I’m traveling today, so new posts won’t be happening until perhaps the evening.

Open thread, moderators please help where you can – Anthony

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August 28, 2012 12:14 pm

Co-blogger Tim C has started a UK surface stations project over at the talkshop. Scroll down the front page, which has a couple of stickies on at the moment.

David L. Hagen
August 28, 2012 1:32 pm

James Delingpole waxes eloquent in Mann versus Steyn: popcorn time!

But when you’re working in a business as awash with cash as the Climate Change industry, why would you ever let facts get in the way of a good story?

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
August 28, 2012 2:13 pm

Freelance work, reporting on Isaac for the Chico Enterprise Record? Let us know when your Southwest flight safely lands at New Orleans, or if you were at least able to walk away in one piece. And do that from the terminal, don’t wait until you get to the Holiday Inn Express!

August 28, 2012 2:39 pm

another Mannian moment:
28 Aug: UK Telegraph: Arctic ice melts to record low levels
Scientists said the record was all the more striking as 2007 had near perfect climate patterns for melting ice, but that the weather this year was unremarkable other than a storm in early August.
Michael E. Mann, a lead author of a major UN report in 2001 on climate change, said the latest data reflected that scientists who were criticised as alarmists may have shown “perhaps too great a degree of reticence.” …
“I think, unfortunately, this is an example that points more to the worst-case scenario side of things,” said Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University.
“There are a number of areas where in fact climate change seems to be proceeding faster and with a greater magnitude than what the models predicted,” Mann told AFP.
“The sea ice decline is perhaps the most profound of those cautionary tales because the models have basically predicted that we shouldn’t see what we’re seeing now for several decades,” he added…
Kumi Naidoo, the executive director of Greenpeace who on Monday intercepted a Russian ship in the Arctic, said the ice melt showed that the planet was “warming up at a rate that puts billions of people’s future in jeopardy.”
“These figures are not the result of some freak of nature but the effects of man-made global warming caused by our reliance on dirty fossil fuels,” he said in a statement…

August 28, 2012 2:39 pm

Here`s a thought: `Consensus`is intellectual Cowardice.

Adam Gallon
August 28, 2012 2:39 pm

Exergy looks like it’ll join the list of “Green Energy” failures.

August 28, 2012 2:43 pm

I’m grateful for the break. There are so many posts here I can hardly keep up.

August 28, 2012 2:51 pm

Does anyone else think the September 2012 National Geographic blaring ‘headline’ – “What’s up with the Weather?” to announce an issue full of alarm about worsening hurricanes etc. is a riff on “Watts Up With That?”

Craig Moore
August 28, 2012 3:33 pm

Does a loose thread count as on Open Thread?

An EPA agent stopped at our ranch yesterday “I need to inspect your place for illegal GHG emissions.”
I said “Okay , but don’t go in that field over there…..”,
The agent verbally exploded saying, ” Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me!” Reaching into his rear pants pocket, the arrogant agent pulled out his badge and shoved it in my face. “See this badge?! This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I want …. on any land !! No questions asked or answers given!! Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?!!”
I nodded politely, apologized, and went about my chores. A short time later, I heard loud screams, looked up, and saw the agent running for his life, being chased by our big old mean bull. With every step, the bull was gaining ground on the him, and it seemed likely that he’d get gored before he reached safety. The agent was clearly terrified.
I threw down my tools, ran to the fence and yelled at the top of my lungs…..
“Your badge, show him your shiny BADGE!”

August 28, 2012 3:51 pm

How about “Ignorance is the last defense of the ‘Educated’?
If you global replace “Change” with “Oscillation” then everything the warmists say can be true. Sad they don’t understand the atmosphere is an open system..

August 28, 2012 3:53 pm

Maybe worse still is they don’t understand that the more heat you add, the more it expands.,, its contracting still, isn’t it?

August 28, 2012 4:14 pm

I recently finished reading an interesting book, “Arctic Obsession: The Lure of the Far North” by Alexis S. Troubetzkoy. The author examines arctic exploration since the very early days of the search for the northwest and northeast passages in those impossibly small wooden sailing ships, to present day exploration and research. A lot of the stuff I (sort of) remember from those history classes oh so many years ago, but not the nasty details of survival in the far north described in this book. The book unfortunately goes sideways when the author rattles on for a chapter about the impending arctic doom as promised by the IPCC, etc, but that chapter can be safely ignored without any impact on the overall content.

August 28, 2012 5:32 pm

We don’t understand cloud feedbacks. We don’t understand air-sea interactions. We don’t understand aerosol indirect effects. The list is long.

Rick Bradford
August 28, 2012 6:28 pm

I’m always struck by how the alarmists repeatedly pull the same lame old tricks: consensus, straw man, denigration, media bias and so on. Here is uber-alarmist Lewandowsky from Australia (my capitals)
“Researchers from The University of Western Australia (UWA) have examined what motivates people who are greatly involved in the climate debate to reject scientific evidence. [ARROGANT BLIND ASSUMPTION THAT ALL THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE POINTS TO CAGW – CHECK]
The study, Motivated Rejection of Science, to be published in the journal Psychological Science, investigated what motivates the rejection of science in visitors to climate blogs who choose to participate in the ongoing public debate about climate change.
More than 1,000 visitors to blogs dedicated to discussions of climate science completed a questionnaire that queried people’s belief in a number of scientific questions and conspiracy theories, including: Princess Diana’s death was not an accident; the Apollo moon landings never happened; HIV causes AIDS; and smoking causes lung cancer.
The study also considered the interplay of these responses with the acceptance of climate science, free market ideology, and the belief that previous environmental problems have been resolved.
The researchers, led by UWA School of Psychology Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, found that free market ideology was an overwhelmingly strong determinant of the rejection of climate science. [ONE-SIDED DENIAL TO NOT NOTE THE REVERSE – CHECK (i.e. that communist ideology is an overwhelmingly strong determinant of the acceptance of climate science)]
It also predicted the rejection of the link between tobacco and lung cancer and between HIV and AIDS.
Conspiratorial thinking was a lesser but still significant determinant of the rejection of all scientific propositions examined, from climate to lung cancer.
> “There has been much research pointing to the role of free market ideology in rejecting climate science, but this is the first time it’s been shown that other scientific facts, such as the link between HIV and AIDS, are also subject to ideological rejection,” said Lewandowsky. [DEMONISE AND DENIGRATE OPPONENTS – CHECK]
By contrast, a major determinant of the acceptance of science was the perceived consensus among scientists. The more agreement among scientists, the more people were likely to accept the scientific findings.
> “It is important to understand the role of perceived consensus because it highlights how damaging the media’s handling of climate issues can be when they create the appearance of a scientific debate where there is none [SHUT DOWN ANY PUBLIC DEBATE – CHECK]: More than 90 in 100 climate researchers agree on the basic fact that the globe is warming due to human greenhouse gas emissions [IRRELEVANT STRAWMAN ARGUMENT – CHECK],” he noted.

August 28, 2012 6:50 pm

Open Thread? OK then, here’s a Russian newscaster.

David L
August 28, 2012 6:56 pm

@Vigilantfish on August 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm
Does anyone else think the September 2012 National Geographic blaring ‘headline’ – “What’s up with the Weather?” to announce an issue full of alarm about worsening hurricanes etc. is a riff on “Watts Up With That?”
I thought the same thing. I couldn’t bring myself to open the magazine yet. I’ll need to be in the right frame of mind first.
Right now I’m watching Nova on PBS which had several shows hyping up all the so-called global warming evidence.

Jim P.
August 28, 2012 7:26 pm

David L says:
August 28, 2012 at 6:56 pm

@Vigilantfish on August 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm
Does anyone else think the September 2012 National Geographic blaring ‘headline’ – “What’s up with the Weather?” to announce an issue full of alarm about worsening hurricanes etc. is a riff on “Watts Up With That?”
I thought the same thing. I couldn’t bring myself to open the magazine yet. I’ll need to be in the right frame of mind first.
Right now I’m watching Nova on PBS which had several shows hyping up all the so-called global warming evidence.

Smh. These cowards in the lamestream media would never agree to host an actual debate on the matter. We don’t even yet know the extent to which the globe has warmed, or if it has even done so, nor whether it is natural or manmade, let alone whether it is influencing extreme weather. The evidence, however, is that there is no increase in extreme events.

Leo G
August 28, 2012 7:38 pm

Smokey, this being BC, the big story was the feeding of the bears, as that is illegal here. The conservation officers were worried that the bears may have become habituated to humans so may have to be put down. Last I heard, only a few of the bears returned to the property this spring after their winter nap. But the owner got fined big time for his feeding of the wild life!

August 28, 2012 7:46 pm

A fascinating historic journal it all started long before we had an influence.
receding since approximately the beginning of the present century. In particular the Jakobshavn glacier receded about 20 m during the period 1880 to 1902. As has already been mentioned, the glaciers of these two bays produce the main mass of the Greenland icebergs. Receding of glaciers during recent years has likewise been observed on Spitzbergen, Franz Joseph Land, and Novaya Zemlya.
On Franz Joseph Land during recent years several islands have appeared as if broken in two. It turned out that they had been connected up to that time by ice bridges.
During voyages on the Perseus in 1934 and the Sadko in 1935, I carefully compared the descriptions of glaciers on Jan Mayen and Spitzbergen in some English sailing directions of 1911 with what I observed and everywhere I noted a great decrease in size of glaciers.
Ahlman explored the glaciers of Spitzbergen in 1934 and found that these glaciers are now
melting faster than they grow on account of fall of snow. Ahlman terms the rapid receding of the Spitzbergen glaciers “catastrophic.”
Sumgin informed me that the southern boundary of permafrost in Siberia is everywhere receding northward. In 1837 this boundary, for example, ran somewhat south of the town of Mezen and was found at a depth of 2 m. In 1933 the Academy of Sciences Expedition found this boundary at the village of Semzha 40 km further north.
The washing away of the Lyakhoskiye Ostrova and the disappearance of Vasilevski Ostrov in
the Laptev Sea belong to the same type of phenomena.
2. Rise of air temperature. Since 1920 the average temperature of the winter months has
steadily increased on the coasts of Baffin Bay, the Greenland Sea (Jacobshavn) , Spitzbergen, Bear Island, Barents and Kara Seas. Even in the winter of 1928-29, when there was bitter cold in Europe, the winter temperature on Spitzbergen and Bear Island was only slightly under normal.
Vize points out that at Vardo (northeast Norway) the average annual air temperature starting with 1918 is higher than the average for the century. The year 1926 represents an exception with temperature lower than normal by 0.2°. Starting with 1930, in the whole arctic sector from Greenland to Cape Chelyuskin there has not been a single anomaly of average annual and monthly winter temperatures, while the positive anomalies have been very high. Thus, for example, in the winter of 1934-35 the positive anomalies of average monthly temperature in the region from Dickson Island to Cape Chelyuskin were from 4° to 10°. In November 1935 the positive anomaly on Spitzbergen amounted to 10°. *
Vize points out that if one compares the average air temperatures on the Fran and Sedov
when the position of these vessels more or less coincided in respect to coordinates (average latitude of the Fran was 81°59′ north longitude, 113°26′ east; Sedov, 82° 48′ north, 121°30′ east) and in respect to season (November 1893 to August 1895 for the Fram ; November 1937 to August 1939 for the Sedov), it turns out that the average annual air temperature on the Sedov was 4. 1° higher
than on the Fran . In the six months from September through February this difference even
amounted to 7. 5°. *The deviation of average air temperatures from the 50 year averages exceeded +4° in January to March, 1921 to 1931.

August 28, 2012 8:36 pm

But it will be very difficult to make the MWP go away in Greenland.
Why do they want the MWP to go away?

August 28, 2012 9:33 pm

Closing NY nuke plants could cause outages (AP 2012-08-27)

“BUCHANAN, N.Y. — The operators of the state’s electric grid are warning that closing the two Indian Point nuclear power reactors in Westchester County could result in blackouts.
The New York Independent System Operator, or NYISO, says in a draft report that closing Indian Point would leave New York’s electric grid “degraded” on summer days and other times when the system is under stress.
The report, which will be released this fall, is intended to advise the power industry about New York’s energy needs.
Indian Point’s owner, Entergy Nuclear, has applied for new 20-year licenses from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for both reactors.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, opposes the new licenses on the ground that it’s unsafe to have a nuclear plant in such a densely populated area. More than 17 million people live within 50 miles of Indian Point. …”

Like father like son, two irredeemably stupid liberals that act as prostitutes to the eco-communist lobby and without concern for the lives that will be sacrificed in a blackout, history comes full circle. You see, Governor Andy, a lifelong under-achiever (except for when he was at HUD facilitating easy mortgages to folks who would never them back helping to cause the 2008 fiscal crisis) is facing a critical decision, to close or not to close a nuke plant that generates at least 1/3 of the juice consumed by the leftists infesting NYC and vicinity.
His father Mario, a previous leftist radical Governor, famously killed the Shoreham plant on Long Island (by the same method Andy is considering), a multi-billion dollar completely built plant that was about to go online. Yes it’s true, a vital nuke plant was shuttered before it could generate a single watt and the enormous costs of construction and destruction were born by taxpayers everywhere. Not to mention the fact that if you were a coal plant operator, Mario Cuomo became your best friend as millions of more tons needed to be burned for all these many years to fill the gap. Eco-warrior indeed.
That’s the way it goes up here in the thoroughly corrupt North-East where there are more liberals than cockroaches. Stay tuned for this momentous decision from Andy. He has to thread a needle so it sucks to be him. Will he go for the adulation from the eco-zealots and shut ‘er down and sacrifice human beings to the inevitable blackout carnage, or re-license the two reactors and allow NYC to have barely enough, very expensive as it is, juice to light up the various monuments to urban civilization?
People outside of the NYC area must realize that this nuke plant is but one skirmish in the world war on modern society. The war is everywhere. All ‘liberals’ and ‘leftists’ and ‘socialists’ are simultaneously fighting fracking, drilling in the arctic, along the coasts, on ‘government’ lands, fighting all pipelines everywhere, new coal plants, old coal plants, and have successfully frozen new nuke power since the 1980’s, and are working to close exisiting ones. Meanwhile we sit here dutifully playing three-card monte or the shell game where Queensberrian gentleman insist we stick to the pure ‘scientific’ and ‘academic’ dispute over CO2, distracting us from the other shell or hand – the all out leftist attack on EVERY single segment of energy production. I find the shell game analogy ironic here since nice guys like McIntyre often use the analogy: ‘watch what the other hand is doing’. Well I hope they eventually start to follow their own advice. Here’s a clue, “electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket”. Another election approaches. If you have learned anything at all it is time to park your cognitive dissonance at the door and completely wipe out the liberals at the ballot box.
(NB: to our foreign friends, “liberal” has a different meaning here than you might be used to. It is politically synonymous with leftist, socialist, radical, neo-communist. Has been at least since LBJ kickstarted the welfare state in 1966, and well before that really. Think FDR, LBJ, McGovern, Carter, Mondale, Clinton, Kerry. “Liberal” does NOT have anything to do with classic liberalism, or freedom, or equality, or enlightenment, or knowledge. It is quite the opposite. It is about the nanny state, the welfare state, the socialist slave state. It is about Control. And about Power.)

August 28, 2012 9:40 pm

Some open thread music 🙂

Steve C
August 28, 2012 11:42 pm

Smokey, I was drinking my coffee … You owe me a new keyboard! 😀

August 29, 2012 1:02 am

Tides, Earth’s core oscillations and the Japan’s earthquakes
Deep within the Earth, is the outer core, which extends to a depth of around 3000 miles beneath the surface. It is believed that is made up of super-heated liquid molten lava made mostly of iron and nickel. This is the area where the Earth’s magnetic forces are generated, strength of field is estimated to be about 25 Gauss, about 50 times greater than that on the Earth’s surface.
I speculate that since it is liquid the outer core is also affected by tidal forces in a similar manner to the oceans, but also I assumed that the magnetic field would be providing a brake on its movement.
Combining the tidal effects on the Earth’s outer core from the known gravitational and magnetic oscillations I found the result to be somewhat unexpected:
Note: blue curve is delayed by few years, which could wrongly imply some predictive power. Since no major Japan’s earthquakes were listed for the 1900-1920 period no conclusions should be drawn about long term implications for a possible correlation.

August 29, 2012 2:21 am

pat says: August 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm
another Mannian moment:
“…There are a number of areas where in fact climate change seems to be proceeding faster and with a greater magnitude than what the models predicted,” Mann told AFP. (My bold).
Surely, all Mann is saying here is that the models are WRONG!

August 29, 2012 7:24 am

Am I right (from the Ocean Reference Page and the excellent site – thank you Willis) that despite all the sea-ice hype, the north-west passage is still not open this year?
Ice appears to be blocking both the western end of the main passage at Liddon Gulf and the route through Queen Maud Gulf and Bellot Strait, so neither can be navigated yet – but the container ship Umiavut seems to be approaching the eastern entrance in Baffin Bay. Perhaps it is hoping for a quick transit if the ice clears?

David Ross
August 29, 2012 7:39 am

Fred wrote:

A fascinating historic journal it all started long before we had an influence.

Good find Fred.
I took “Lyakhoskiye Ostrova” from the above article; punched it into Google and found this.
Arctic Ice
By N.N.Zubov
This section was particularly interesting.

p.459 Astronomical Factors
Clayton points out the influence of quantity of sun spots on atmospheric pressure and consequently on the distribution of precipitation. The fluctuations in level of certain lakes, depending mainly on quantity of precipitation. show a striking concurrence with the changes in sun spots. It is remarkable that Lake Ladoga, for example, has more water at the time of the sunspots minimum than at the maximum, while Lake Victoria in Middle Africa is the reverse. This is due entirely to the different pressure pattern which occurs in connection with these lakes as a result of solar activity.
Memory goes somewhat further in his investigations. Ile notes that since 9 sun spot periods equal 100 years and if the quantity of sun spots affects the weather, approximately every 100 years (we note that 100 years almost corresponds to three of the 35-year periods of Bruckner) the weather should repeat itself. Memory confirms this assumption by means of thirteen sharp deviations in seasonal weather from the norm for the period 1888 to 1928 which corresponds to similar seasonal weather deviations for the period 1788 to 1828. In connection with this, In his work which was printed In 1928 Memory warned of severe winters expected in 1929 and 1930, which, as we know, was very strikingly confirmed for the winter of 1929-30.
On the other hand Memery attempts to explain why, since we have an 11-year sun spot period, we do not have an 11-year weather period. Memery shows that the quantity of sun spots varies extremely irregularly during one single year. It sometimes increases, sometimes decreases, and the yearly maximum sometimes falls in the summer, sometimes in the winter. In 1928 the mad-mum of solar activity fell In August and this caused positive deviations of temperature in that summer- Whenever the minimum of sun spots falls M the winter we must expect negative deviation of temperature in that winter.
In studying the long term changes in ocean level we discover two factors: first, the average yearly levels of separate parts of the ocean and particularly the levels of individual semi-closed seas differ from each other by more or less considerable amounts. Secondly, the average yearly levels increase or decrease over a large expanse of the shore. This phenomenon is most typical. of course, in the semi-closed seas.
Thus, for example, along the whole coast of the Baltic Sea. Including Its bays, the average yearly level was lower than the average long-term level in 1891, 1897. 1901. 1904, 1908, etc. and higher than the average long-term level in 1893, 1899, 1903, etc.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
August 29, 2012 10:09 am

Oh noes! Babel Fish is gone! I went to translate a word, and got a Yahoo “not found”. Google found a slightly different address… Which redirected to Bing Translate!
Ah Babel Fish, all the many years of humor you have yielded for us for so many years. A generation has enjoyed your mangled imperfectness. And now you are GONE, sacrificed on the altar of Almighty Micro$oft!
You will be missed.

August 29, 2012 10:39 am

Young alcoholic star !
Not some latest Hollywood gossip but a report from astronomy

August 29, 2012 10:41 am

For everybody interested in RepRap or other cheap plastic extruder 3D printers:
The Chinese have entered the market with a printer for less than 1000 USD, the Up! Mini.

J Martin
August 29, 2012 12:33 pm

The New Scientist is peddling ice cap alarmism for all its worth. As the New Scientist is more likely to be found in schools than newspapers, it is a battleground that sceptic viewpoints would have trouble combating.
The New Scientist has an article which more or less starts with this statement;
“For at least 3 million years, and most likely 13 million, says Louis Fortier of the University of Laval in Quebec City, Canada, the Arctic Ocean has been covered by a thick, floating ice cap,”
and goes on from there.

August 29, 2012 1:13 pm

Swedes were slightly shortchanged on summer this year, with Stockholm only enjoying six days of temperatures over 25 degrees Celsius, compared with 28 days in 2011.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
August 29, 2012 1:53 pm

From DirkH on August 29, 2012 at 10:41 am:

For everybody interested in RepRap or other cheap plastic extruder 3D printers:
The Chinese have entered the market with a printer for less than 1000 USD, the Up! Mini.

Thanks a lot, Dirk!
I went to Google “3d printers” and found this new HuffPo piece:
‘Wiki Weapon Project’ Aims To Create Workable Guns From 3D Printers (VIDEO)

The estimated total number of guns held by civilians in the United States is 270,000,000. Cody Wilson’s invention could increase that number.
Wilson wants to create a gun users can make at home. More specifically, he wants to create the world’s first printable gun that can be downloaded via the Internet and built using a 3-D printer, according to Forbes‘ Andy Greenberg.
Greenberg spoke with Wilson about the seemingly impossible idea dreamed up by Wilson and his friends. They call themselves “Defense Distributed” and call their campaign the “Wiki Weapon Project.”
“We want to show this principle: That a handgun is printable,” the 24-year-old University of Texas law student told Forbes. “You don’t need to be able to put 200 rounds through it…It only has to fire once. But even if the design is a little unworkable, it doesn’t matter, as long as it has that guarantee of lethality.”

And there’s a “prize” of around $1000 to $2000 for the winning design!
BTW, if the “one use” part is due to the barrel not taking the stress, in this “modern” age of gunsmithing, they make these things called .22 caliber rimfire barrel liners for refurbishing “shot out” old barrels. Formerly the procedure was to drill out the inside of the old barrel (could use a hand drill) and silver solder the liner in place. But now there are super-strong epoxies available, just “glue” it in. And you could “glue” one into a properly sized full-length hole in plastic…
Dang you Dirk! You’re making me think “bad” designing thoughts that feel so good…

August 29, 2012 8:59 pm

kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
August 29, 2012 at 1:53 pm
“Dang you Dirk! You’re making me think “bad” designing thoughts that feel so good…”
The printers use thermoplastic – the stuff Lego is made off.
Instead of printing your own gun, you could start with prototyping it using Lego. See how that works and if you survive it you can tell us.
When HuffPo and some guy who sets up a wiki stir this up, what they want is not producing a gun but producing gun control hysteria; and traffic for their webpages.

August 29, 2012 11:51 pm

Steven Mosher says:
August 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm
Of course the russians have been collecting data in the siberian sea for a long time.

Hi Mosh. Do you know of an equivalent length record on the opposite side of the Arctic ocean?

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
August 30, 2012 11:06 am

From DirkH on August 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm:

The printers use thermoplastic – the stuff Lego is made off.
Instead of printing your own gun, you could start with prototyping it using Lego. See how that works and if you survive it you can tell us.

Legos have thin walls for minimal material usage, the gun would use much thicker construction. As ABS has the important mechanical properties of toughness and impact resistance, it has replaced metal (primarily “pot metal” aka zinc, also aluminum and sheet steel) as the material of choice for many components and items. Fibers such as glass can be added to the plastic for additional toughness.
While the maximum chamber pressure of the .22LR is 21,000 psi, that’s just an instantaneous pulse. The cartridge is also small, that pressure is exerted over a very small area. That pressure is also on the low end compared to many other rounds.
With those low pressures, the primary design of self-loaders is not locked breech but blowback, aka recoil-operated, where the spent cartridge shell uses the pressure to push itself out of the chamber against spring tension exerted by the slide. This could also be used in a single-shot. Without a solid or locked breech requirement, the design simplifies, the breech end has a spring-loaded sliding block that only has to retain part of the shell in the chamber until the bullet clears the muzzle.
While standard mass-market .22LR rifles have heavy barrels, that’s mainly to keep the weight the same as for rifles using more powerful loadings for the same “feel”. The lightweight survival-oriented AR-7 has, during its various versions, had a barrel that’s basically a liner inside of aluminum. The current Henry Repeating Arms version uses “a sturdy steel barrel covered in tough ABS plastic”. At only 3.5 lbs total, there’s not much steel there.
The primary thing to keep guns from blowing up is a smooth unobstructed bore that allows an easy passage of the bullet out of the barrel and a quick release of the pressures, except for the brief initial pressing of the rifling into the bullet. As the gun lore goes, even the impediment of some dirt or a glob of grease can cause blow-ups. I wouldn’t trust a plastic bore, even a reamed smoothbore, the bullet might scrape up enough of a burr to cause problems (although I acknowledge the risk is reduced at handgun lengths as opposed to rifle lengths). Thus I would recommend a steel liner regardless.
If really worried about the chamber blowing up, then use a short piece of steel pipe around that end of the liner for reinforcement. This is also possible if you really want to try the all-plastic barrel, have a pipe chamber as an insert. Note that finish machining, namely reaming for size and finish, is recommended. They specifically make chamber reamers for specific cartridges, which would be needed for the liner and a pipe chamber insert. There would be issues precisely lining up the bores of an insert and a plastic barrel, check with a competent machinist besides me.
The other possible need for reinforcement would be the face that rests against the base of the cartridge, to accept the initial “whack” before the slide starts moving that would impress the cartridge base into the plastic. For that you could fashion a sheet metal insert from the lid of a can. Again, while the specs are “only has to fire once”, there are things that should be done that make the gun safer that also make it more suitable for multiple firings.
Of course, if the goal really is only an all-plastic use-once throwaway, good for up-close only, you can program up a very-short oversized-bore barrel, with the low extruder temperatures you can have the printer pause with the chamber half done, pop a single cartridge into place, and encase the case solidly and permanently in thick ABS. Half-inch thick all around should easily be enough.

When HuffPo and some guy who sets up a wiki stir this up, what they want is not producing a gun but producing gun control hysteria; and traffic for their webpages.

Now that HuffPo has squawked about it, they might as well shut down the Defense Dist. site, job is done, gun-banners notified. It’s still there, they seem serious.
They should also have been aware of human nature, especially in the internet age. Publicly propose something that sounds even slightly possibly feasible, no matter how impossible it seems to the proposer and if it’s something they really don’t want anyway, some damn fool is going to run with it and very likely make it reality. If Defense Dist. isn’t serious, the results will simply get posted elsewhere. Just look to the recent history of assorted “global warming mitigation” schemes seeking funding for the proof of crazy ideas being taken seriously.

September 1, 2012 12:29 pm

AMS (American Meteorological Society) has posted a Climate Change Information Statement that is supposed to tell us what the climate is doing. I read the whole thing and found it to be a shameless political tract based on distorted and false science. So I sat down, wrote a critique of it, and sent it directly to Louis Uccellini, president of the AMS. Below is the full text of what I sent him:
On the Information Statement of the American Meteorological Society,
Adopted by AMS Council 20 August 2012
By Arno Arrak
As a member of the AMS I find this so-called “Information Statement” highly objectionable. It does not meet the standard of providing “… a trustworthy, objective, and scientifically up-to-date explanation of scientific issues of concern to the public at large” as claimed in its first line. It is full of scientifically unsubstantiated claims which amount to purposeful misleading of the public. I checked BAMS and find that at no time has the membership been consulted about any of the “factual” statements it promotes. It is clear that a small group now controls the Society and has taken it upon themselves to define what science says about climate. Any information that contradicts their opinion is either suppressed or left out. There are so many distortions, errors and omissions in it that I can’t cover them all so I will concentrate upon the more important ones. I will use the same paragraph headings as the report uses.
This statement provides a brief overview of how and why global climate has changed over the past century and will continue to change in the future, or so they say. There are two problems with this. First, their account of how climate has changed over the past century is wrong. Second, the idea that they know the future is laughable. They use climate models that have been proven wrong time and time again. One example: IPCC AR4 predicted that global warming in the twenty-first century will proceed at the rate of 0.2 degrees per decade. We are now in the second decade of this century and there is no sign of the predicted warming. If a scientific theory makes a prediction and that prediction is demonstrably wrong that theory is also considered to be wrong. The greenhouse theory of warming that made this prediction must therefore be considered wrong. I will have more to say about greenhouse theory below.
How is climate changing?
“Warming of the climate system now is unequivocal…” Let’s stop right there. They mean “anthropogenic warming” but deceptively do not want to spell it out. Then they continue: “Observations show increases in globally averaged air and ocean temperatures, as well as widespread melting of snow and ice and rising globally averaged sea level.” As observations of nature these are true but most of them cannot be used to support anthropogenic warming. Global air temperature, for instance, is controlled by various natural forces, not even one of them human-caused. I will cover that below. As to the “rising globally averaged sea level” it simply does not belong in this package. We know it for a fact that sea level has been rising linearly for eighty years, at the rate of 2.46 millimeters per year [Chou, Yu & Li, Science 320:212-214 (2008)]. That is 24.6 centimeters per century, not twenty feet as Al Gore says in his Nobel Prize-winning propaganda film. Satellites clock sea level rise today at 3 millimeters per year which corresponds within the statistical error with the eighty year trend. This long term trend is most likely due to the world-wide melting of glaciers that is part of coming out of the Little Ice Age. It has absolutely nothing to do with human influence. Next they claim anthropogenic warming of polar regions: “Arctic sea ice extent and volume have been decreasing for the past several decades. Both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have lost significant amounts of ice. Most of the world’s glaciers are in retreat.” I already explained the glaciers above. They are deceptive also with their Antarctic story because the warming is confined to the West Antarctic, the only part of Antarctica that is not fully inside the Antarctic Circle. The West Antarctic ice sheet in places drops directly into the ocean without any protective ice shelves and can be influenced by oceanic conditions. For example, the shelf facing the Amundsen Sea is melting because warm water from below wells up. What is happening is that prevailing winds blow away the cold water from the coast which is then replaced by that upwelling water from below. Such vagaries of winds and currents have so destabilized the West Antarctic ice sheet that it has a periodic record of collapse. Thus, sediments in the Ross Sea indicate that melt water has cascaded into the sea 18,000 years ago, again 10,500 years ago, again 5,000 years ago and then again 1,500 years ago. It could easily happen any time now but not because of anything we have done. And then in the north then they want to claim Arctic warming as their own. What they say about the Arctic sea ice extent is certainly true but this again is not due to any anthropogenic influence. The Arctic is not warming because of any imaginary greenhouse effect but because Atlantic Ocean currents are carrying warm Gulf Stream water into the Arctic Ocean [E&E 22(8):1069-1083 (2012)]. In 2010 the temperature of water reaching the Arctic exceeded any individual values available for the last two thousand years. It all started suddenly at the beginning of the twentieth century after two thousand years of slow, orbitally-driven cooling. We know for sure that there was no parallel increase of carbon dioxide when the warming started and this makes the greenhouse effect impossible. Warming paused in mid-century for thirty years, then resumed, and is still going strong. However, if you still believe in the greenhouse effect you will have to explain how to turn it on and off as is required to produce this mid-century pause in warming.
Why is climate changing?
Here is how they present their case for human-induced warming: “It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide. The most important of these over the long term is CO2, whose concentration in the atmosphere is rising principally as a result of fossil-fuel combustion and deforestation.” For now, let’s forget about the other gases, they are introduced just to confuse the issue, and concentrate on carbon dioxide. Originally Hansen blamed carbon dioxide for global warming when he spoke to the Senate in 1988. It was a warm day, peak of the 1988 El Nino period, and both Hansen and the cameramen were wiping the sweat off their brows in a non-airconditioned hearing room. Senator Wirth, the committee chairman, had made sure that the air conditioning did not work and went out the previous night to open all the windows in the hearing room. For the hearing itself he had lined up more than ten TV cameras to report Hansen’s talk to the nation. It is this media blitz that started the present global warming mania. Hansen showed three versions of his climate models, predicting the amount of global warming through 2020, and advocated emissions reductions. The one marked “business as usual” was scariest and predicted a temperature rise of more than a degree Celsius in thirty years. This prediction has turned out to be way off the mark. The other two of his curves showed what could be done by emission controls. The climate models used today are all descended from Hansen’s but run on expensive supercomputers that Uncle Sam gave them. AMS prescription for stopping dangerous global warming is the same as Hansen’s in 1988: emission controls on carbon dioxide, i.e. we must stop burning fossil fuels. This is a trillion dollar demand on us, the peoples of the world. Unfortunately environmentalists have already indoctrinated enough people in power into believing their dubious theories and governments are now spending billions of dollars in public money on these worthless projects. As far as I can tell their faith in carbon dioxide comes from pure theory and is in conflict with actual observations of climate. Let’s go over the observed facts on global temperature, starting with the twentieth century, and see how they fit their story of global warming. The first ten years of the century saw cooling, not warming. This suddenly changed to warming in 1910 which stopped equally suddenly in 1940. There was no parallel increase of carbon dioxide in 1910, and this immediately rules out the greenhouse effect as a cause of warming. Bjørn Lomborg attributes this warming to solar influence and I agree with him. With it, forty percent of the century is over, without any sign of that greenhouse warming. The end of that warming was marked by rapid and severe cooling which lasted through World War II. The Finnish winter war of 1939/40 was fought at minus forty Celsius. There is nothing in any climate model that can either explain or forecast that. The Gulf of Finland froze over and Estonian volunteers walked across the ice to help defend the Finns against the Russians. Next year when Hitler attacked Russia it was General Frost, not the Red Army, who stopped the Germans at the gates of Moscow. And after the war was over the blizzard of 1947 was still able to immobilize New York City for weeks. There is no global warming theory that can explain how this cooling could happen in the presence of increasing carbon dioxide in the air. By 1950 the worst was over and climate stabilized for the next thirty years. But there was no warming until 1976 when the Great Pacific Climate Change is said to have brought a short step warming of about 0.2 degrees. By that time the Mauna Kea laboratorty was running and reported a steady increase of carbon dioxide in the fifties, sixties, and seventies. There has never been any satisfactory explanation of why a steady thirty year increase of carbon dioxide did not cause any warming. By now, seventy percent of the twentieth century was history, with still no sign of anthropogenic warming in sight. There was no warming in the eighties and nineties either, just a collection of ENSO peaks and valleys [1]. One of the peaks was the El Nino of 1988 that Hansen thought was a sign of global warming and so testified to the Senate. It was actually one of five El Nino peaks in that time interval, each one followed by a cool La Nina period. According to satellites the mean temperature remained constant during that entire period but this is not what you find on most land-based temperature curves. These feature a “late twentieth century warming” in that time slot that they count as greenhouse warming. It does not exist according to UAH and RSS satellites, NASA GISTEMP, and NCDC, all of which show that global mean temperature did not change from 1979 to 1987 . But this fake version is now so widespread that even Michael Mann and Richard Müller both use it, not knowing that it is a fake. This temperature rise was manufactured simply by reducing the depth of cool La Nina valleys between El Nino peaks of that period. The nineties ended with the super El Nino of 1998 that finally brought us real warming [1]. In four years, global temperature rose by a third of a degree Celsius and then stopped. There has not been any warming since that time. This step warming cannot be explained by any carbon dioxide greenhouse effect. Its cause very likely was the large amount of warm water the super El Nino carried across the ocean. The super El Nino peak temperature was twice as high as that of any other El Nino peak before it. This is very clear in satellite records but ground-based records do not show its true height. It is probably unique for at least a century and a half and should be intensively studied instead of being buried by a fictitious late twentieth century warming. With it we have reached the end of our temperature overview and can state that there has not been any anthropogenic greenhouse warming for the last 100 years. To talk of such warming as a fact is irresponsible pseudo-science thrust upon an unsuspecting public.
Final remarks
I will skip over the two climate change paragraphs since the required explanations are already implied by the foregoing.The final section goes on to claim again that “The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities…” without giving any evidence whatsoever that such is a case. We have already seen that global temperature change is not among the arguments that can be used for it. But on top of that, we are also asked to believe that “The observed warming will be irreversible for many years into the future, and even larger temperature increases will occur as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere.” There is no science whatsoever behind this claim. Ferenc Miskolczi, a Hungarian scientist, has studied the absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere and come to the conclusion that accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is incapable of raising atmospheric temperature. According to his theory, the existence of a stable climate requires that the infrared optical thickness of the atmosphere should have a constant value of 1.87. He worked out his theory in 2005 and in 2010 he was able to put it to an experimental test [E&E 21(4):243-262 (2010)]. Using NOAA weather balloon database that goes back to 1948 he showed that the infrared optical thickness of the atmosphere had been constant for 61 years. At the same time the amount of carbon dioxide in the air increased by 21.6 percent. This means that the addition of this substantial amount of carbon dioxide to air had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no enhanced greenhouse effect, case closed. This is a purely empirical result, not dependent upon any theory, and it overrules any calculations from theory that do not agree with that. Specifically, it overrules any calculations based on the enhanced greenhouse effect, such as those predicting dangerous global warming to come. Miskolczi theory takes account of not only the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide but also of the greenhouse effect of water vapor which is the larger of the two. According to Miskolczi the required constant value of the IR optical thickness is maintained by feedback mechanisms among all the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The amount of carbon dioxide cannot be changed but water vapor has an effectively infinite source/sink in the oceans and can change. By suppressing the absorption from the added carbon dioxide it demonstrates the existence of a negative feedback effect of water vapor on the greenhouse effect. This is the exact opposite of what IPCC climate models have been doing by using positive water vapor feedback as an ad hoc device to get more warming out of carbon dioxide in the air.
[1] Arno Arrak, What Warming? Satellite view of global temperature change (Second Edition, 2010)

September 2, 2012 5:58 pm

Hi Mosh. Do you know of an equivalent length record on the opposite side of the Arctic ocean?
ya, Danish maps.

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