A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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So what is the Second Darn Law?

With nearly 500 comments on the thread on the Second Law of Thermodynamics there is obviously a need for people to discuss the basic greenhouse theory. Here’s a new thread on that theme.

So what is the Second Darn Law?

From NASA:

But there are variations

As with all these Laws of science there is no exact wording, because There Is No God Who Issues Science Decrees*.  What we have are human efforts to best explain the world around us. Note that the two well known versions of the Second Law both contain the phrase “whose sole result”, meaning that heat transfer can certainly move from a colder to a warmer body if there is some other compensating movement where more heat is transferred from a hotter body to a colder one. Voila… whatever heat transfer goes from greenhouse gases to the Earth is more than countered by the heat moving from the Sun to Earth and on to space. Greenhouse gases can heat the Earth as long as the entropy of the whole system increases.


Why greenhouse gas warming doesn’t break the second law of thermodynamics

This is generating many comments, see below for an update!

Behind the scenes some skeptics are suggesting that CO2 can’t warm us because the atmosphere is colder than the planet, and  it would break the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (see Postma*, for example, p 6 – 7). I disagree. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics applies to net flows of heat, not to each individual photon, and it does not prevent some heat flowing from a cooler body to a warm one.

Imagine three blocks of metal side by side. They are 11°C, 10°C, and 9°C. Think about what happens to the photons coming off the atoms in the middle of the medium temperature block between the other two. If heat never flows from cooler blocks to warmer blocks, all those photons have to go “right“, and not ever go “left”, because they “know” that way is towards a cooler block? (How would they?!)

The photons go both ways (actually every way, in 3D). There are more coming from the 11°C block to the 10°C block, sure, but the the 10°C block is sending ‘em back to the 11°C block too. So heat is flowing from cold to hot. It happens [...]

Legal warfare against skeptics: one win, one needs support…

The Big Scare Campaign is desperate, when they can’t win with reason, they can always find a reason to sue and hope to silence their critics. Their deep pockets make them an ominous foe, and the legal battles are running hot. Actions are running against Andrew Bolt, and Tim Ball (see below), and we only just found out, that one was launched against James Delingpole by the East Anglia CRU.

It’s very significant that James Delingpole has won and won well, as James says:

If it sounds like I’m overdoing it, consider this: the PCC’s ruling must be among the first by any quasi-official body anywhere in the world to take the side of a Climate Change sceptic rather than that of the Warmist establishment. This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

The Commissions ruling:

In particular, the complainants were concerned that the blog posts described Professor Phil Jones as “disgraced, FOI-breaching, email-deleting, scientific-method abusing”.  They explained that Professor Phil Jones had been exonerated of any dishonesty or scientific malpractice by a series of reviews.

Through its correspondence the newspaper had provided some [...]

Oreskes, Readfearn: Got no evidence? Throw different names. Skeptics are paranoid ideologues afraid of reds under the bed.

Ad Hominem Unleashed (aka ABC): On the origin of the sceptics

Commentators on a sinking ship search for reasons to “keep the faith afloat”.

The debate has moved a peg. Instead of “oil shills” now we’re just paranoid ideologues afraid of reds under the bed.

Naomi Oreskes

The battle cry: the “skeptics” are shills of big oil, has become an own goal. The PR team for the catastrophic theory have no new evidence of Big Oil funding and thousands of people now point out that the UNskeptics were paid 3500 times as much (at least). So they are moving on… the religiously devout believers can’t admit they were wrong, and nor can they look at the evidence, so what’s left? Post hoc random over-analysis of the irrelevant. Before, skeptics were paid hacks… and now they’re wrong because they … are ideologically against big government and regulation. From one ad hom to another.

And again, the ABC uses our taxes to promote the smear campaign,  support neolithic reasoning, and does everything it can to stop people talking about scientific evidence (by spreading misinformation or slurs about all the characters on one side). Oreskes and freelance writer [...]