:28) :
mike roddy is missing a lot of things.

John from MN

I have told many contacts for several years that it was only an amount of time that the truth on the Alarmists’ would be drug out in the light on there shady claims that there was a looming disastor from AGW. You can only hide so long in a House made of Straw. The screw is finally turning and their BS is being shown for exactly what it is. We may have had a little global warming on the last 150 years (that is even in dispute when you re-move the UHI (for example in Rural MN. it is -17F below zero this and 5F degrees above in Minneapolis 90 miles north of me) and some of the extra few tenths of warming can be attributed to Co2. But there is no immenent disastor from the tiny bit of warming from co2. And considering man flourishes more with a warmer Earth, food production rises and lives are saved. When at the same time a colder earth would be a true immenent disaster awaiting man and the earth, famines would be rampant leaving much of man to starve as well many species of animals. May I ask what is the ideal tempreture for the Earth? Does any of the Alarmist have an answer for that? I would presume it would be higher than today. Also higher Co2 levels would spur more food production as well. So again what is the ideal Co2 level? I am a farmer and am hoping for higher Co2 levels and a warmer Earth, but there is nothing I can do about it. I just hope we don’t slip into a colder Earth which truly would be a disastor that no one would want……..John…….

Doug Badgero

@Mike Roddy
Do you not know who this man is? He is nothing less than a ground breaking aeronautical engineer. He is every bit as accomplished in that field as any climate scientist, on either side of the issue, is in their field. He does not attempt to delve into their areas he only discusses areas where he is unquestionably as much an expert as them. I particularly enjoyed his references to the obvious natural negative feedbacks that must exist in the climate and are observed in the empirical record. This is an issue that I have always thought was under reported and it goes to the heart of the IPCC GCMs.


@Mike Roddy,
Mike, I learned a long time ago that you can glean more from how a person acts than from what they say. If the great fellows you “know” are so “terrified,” why the carbon orgy in Carbon-hägen? Funny how the most “terrified” folks are acting quite the opposite of what they are preaching. They are the Jim and Tammy Fay Baker of the 21st Century, quite simply. When they start acting like they’re “terrified” then I’ll believe they’re “terrified.”


mike roddy (16:16:25) :
You’d better forget about the IPCC report. Even the newest version (2007) covers “scientific” findings up to 2006 only. In view of the vast amounts of information published since then, it’s already no more than a paleographic document.


but what does he think about climategape


Has Burt Rutan given this presentation to his Virgin Galactic business partner Sir Richard Branson?

Obviously not given Branson’s recent comments about anyone who doesn’t “believe in it” is a threat to human existence or something.
Branson better not hear about this or he is going to be mightily upset with Rutan.

Isn’t it possible that Branson, astute businessman that he is, might not actually believe in AGW? For the past ten years or so, any businessman who announced that AGW is a scam might end up selling less product.
Just a thought. And a second thought: maybe Branson is just a really nice, non-vindictive guy…

Dan Martin

Thank You Mr. Rutan! You are a great counter to Mr. Gore’s hysterics.


“May I ask what is the ideal tempreture for the Earth? Does any of the Alarmist have an answer for that? I would presume it would be higher than today. Also higher Co2 levels would spur more food production as well. So again what is the ideal Co2 level?”
John, I’m sure you know the answer.
Any other time and place, if we were divorced from the drama, we would be trying to raise temps and CO2. To make the planet more productive, and, if for no other reason, to hedge our bets against another ice age.
But I don’t think any of us are dumb enough to think we are smart enough to actually control the climate, no matter what.

Layne Blanchard

mike roddy (16:16:25) :
Sorry, Burt, but your analysis……………………. “Those who want socialism”? Really? Who among the alarmists, pray tell, is that?
Well, Mike, this guy comes to mind:
and the guy he was working for?…
Apparently, you have no idea who Burt Rutan is. So, you choose a pompous bloated science flunkie (Gore) over one of the most brilliant aircraft designers of all time? Time to get on the winning team. The IPCC is in a hard spin with the nose up.
One of Rutan’s better known designs-

Doug Badgero

Rutan states in his PPT that he has a bet with Branson on the subject. It is possible for reasonable people to disagree and still be friends.


i assume he was talking to pilots and aviation enthusiast’s, reasonable people all, so not much gained.
probably too long for some with shorter attention spans, or only interested in short term gains.
maybe it’s another straw on the camels back?


thanks guys for ripping this roddy apart. I always love when the libs send someone to monitor these sites and tell us how dumb we are. i wish there is someway we could organize and protest to our “superiors” and make our voice heard especially with the news that obama is going to use a prior supreme court decision to force cap and trade on us.


“It is possible for reasonable people to disagree and still be friends.”
Normally, yes, but I recently read that Branson said people who disagree on that issue aren’t fit to be in positions of responsibility. I will see if I can find the comments, they were extremely harsh if I remember correctly.


Rutan strikes me as the kind of gutsy individuals who’s going to tell it like he sees it regardless of the consequences. Branson knows it, respects it and relies on it. He would not have it any other way. He’s as savvy a businessman as Rutan is an engineer. I’m sure he is under strong pressure from politicians and acquaintances to stop employing Rutan’s services but it won’t happen. Branson fully groks the true causal relationship between quality and profit.

I hate to repost this, but in one of the videos you see Burt Ratan demonstrating parallel warming (the rates of warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940, and 1975-1998) as shown in Lord Monckton’s letter. I plotted the trend lines calculated their slopes. I showed that 1860-1880’s slope is slightly less than that of 1910-1940 & 1975-1998. The latter two periods of warming were virtually identical (well, it would take 4,000 years to differ by 1.0’C – clearly any difference is pure noise).
I blogged about it here:
It’s funny, because the literature will happily give natural variations credit for the 1910-1940 warming, but they insist that 1975-1998 must have been caused by external (man-made) forces, despite the fact that they had the same rates of warming.
(And this is using Had CRU’s variance adjusted data – the most pro-AGW data there is!)


Branson is a very successful businessman but having a nose for business is not a substitute for education. As far as I know, Branson never graduated from high school.

crosspatch (18:46:09),
Thanks! That fits in perfectly with my baseless conjecture @18:09:37.

DJ Meredith

Mike Roddy says..”I know a number of them personally, and they are a group of earnest scientists who are terrified about what they are discovering.”
Well, Mike, we’ve been reading their emails, and we’re terrified about what they’ve been doing. What they have been caught red handed doing. For credibility you want us to read a work of what we now know to be fiction?
What is so great about Burt’s contribution to this is now there’s perspective of a very credible engineer. You ain’t gonna pull any wool over this guy’s eyes.
Roddy just regurgitates a Team mantra. “We earnest. Trust us.”

Doug Badgero

I am not in any way attempting to defend Branson. I just think it’s difficult to get people to change their mind if we keep calling them idiots.


Mike Roddy, just what is a “credible climatologist”? To my mind, that’s someone who has made predictions on what the climate will do and had those predictions proven in the real world. Or one that has developed climate theories that thoroughly explain past observations, like the global oscillations in world temperatures or what causes ice ages, and shown good correlation between his theories and the historical record. If you know of such a person, please share with us his name and accomplishments, I don’t believe I’ve ever come across such a “credible climatologist”.


Sure is fun watching the unknown and unaccomplished trying to denigrate a man whom they clearly recognize as their superior.
You all know who you are, but Roddy is the guy who really got up my nose.
Roddy, when you achieve a feat similar to designing, designing the manufacturing techniques, building and flying an aircraft around the world unrefueled, give me a call. Until then, piss off. Maroon.

Richard P

Burt Rutan is the consummate engineer, Data, Measurement Error, Accuracy, and Empirical Confirmation of Theories are the gold standard. Any engineer would understand his analysis, and to “mike roddy” the above is more important to well designed systems than non-factual ad hominem attacks. In our world theory is only the first step. Design, testing, proof of concept, prototype, proof of concept testing, and final production verification are what is required build safe reliable systems. Otherwise people will be injured or killed. That is what makes engineers different from the purely theoretical sciences.
Mike, would you ride in an aircraft that after testing, only the data that agreed with what the designer expected was selected? Would you want to be the test subject on that plane? Would you place your family in that kind of jeopardy? Most of his concern is that this is exactly what the various NGOs and Governments want to do to us. Place us in a position of disadvantage and economic danger using poor data and analysis.
My data I generate at work affects millions of dollars of spending, and risk. If I only included data that supported my position and actively excluded valid data that did not I would be fired. That is why many engineers like myself have severe issues with this climate analysis. The data does not support it! To us you must then either rethink your theory, or come up with a new one.
As has been said may timed before:
The proposer of the theory is responsible to prove the case, not the questioner’s job to prove his. Also, great claims require an equally great proof. Any one of the graphs shown during the presentation should have eliminated this theory. The fact that it has not shows that this is not science, but religion.

David L. Hagen

Those wanting to open the Powerpoint presentation can download OpenOffice for free and use Impress.


@crosspatch, et al
Galileo didn’t graduate from high school either.

David L. Hagen

mike roddy (16:16:25) :
If you are serious in evaluating the evidence, read the other side of published peer reviewed science in Climate Change Reconsidered, the 880 pg 2009 report by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.


It is rather fascinating that as this site gets more and more popular (look at the hit counter!) it’s getting to be seen as more and more of a threat by the AGW crowd – they used to ignore it completely.
And it’s also funny how they either give a couple of ranting posts and quit trying (like Roddy here) or they lapse into vulgarity and get banned like that Frost sockpuppet did this morning.
I keep waiting for an AGW who can actually engage in a civil and rational conversation – haven’t found one yet.


Climategate has show the warmers to be not only wrong, but even criminally so. From that alone it is clear we are headed in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, knowing you are going the wrong way isn’t sufficient if you don’t change course.

“Power crunch coming – The Kansas chapter of the Sierra Club recently put out a news release that said in 2009, not one coal-burning [power] plant broke ground in the United States and 29 proposed projects were shelved.”

We’re not out of the woods yet, people.