Another WUWT.TV segment – Engineer and aviation pioneer Burt Rutan on why he doubts global warming

This aired on WUWT.TV on November 14th in response to Al Gore’s “dirty weather report”. Engineer and aviation pioneer Burt Rutan gives his presentation on why he doesn’t think global warming/climate change is a problem, by presenting the data that convinced him it is a non-issue from an engineering standpoint. Burt gets a bit fired up in this presentation, saying to me afterwards by email that “it was fun!”.

It was my honor, Burt.  Burt has been in the business of assessing data for years, and in his case he always had to get it right, or people died. Engineers don’t get second chances when designing mission critical aerospace systems. If only climate science had the same rigor.

51 thoughts on “Another WUWT.TV segment – Engineer and aviation pioneer Burt Rutan on why he doubts global warming

  1. Thank you for this Anthony. Due to US/UK time zones this was one of the ones I sadly missed yet was most looking forward too. Thank you and Burt for taking the time for this.

  2. Unless and until active younger academics without tenure make the objective, rational case for “Climate Science” (sic) in defiance of such as Briffa, Hansen, Jones, Mann, Trenberth and their ilk, these issues will fester regardless of celebrity PR from Michael Crichton, Burt Rutan. Meantime, as Earth inexorably enters a solar-irradiance induced Dalton if not a Maunder Minimum, catastrophic mid-1690’s famine episodes loom ever closer, this time affecting not some few hundred thousand but seven thousand million souls.

  3. I just saw the Discovery Chanel Curiously show the evolution of Humans. Funny they called CO2 a noxious gas and that the dinosaurs died and the deserts form because CO2 rose and the temperature rose. They then skipped over several ice ages.
    But Mr Rutan says the deserts were causes be lack of CO2. Now I’m confused.

  4. Anthony… your audio is leading by about 200ms (5-6 frames). It’s a little disconcerting to watch without downloading the content and using a player that allows you to tweak the A-V delay.
    REPLY: You know, some people claim that I’m funded by big oil, and this production was done on a shoestring with Skype, which has its own set of issues. I wear this technical issue as a badge of honor, because it should be abundantly clear to anyone watching that I don’t have the resources to put on slick presentations like Mr. Gore. Besides, there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. You’ll just have to live with it. – Anthony

  5. I have watched Burt several times and I never get tired of his presentations …….. it is wonderful every time …..Thank you Anthony for making this presentation available and thankyou to Burt for this common sense presentation of what is the real deal .

  6. Excellent presentation.
    BTW, there is no audio delay when watched on YouTube directly.
    Click the YouTube icon at the bottom right of the video above and see for yourself.

  7. I notice Burt’s bookshelves are non-conventional, too. They slope, eliminating the need for bookends. Very efficient.

  8. his first point there about the simple science reality that co2 is a nutrient rather than pollution, shows right off the bat that the GW crowd is LYING about the most basic science involved.

  9. TomT says:
    November 26, 2012 at 7:18 am
    I just saw the Discovery Chanel Curiously show the evolution of Humans. Funny they called CO2 a noxious gas and that the dinosaurs died and the deserts form because CO2 rose and the temperature rose.

    Here’s a cockle-warmer: If temperatures take a nose-dive, all the numerous documentaries that have slipped in knowing asides and warnings on CO2 and global warming are going to be tainted and harder to sell to broadcasters, because audiences will laugh at them. They’ll become latter-day Reefer-Madness-type films.
    I bet their producers never considered that possibility. Arrogant of them. They were riding high on the bandwagon. Riding for a fall.
    As a bonus, future audiences will receive an unending reminder that it’s wise to be wary of scientific consensuses and all-knowing pontifications from on high.

  10. Wow–new stuff I hadn’t seen before, and explained in my native language–engineerese. I’m almost sorry Burt left the realm of advocating for a sane evaluation of the data in refuting (bogus) Warmista claims.
    Good stuff, Burt. Thanks for including this, Anthony.

  11. Anthony,
    Are these charts available to download somewhere? Burt Rutan is brilliant, thinking as clear as clear can be. Our side needs him. Our side also needs a dynamic public speaker to take these and make them sexy enough for high school kids to be able to enjoy a You-Tube video with the truth. I might take a crack at it myself if I could download these, with many and ample credits to the father of Space Ship One and many others.
    We need an anti-Mann, a McKibben-nemesis, a Schmidt-slayer, compelling, charismatic, truthful.

  12. Tom T
    Did the Discovery Channel also show that when our homo sapiens ancestors first evolved the climate was cooling and became drier. Current theory of this evolution holds that this created the vast grasslands as still around today. As the competition for food in the trees increased the need to forage in the grass became a necessary task. Being able to walk upright was an advantage in this situation as one could cover much bigger distances. And we all know the rest.
    When the Aboriginal people first came to what is now called Australia, generally thought to be around 40,000 years ago, the whole continent was covered in trees. Look at it now.
    Climate will continue to change and other then adapt there is nothing we can do about it. But we do need all the CO2 we can get to make sure we can grow enough food for the ever increasing number of great ape descendants.

  13. Burt has an Interesting bookshelf in his office. Is this a new design Burt? The sloping bookself must have some new aerodynamic stability facility. I’m intrigued (lol).
    A very sensible and commonsense analysis of the data.

  14. I loved it, and may even watch again (on youtube). He packs a lot of information in, but in a folksy style which makes it easy to listen to.

  15. Seeing individual segments like this (I had problems watching the whole thing live) brings it home what a remarkable achievement your broadcast was.

  16. Thank you Anthony and Burt Rutan.
    I especially appreciated the question and answer period and the Rutan original graphs. In fact, I wish the presentation would have focused more on those parts at the expensive of Mr. Rutan revisiting some the details.
    It is undeniable that Rutan has exercised live-long care in forming his conclusions to various questions of murky issues. And THAT compels attention to his insights, conclusions and wisdom.
    Thanks, again.

  17. I still say we are dealing with a religion, a faith. You can provide all of the contradictory evidence you want, they simply ignore it and carry on.

  18. Great piece of work Burt and thanks to you and Anthony for the post.
    Still digesting – might have some questions or comments later
    thank you both

  19. In the upper left graph at 18:58 Rutan says the data points were not accurately measured in the pre-Mona Loa period and that we don’t know the precision of that data. In fact, in the early 1800s tools for measuring CO2 were actually quite accurate. I don’t have the data in front of me, but much progress was made in measuring CO2 at that time.
    DO take a close look at the data points in that graph, and look at the note about cherry picking of the data. This is Callendar’s total data, with the circular data being his cherry-picked data with which he derived the 290ppm that is commonly mentioned as the average for the 19th century (1938). Slocum very politely ripped Callendar a new rear end hole in showing (1955) that Callendar cherry picked his data.
    Note how many data points are above 400ppm.
    Also, Rutan shortly after this stated that CO2 is very evenly spread out around the globe, saying that you could measure it at Moana Loa or anywhere and get about the same value. I would argue with him on that. MANY (over 20,000) German and Italian readings around 1880-1930 were taken and averaged about 438ppm. That was much higher than most other places at that time. That was a time when temps were both falling (1880-1910) and rising (1910-1940), so it also supports the argument that the CO2 level is not correlated with higher temps at all.
    Rutan missed spelling any of this out in this presentation. But it might be part of his longer presentation.
    Steve Garcia

  20. This was one of the presentations that I missed and really wanted to see. The presentation was rich in facts, clearly presented and very easy to listen to. The charts should be made available in a clearer format are they are so excellent and are rather blurry on the video. Burt Rutan is a brilliant speaker and so knowledgeable of the effects of reality. You don’t get clear thinking like this from the CAGW Mob. Burt Rutan would be an ideal presenter for all school kids to counter CAGW propaganda.

  21. Mike Nystrom says:
    November 26, 2012 at 11:59 am
    “Burt Rutan has spoken. It’s over :)”
    We have to wait for Chuck Norris.

  22. It was nice to connect Rutan’s actual delivery with the the presentation I had long had bookmarked.
    And the timing was fortunate for me, since I had just been directed to this supercilious, content-free drivel from John Holdren, to which Rutan’s fact-rich presentation provided a stark contrast. Anyone who has seen the background facts Rutan lays out is missing something if he can still contend, as Holden does, that the burden of proof of the catastrophic-anthropogenic-global-warming question should be on the skeptics.

  23. Anthony, thanks for taking the time to upload these segments, and especially for uploading them in HD. It makes all the difference when looking at chart details. It is very much appreciated.

  24. Great presentation.
    WUWT-TV should be a regular feature.
    Could even recruit volunteers to do interviews with scientists and shoot footage from presentations and seminars across the planet.
    There are plenty of us who would be willing to contribute.

  25. Great presentation.
    Only one quibble: where Burt attributes greater crop production to higher CO2 levels.
    There he vastly underestimates the incredible work geneticists do. For instance, the genetic improvement in pigs is such that selected stock are improving growth rates by 10 to 20 grams per day per year, for the last twenty years, and that is accelerating with the use of sophisticated computer systems.
    ie If a particular breed was growing at say 650 grams per day in 1995, under a normal modern breeding program the same line of pigs were growing at 750 grams per day by 2005. That is a 15% improvement. And at the same time the geneticists and breeders were reducing fat levels and improving feed use efficiency.
    The progress in plant breeding is even more impressive, with not only production traits being pursued, but also traits to allow growth in particular temperature or climate regimes, and disease and pest resistance. Add to that the wonderful advantages of genetic modification (GMO) and we can see where a lot of the improvement has come from.
    Additionally we have ongoing improvements in farming methods, but the genetic gains are by far the largest contributor.
    I think it is these geneticists who will save the world, and the human race, by feeding the billions as we reach peak populations in 2050, not our mouthy warming worriers.

  26. We owe Burt a great debt. Many thanks.
    Several years ago Gordon Brown (you remember, he was the one who saved the world) said that sceptics were anti-science and flat-earthers. Burt Rutan built the first aircraft to fly around the world non-stop, an amazing achievement. And yet, according to Brown, this same Burt Rutan is a flat-earther. Brown also insulted several Apollo astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin and Harrison Schmidt in the same way.
    In other words, Brown seemed to think that astronauts who watched the earth from the moon, and the man who built the first aircraft to fly non-stop around the world, are all flat-earthers. That just about sums it all up. That some apparently civilised and educated people can descend into such ignorant and superstitious nonsense is almost beyond belief. Sadly, Brown, and all the others, is probably incapable of understanding the irony of his words.

  27. more soylent green! says:
    November 26, 2012 at 7:37 am
    “Anthony — Are any of these presentations or segments from WUWT-TV available on Youtube?

    In the middle of the image posted there is a white triangle with a black background. If you right-click on that a window opens that allows you to “Copy video URL.” Next paste this info into a document to be saved on your computer and into a new Tab line at the top of your browser. You can use the ‘paste and go’ option on Chrome.
    Note that the URL includes this: “youtube”
    Several others have already been posted. Go back and find them and paste the URLs into that document mentioned above. When Anthony has completed the process and you have followed the copy and paste directions, you will have a list of all the WUWT-TV presentations for 2012.
    You are welcome!

  28. Hi Anthony,
    Congrats on your TV presentation. Although a few glitches it should have made an impact.
    This comment is to refer you to a post I just came across. Wondering if you or one of your associates would like to debunk it?
    Pretty heavy stuff, obvious from where it is coming. How does one combat such garbage presented as a truthful document? Obviously the public accept such publications as the truth.
    Regards, Ken.

  29. Excellent presentation. I thought I had heard it all but that snippet about Russian sites being paid by the cold was hilarious.
    Always interesting to hear the opinion of someone who has had to base their career on producing results that matter rather than just clocking up hours and churning out waffle.

  30. What an excellent presentation. Anthony, one thing that grabbed me was Mr Rutan’s comment at 1h 04 where he referred to the email he had received from Lovelock and the statement contained therein that the ozone hole debacle had been an even bigger swizz than global warming, with CFCs receiving hugely unjust treatment as part of that deceptive project. (Well, in roughly those words ) The super-quiet about the Antarctic ozone hole over recent times has been unmissable. However those people in the refrigeration industry who have used this as a wealth-grabber have not let up in their efforts in the least of displacing the ‘good’ refrigerants. The ‘good’ refrigerants are remaining crucified. Is there any hope of getting substantial factual elaboration on all this–maybe a full posting on the latest developments?

  31. Has Burt suffered an earthquake recently? I like that diagonal shelves detail, might patent that Homer Simpson style.

  32. Re bookshelves:
    A good idea which avoids the problem of books falling over.
    A good idea which avoids the repetition of the relatively boring bookshelf aesthetic.
    However, maybe they simply just fell down the day before?

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