Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.

September 4, 2019 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast

Embedded below the fold in two parts.

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  • andrew

    Hit enjoy your segments with John Bachelor, and reading you here. I am writing from Ottawa Canada. I am a climate skeptic – mostly in terms of being told what position to take on this issue by media, pundits, etc. A friend recently tried to convince me of AGW by virtue of a comparison, here. If you have time, tell me what you think please. Thanks, Andrew.

    OK…I will start using a comparison of Venus with Earth because I know we both like science, astronomy and sci fi. The average temperature on Venus is 864 degrees Fahrenheit (462 degrees Celsius Nov 17, 2012). Scientists long have theorized that Venus formed out of ingredients similar to Earth’s, but followed a different evolutionary path. Both Venus and Earth have almost the same size and density but Venus is 30% closer to the Sun than Earth. Measurements by NASA’s Pioneer mission to Venus in the 1980s first suggested Venus originally may have had an ocean (…/nasa-climate-modeling…/). However, Venus receives far more sunlight than Earth. As a result, the planet’s early ocean evaporated, water-vapor molecules were broken apart by ultraviolet radiation, and hydrogen escaped to space. With no water left on the surface, carbon dioxide built up in the atmosphere, leading to a so-called runaway greenhouse effect that created present conditions: an atmosphere composed of 95% carbon dioxide and a hellish surface temperature of 462 degrees C. Interestingly, the average surface temperatures on Mercury is 800 degrees Fahrenheit (or 430 degrees Celsius), but Mercury orbits at an average distance of 58 million km from the sun, while Venus orbits at a distance of 108 million km. Therefore, it must be Venus’ carbon dioxide atmosphere that heats up its surface temperature compared to Mercury even though Mercury is closer to the Sun. Obviously, Venetians did not cause this global warming on Venus and it was naturally occurring. Nevertheless, Venus provides a model of how Earth may evolve if the percentage of carbon dioxide (methane and other greenhouse gases) in its atmosphere continues to grow unabated. Whether man-made or naturally occurring…green house gases cause global warming. They did on Venus and they will on Earth as well if they continue to grow unchecked. Do you agree? Your turn Andrew to rebut what I have written and to present your first point of persuasion. I will concede to you that the whole debate has become politically charged and often hysterical. Sigh! But what to do about Earth’s growing CO2?

  • wayne

    here we go….

    2001: A Space Odyssey –
    The Dawn of Man
    [the 2 minute cut]

  • Wayne: I think this clip is more appropriate:

  • Cotour

    Both clips are equally appropriate, like book ends.

  • wayne

    “My God, it’s full of stars!”

  • Andrew: Your comment got dumped into the spam folder by accident, and I only just restored it.

    Venus is not a good comparison with the Earth. There are far too many differences. For one, on Venus CO2 is a major component of the atmosphere. On Earth it is a trace gas. (The real global warming component on Earth is water, warms the planet by somewhere between 10 and 20 degrees.) Venus also rotates very slowly, taking months to complete a single day. It is also far closer to the Sun.

    While Venus has been the inspiration for the theory of human-caused global warming, from a proper scientific perspective it simply is like comparing apples to oranges.

    Ask your friend to explain why, in every single case where the Earth’s climate warmed in the past, the level of CO2 increased after the increase. In other words, it was warming that caused an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, not carbon dioxide that caused the warming.

    The problem is the uncertainties. There are presently too many to draw any solid conclusions. We don’t know the importance of clouds (which cool the atmosphere). We don’t know the importance of pollution (which also cools the atmosphere). And most of all, we do not yet understand the Sun’s long and short term variations. There is more than enough evidence to suggest it could have far more influence on the climate than global warming scientists give it credit for.

    What we do know now however is that the data has so far consistently disproved the theory of global warming due to the increase in carbon dioxide. All of the models have failed to predict the temperature trends for the past two decades. The trends have consistently showed either no warming, or such a slight amount of warming that we shouldn’t care, while the models have all predicted that warming would rise in lockstep with the rise in CO2. All.

    One more thing: What is rarely explained is that all the global warming models depend not on CO2 for the warming, but on water. The theories posit that the increase in CO2 will cause a “feedback” with the atmosphere’s water, which in turn will act to increase its warming effect. This is the theory that more than seventy models are based on, all of which have failed to predict the climate trends in the past two decades.

    Do a search on Behind the Black for “climate change” or “global warming”. You will get a wealth of material.

    I hope that helps.

  • wayne

    “It’s Water Vapor, Not the CO2”
    American Chemical Society

    “… water vapor is the largest contributor to the Earth’s greenhouse effect. On average, it probably accounts for about 60% of the warming effect. However, water vapor does not control the Earth’s temperature, but is instead controlled by the temperature. This is because the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere limits the maximum amount of water vapor the atmosphere can contain…If a volume of air contains its maximum amount of water vapor and the temperature is decreased, some of the water vapor will condense to form liquid water. ”

    The greenhouse effect that has maintained the Earth’s temperature at a level warm enough for human civilization to develop over the past several millennia is controlled by non-condensable gases. The addition of the non-condensable gases causes the temperature to increase and this leads to an increase in water vapor that further increases the temperature. This is an example of a positive feedback effect. There is also a possibility that adding more water vapor to the atmosphere could produce a negative feedback effect. This could happen if more water vapor leads to more cloud formation. Clouds reflect sunlight and reduce the amount of energy that reaches the Earth’s surface to warm it. If the amount of solar warming decreases, then the temperature of the Earth would decrease. In that case, the effect of adding more water vapor would be cooling rather than warming. But cloud cover does mean more condensed water in the atmosphere, making for a stronger greenhouse effect than non-condensed water vapor alone – it is warmer on a cloudy winter day than on a clear one.
    >>Thus the possible positive and negative feedbacks associated with increased water vapor and cloud formation can cancel one another out and complicate matters. The actual balance between them is an active area of climate science research.”

  • Edward

    Robert wrote: “Ask your friend to explain why, in every single case where the Earth’s climate warmed in the past, the level of CO2 increased after the increase. In other words, it was warming that caused an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, not carbon dioxide that caused the warming.

    Interestingly, there is at least one possible explanation. Studies have found that CO2 leaches out of soil as the soil’s temperature increases:

    Studies have shown that the same is true for tundra as it thaws while the Earth warms.

    Here are some additional reasons why I am skeptical.

    A major problem that we have in determining whether anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is real is that we have been exiting the Little Ice Age for two or three centuries. The temperature has been increasing on and off for that long but still has not reached the higher level that it was at during the Medieval Warm Period. For centuries, just before the Little Ice Age, the Earth’s temperature had been greater than it is now. Finding AGW in the temperature data is very difficult, because any signal of AGW is buried in the noise of the natural warming, and with every weather station’s temperature varying by several degrees every hour, day, and year, the data is very noisy indeed.

    Because all the models failed to predict the recent steadying of the global temperature, it is clear that there are factors involved that the climate scientists have not included in their studies and analyses. We need to find those factors, determine how they affect climate, and include them in our models.

    In the 1990s we had the Kyoto Agreement that was designed to fight global warming. It went into effect, and even though the U.S. did not sign the agreement, her carbon dioxide output declined to below the targeted 1992 levels. As Robert mentioned, the climb in temperature stopped or drastically decreased for the past couple of decade. Rather than celebrate the success of the Kyoto Agreement, climate scientists, news media and other global warming advocates decried that this success was only a “pause” in the warming, and the warming would return soon. Then they all changed the name of the phenomenon to “global climate change” and started to warn of local changes in climate.

    I am concerned that there may not be a genuine effort to stop global warming or climate change. We did as they asked and achieved the desired results. So why was not success declared? Why deny our success and insist upon a new agreement in Paris?

    Why did NOAA begin releasing historical temperature data sets without announcing that the data had been modified from previous releases? They did not explain why or how these data were changed, and the changes were discovered by scientists who were vigilant about the data that they received relative to the previous data that they have received from NOAA. Such a clandestine change in data is the very definition of fudging data. That the climate science community would do and allow such handling of data has me even more concerned than the lack of a global victory party for global warming having been solved by Kyoto.

    On the other hand, if the modified data is more correct than the previous data, then all the research that has been performed using the previous data is now suspect. How does the difference in the data affect the conclusions that have been reached by scientists for the many decades prior to the modification of the data? How does it affect the models that were created through the use of that previous data?

    Either much of the climate research that the scientists did before is wrong, to some extent, or much of what they are doing now is wrong. One or the other is based upon incorrect data.

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