Friday, 18 December 2015


Especially that distilled yet again in Paris during COP21.

“The witchcraft and voodoo that is modern climate science is utterly sterile.”

“Global warming did serve a couple of useful purposes. The issue has been a litmus test for our political class. Any politician who has stated a belief in global warming is either a cynical opportunist or an easily deluded fool. In neither case should that politician ever be taken seriously again. No excuses can be accepted.”

“Do we live in a special time in which the laws of physics and nature are suspended?
No, we do not.
Can we expect the relationship between the Sun’s activity and climate, which we can see in data going back several hundred years, to continue for at least another twenty years?
·         With absolute certainty, we can.
·         The Sun drives climate. The demonstrated relationship between solar activity and climate predicts a severe cooling out to at least the year 2040 – that is, for the next quarter of a century or so.
 have a minuscule effect on climate. Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is not even a little bit bad. It is, in fact, wholly beneficial. The more carbon dioxide we can put into the atmosphere, the better life on Earth will be for human beings and all other living things.
If all that is true, you will ask, how is it that the United Nations-derived Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) came up with its icecap-melting prediction of a 6°C increase in average global temperature by the end of this century?”

“The UN-EU establishment that gave us the global warming scare in order to establish a new world order (after the fall of Communism) …. was necessary … to negate the triumph of liberal democracy that Francis Fukuyama predicted in 1992.  As a belief system, global warming gave its adherents some of the basics in spiritual nourishment – original sin, the fall from grace, absolution, redemption, and sacrifice, to name a few.”

“It is one thing for the UN-EU bureaucrats to conspire against the productive elements of society.  Nothing less is expected of them. Similarly, individual scientists selling their miserable souls for thirty pieces of silver is also completely understandable, and nothing new. What has been extremely disappointing is the learned societies, professional societies, and other scientific institutions accepting the global warming hoax without question, even though a moment’s consideration would have shown that the premise is laughable. Evidently global warming filled a sort of emptiness, a hollowness in many men’s souls. Perhaps if people come to see through this con job and understand the psychology behind their irrational belief, they will not be so gullible when the next one comes along.”

These quotes are just a few excerpts from the first chapter of David Archibald’s TWILIGHT OF ABUNDANCE [Regnery Publishing,  Washington DC, 2014].

The globe can be getting warmer or colder, but the idea that the human contribution from burning carbon fuels has anything to do with it is not only IMHO the biggest political and intellectual fraud ever – but so says the IPCC itself. To leave no doubt, in an interview published in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on 14 November 2010, Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III and Deputy Director and Chief Economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research (PIK), is quoted saying: “The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War…. one must say clearly that de facto we redistribute the world's wealth by climate policy….  One has to rid oneself of the illusion that international climate politics have anything to do with environmental concerns.”

The ongoing discussion pro and con is becoming akin to the scholastic argument as to how many angels can dance on the head of a needle. Which is, of course, exactly what is intended to achieve worldwide disorientation away from the actual IPCC aims of global de-democratization and helotization through monetary and energy politics – the multi-trillion dollar costs of this CO2 dead-horse trade appear the biggest ever case of taxation without representation – and bringing a whole, if not all, of science into disrepute in the process.  Even the UK Royal Society has become Lysenkoist. 

Knowing that there is no escape from THE FOUR LAWS WITHOUT WHICH NOTHING WHATSOEVER IN THE UNIVERSE THAT HAPPENS, HAPPENS – and which cannot be overruled by edicts from whoever, be it Dalai Lama, Pope, Obama, Merkel, IMF, UN, EU, IPCC, PIK, the Supreme Court, EPA, or anyone, I suggest a look at some facts I collected on the subject in my IDIOT GUIDE TO GLOBAL WARMING at which according to Google found a surprisingly large number of readers.

Monday, 9 November 2015


Knowing that there is no escape from


– and which cannot be overruled by edicts from whoever, be it Dalai Lama, Pope, Obama, Merkel, IMF, UN, EU, IPCC, PIK, the Supreme Court, EPA, or anyone, it is high time to remember Alexius Meinong:


My results of trying to follow this tenet are:

In the light of this: 
I calculated this:   
Resulting in this:    
…and this:            
...and finding these: 

Best introductions to critical thinking on this subject I could find.

Meanwhile, SUSTAINABILITY is decoded, defined and published at

Monday, 5 October 2015

BUCKMINSTER FULLER - more relevant today than ever!

To say it once more - all I know is what I read. And in the course of re-writing my first eBook - SUSTAINABILITY -A Primer - two oldies from 1968 were rediscovered and proved the key to my being able to define that elusive concept 'Sustainability'. [A]

I quote some excerpts from two sources, 

the first being 
Pocket Books, New York 1971
first published by 
Southern Illinois University Press
March 1969

the second
Collier Books, New York, 1970
containing Fuller's inaugural lecture
of the Littleton Franklin Lectures
at Auburn University, October 1968


“Man has failed thus far, as a specialist, to define the microscopic limits of divisibility of the nucleus of the atom, but, epochally, as accomplished by Einstein, has been able to define successfully the physical universe but not the metaphysical universe; nor has he, as yet, defined total universe itself as combining both the physical and metaphysical.  The scientist was able to define physical universe by virtue of the experimentally-verified discovery that energy can neither be created nor lost and, therefore, that energy is conserved and is therefore finite. That means it is equatable…
“But the finite physical universe did not include the metaphysical weightless experiences of universe. All the unweighables, such as any and all our thoughts and all the abstract mathematics, are weightless. Einstein and others have spoken exclusively about the physical department of universe in words which may be integrated and digested as the aggregate of nonsimultaneous and only partially overlapping, nonidentical but always complimentary, omni-transforming, and weighable energy events.

Eddington defines science as ‘the earnest attempt to set in order the facts of experience.’ Einstein and many other first-rank scientists noted that science is concerned exclusively with ‘facts of experience’.

“Holding to the scientists’ experiences as all important, I define universe, including both the physical and metaphysical as follows:
The universe is the aggregate of all of humanity’s consciously-apprehended and communicated experience whith the nonsimultaneous, nonidentical, and only partially overlapping, always complimentary, weighable and unweighables, ever omni-transforming, event sequences.

“Abraham Lincoln’s concept of ‘right triumphing over might’ was realized when Einstein as metaphysical intellect wrote the equation of physical universe E=mc2 and thus comprehended it. Thus metaphysical took the measure of, and mastered, physical. That relationship seems by experience to be irreversible. Nothing in our experience suggests that energy could comprehend and write the equation of intellect. That equation is operating inexorably, and the metaphysical is now manifesting its ability to reign over the physical.

This is the essence of human evolution upon Spaceship Earth.

“Man thus began for the first time to really employ his intellect in the most important way… when he discovered how to use energy as matter in the form of levers, shafts, gear trains, and dams, and how to take advantage of and use the energy as Sun radiation which vapourized and elevated water as atmospheric cloud, allowing it then to be precipitated and pulled back toward the centre of the spherical Earth from the spherical mantle of clouds in the form of water molecules collected in droplets. From this moment of comprehending energy circuits, and thenceforth, man’s really important function in universe was his intellection, which taught him to intercept and redirect local energy patternings… to do the manifold tasks leading directly and indirectly toward humanity’s forward regeneration.

“What we now have demonstrated metaphysically is that every time man makes a new experiment he always learns more. He cannot learn less. He may learn that what he thought was true was not true. By the elimination of a false premise, his basic capital wealth which is his given lifetime is disembarrassed of further preoccupation with considerations of how to employ a worthless time-consuming hypothesis.  Freeing his time for its more exploratory investment is to give man increased wealth.

“Sumtotally, we find that the physical constituent of wealth – energy – cannot decrease and that the metaphysical constituent – know-how – can only increase. This is to say that every time we use our wealth it increases. This is to say that, countering entropy, wealth can only increase…

“Wealth is anti-entropy at a most exquisite degree of concentration.  The difference between mind and brain is that brain deals only with memorized, subjective, special-case experiences and objective experiments, while mind extracts and employs the generalized principles and integrates and interrelates their effective employment. Brain deals exclusively with the physical, and mind exclusively with the metaphysical. Wealth is the product of the progressive mastery of matter by mind, and is specifically accountable in forward man-days of established metabolic regeneration advantages spelt out in hours of life for specific numbers of individuals released from formerly prescribed entropy-preoccupying tasks for their respectively individual yet inherently cooperative elective investment in further anti-entropic effectiveness.”

“Our wealth is inherently common wealth and our common wealth can only increase, and it is increasing at a constantly self-accelerating rate.
This all brings us to a realization of the enormous educational task which must be successfully accomplished right now in a hurry in order to convert man’s spin-dive toward oblivion into an intellectually mastered power pullout into safe and level flight of physical and intellectual success, whereafter he may turn his Spaceship Earth’s occupancy into a universe exploring advantage.

“These are the synergetic rules that evolution is employing and trying to make clear to us. 
They are not man-made laws.
They are the infinitely accommodative laws of the intellectual integrity governing universe.”


“Man is not unique in having altered his environment. All living creatures alter the environment in one way or another, and then the altered environment alters them back. There is a chain reaction that goes on, giving rise to what we call evolution.

 “The fact, that energy is not lost, has not yet found its way into our books on economics. In them we still find the word ‘spending’ – a word referring to that outdated thinking before man knew that there was a speed of light. What then do we know about our wealth – about what we can ‘afford’? … I’m going to say to you first, that no matter what you think wealth is, would you agree with me that no matter how much you have of it, you can’t alter one iota of yesterday? … So we don’t have to give any thought to yesterday as we try to think about what wealth is. Whatever wealth may be, it has to do with our now and our tomorrows but not our yesterdays. … I would say, then, that what we probably mean by ‘wealth’, really has something to do with how many forward days we have arranged for our environment to take care of us and regenerate us in life and give us increased degrees of freedom. … Now, regeneration of life is produced first with energy … [which] now we find that the energy part of the universe is conserved – that it cannot be created or destroyed. … Every time we rearrange our environment, we can get more energy and more levers to do more work to take care of the regeneration of more and more of our forward days. These energies are there, and they cannot be spent.

“The other element of wealth to be defined is by far the more important. It is our intellectual capacity to recognize generalized principles that seem to be operative in the universe and to employ these principles. … There are a number of very important irreversibles to be discovered in our universe. One of them is that every time you make an experiment you learn more; quit literally, you can not learn less. That’s a pretty interesting fact, isn’t it, because it means that the metaphysical factor in wealth is one that is always gaining.

“That wealth combines two factors – the physical which is conserved, the metaphysical which can only increase – isn’t to be found in our textbooks, but it is what we are learning. It explains the fact that suddenly completely to our surprise, we find forty percent of humanity prospering as no king ever dreamt of less than a century ago – in that yesterday we agree couldn’t be repeated or changed. And it means that we are going to have to get into a completely new accounting system. There’s not a single chapter in any book on economics about doing more with less. All the great secrets, how the world was run by the great powers – all carefully omitted from the books even now. And there is still no integration of the economists with the physicists in regard to the inner significance of these matters. The economists and physicists are all too specialized. But these are the kind of things we are going to have to learn.”

* ”We therefore proceed ever more earnestly with our general systems analysis of the problems of human survival, with the premise that at present neither the world’s political officials nor its bankers know what wealth is.”

* ”Typical of the subsidiary problems within the whole human survival problem, whose ramifications now go beyond the prerogatives of planners and must be solved, is the problem of pollution in general – pollution not only of our air and water but also of the information stored in our brains.”

* ”It is easy to demonstrate to those who will take the time and the trouble to unbias their thoughts, that automation swiftly can multiply the physical energy part of wealth much more rapidly and profusely than can man’s muscle and brain-reflexed, manually-controlled production. On the other hand, humans alone can foresee, integrate, and anticipate the new tasks to be done by progressively automated wealth-producing machinery. To take advantage of the fabulous magnitudes of real wealth waiting to be employed intelligently by humans and unblock automation’s postponement by organized labour, we must give each human who is or becomes unemployed a life fellowship in research and development or in just simple thinking. Man must be able to dare to think truthfully and to act accordingly without fear of losing his franchise to live. … Thus, production… will unleash humanity’s unique capability – its metaphysical capability.
* three apposite & complementary quotes from the MANUAL

So, planners, architects and engineers, take the initiative. Go to work, and above all co-operate and don’t hold back on one another or try to gain at the expense of another. Any success in such lop-sidedness will be increasingly short-lived. These are the synergetic rules that evolution is employing and trying to make clear to us. They are the infinitely accommodative laws of the intellectual integrity governing universe.

It becomes evident, then, that youth’s world-round clamour for peace can only be realized through technological revolution, which will do so much more with so much less per each function as ultimately to produce enough to support all humanity. It is also clear that such task can only be accomplished by this technological design revolution…They have to shift their effort from mere political agitation to participating in the design science revolution.  The latter course involves the development of ever self-regenerating and improving scientific competence, and that in turn means the individual must plunge earnestly and dedicatedly into self-development by the resources of an educational system designed to develop the inherent comprehensivity of humanity.
October, 1968

--- 000 ---

 I hope that these quotations may convince you that these two books, and two referred to in earlier blogs, CRITICAL PATH and NO MORE SECONDHAND GOD, are as relevant today as when written.   

[A]  SUSTAINABILITY - THE FULL MONTY  is published by Lulu Press, at                                                                 

Monday, 17 August 2015


Forgetting my pile of as-yet-to-read books, when Mark Zuckerberg published his books-to-read list – for example here at – I was delighted to see Vaclav Smil being cited as the one author to read under the heading Energy. He has long been one of my heroes on this and many other subjects about which he has written (just check out his publications in Wikipedia here: ). [1]

Of special interest is this advice in his ‘Energy at the Crossroads: Global Perspectives and Uncertainties’ [MIT Press 2003]:

“The fundamental reason why carbon dioxide abundance in the atmosphere is critically important to biology is that there is so little of it.
A field of corn growing in full sunlight in the middle of the day uses up all the carbon dioxide within a meter of the ground in about five minutes. If the air were not constantly stirred by convection currents and winds, the corn would not be able to grow.”

Since the first ‘space salad’ was now grown and eaten by the astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS), I wonder what concentration of CO2 was used in the first actual ‘glass house for food’ in Space, when even here on Earth glasshouse plant and food growers put additional CO2 into their greenhouses to avoid their plants withering because of CO2 starvation.

{ PS on 04 JAN 2016: As Tim Peake's first interview from the International Space Station makes clear [ - at about 8 minutes in ] , the CO2 content of the ISS atmosphere is ten times that on Earth - to reduce fire risk - but plants obviously thrive on it } 

The UN/IMF/IPPC stance on the subject just is not possible considering THE FOUR LAWS WITHOUT WHICH NOTHING WHATSOEVER IN THE UNIVERSE THAT HAPPENS, HAPPENS (as shown here: with its corollary here: , or in another summary here: ).

In the US these natural laws are now, of course, superseded by a 2007 Lysenkoist edict from the Supreme Court declaring carbon dioxide a pollutant, and as a result it won’t be long until we see EPA staged Stalinesque show trials.  Lo and behold – here appears one in the making:

Returning to pollutants from burning any fuels – coal, oil, gas, wood etc –, the only pollutants given off are SOXs NOXs OBNOXs  -- sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, anything else ‘obnoxious’ incl carbon monoxide from incomplete combustion, and, of course, particulates (that is the ‘smoke’ that you actually can see – unlike carbon dioxide which is invisible, as are the most dangerous particulates of less than 2.5microns in diameter; think of asbestos)  -- all of which are the province of clean air legislation.  

The Economist  of 15 August 2015 has drastic descriptions of the pollution problems in China:

“The capital’s “airpocalypse”, the choking smog that descended on Beijing in the winter of 2012-13, galvanised public opinion and spooked the government…

 Responding to the outcry, the government set up a national air-reporting system which now has almost 1,000 monitoring stations, pumping out hourly reports on six pollutants, including sulphur dioxide, ozone and (the main culprit) particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter, or PM2.5. These are tiny particles which lodge in the lungs and cause respiratory disease. The six are the main cause of local pollution but have little to do with climate change, since they do not include carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas…  [1]

Pollution is sky-high everywhere in China. Some 83% of Chinese are exposed to air that, in America, would be deemed by the Environmental Protection Agency either to be unhealthy or unhealthy for sensitive groups. Almost half the population of China experiences levels of PM2.5 that are above America’s highest threshold. That is even worse than the satellite data had suggested.
Berkeley Earth’s scientific director, Richard Muller, says breathing Beijing’s air is the equivalent of smoking almost 40 cigarettes a day and calculates that air pollution causes 1.6m deaths a year in China, or 17% of the total. A previous estimate, based on a study of pollution in the Huai river basin (which lies between the Yellow and Yangzi rivers), put the toll at 1.2m deaths a year—still high.”

China Cities Smog here:
And here are some pictures from Space: .

Telling as these descriptions, graphic and views from Space are – no mention of a single death or even illness caused by carbon dioxide is mentioned.  Yes, CO2 has killed people and livestock, as at Lake Nyos in Cameroon and elsewhere, see , but not by being ‘poisonous’ but simply by swamping the local atmosphere with CO2 to such an extent that there was no oxygen left and deaths were caused by asphyxiation.

Coming back to books, Mark Zuckerberg mentions that Smil’s book is about ‘physical rather than social sciences.’ But I find that the longer I read up, and blog, on Clean Energy, that you cannot have CleanEnergy without CleanPolitics, not least in light of President Eisenhower’s admonition in his Farewell Address on 17 January 1961 “…the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research … [when] a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.” Much the same admonition was expressed by Helmut Schmidt, the former German Chancellor, in his address to the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft on the occasion of its Centenary Ceremony on 11 January 2011 in Berlin, under the title ‘The Responsibility of Research in the 21st Century’.  More at:
[PS: now sadly IN MEMORIAM on learning of Helmut Schmidt's death today, 10 November 2015].
[NB:  I have never met Helmut Schmidt, but come to remember it,  I did meet President Eisenhower in the Oval Office in July 1953 as an American Field Service sponsored exchange student.]
In these respects, as addressed by Eisenhower and Schmidt, ‘social sciences’ are of no help – only some frank descriptions of political reality are needed. Some primers I found useful are

Richard Buckminster Fuller
CRITICAL PATH, Hutchinson, London, 1983
Noam Chomsky
HOW THE WORLD WORKS, Hamish Hamilton, London, 2012
POWER SYSTEMS, Hamish Hamilton, London, 2013
Joseph A Klein
GLOBAL DECEPTION, World Ahead Publishing Inc, Los Angeles CA, 2005

[1] notice the continued allusion to ‘climate change’, as if CO2 could possibly have anything to do with it – as stated by spokesmen of the IPCC themselves no less:

In this respect, I am aghast also at what I read in Scientific American (September 2015 issue), where on page 7 under the heading Science Agenda by the Editors:

Opinion and analysis from the Scientific American Board of Editors:

“Then, as now, actions* were driven in large part by antiscientific opposition to evidence that global warming has a human trigger”
*in relation to the NASA Earth science budget allocation by the current administration.

I wonder what Martin Gardner would have had to say in his SCIENCE: GOOD BAD AND BOGUS when learning about this editorial board pontification of turning Scientific American into an oxymoron.

Not to be outdone, “This crime against future generations” blares an Opinion headline on page 24 in The Times of 15 August 2015, with a sub-head of “Earth’s fate depends on action now over climate change.  Our short-terminism stands in shameful contrast to our forebears”. Author being no less a person than Martin Rees – Lord Rees of Ludlow, Astronomer Royal, who also is on the Board of Advisors of Scientific American.

Methinks all these Nuremberg Meme Funnellers will have a lot to answer for – because
It ain’t necessarily so.


PS:  some further useful links:

Dr Tim Ball

Dr Patrick Moore



The World's Scientists own words on Mann and his Hockey Stick

Soros buys Coal

To stay with Vaclav Smil, my often quoted TYGER reads provider, e.g. in              
I offer two further of his comments for consideration:

“Russia, too, is part of my Europe. Arguments about Russia’s place in (or outside of) Europe have been going on for centuries… I have never understood the Western reluctance of the Russian hesitancy to place the country unequivocally in Europe… its history, music, literature, engineering, and science make it quintessentially European.” p.93

“Russia has another strength in its intellectual capacity. The country has always had many highly creative scientists and engineers, whose fundamental contributions are generally unknown to the Western public. How many people watching a scanner toting up their groceries know that Russian physicists, together with their US colleagues, pioneered masers and lasers. (Nobel prices in physics were awarded to Nikolai Gennadievich Basov and Aleksandr Mikhailovich Prokhorov in 1964 and to Zhores Ivanovich Alferov in 2000.) How many people seeing the images of the US Air Force stealth planes know that this class of aircraft began with Piotr Iakovlevich Ufimtse’s (1962) equations for predicting the reflections of electromagnetic waves from surfaces?”

Why I do what I do is at

And on Sustainability:

SUSTAINABILITY - THE FULL MONTY  is published by Lulu Press, at                                                                                 


ADDENDUM posted 26 NOV 2015:

…either in accordance with this article in the December 2015 issue of Scientific American and its featured article which raises the question whether it is not only Lysenkoist – as we know from its support of the HockeySchtick – or whether Scientific American is now hell-bent to make an oxymoron of its title, when compared to the considerations expressed in the Idiot Guide to Global Warming  at ?  You decide!

Saturday, 1 August 2015



hic sunt dracones mundi totius
 Brian Dunning in Google Images

    apposite header for this update on global dragons:

World Ahead Publishing Inc, Los Angeles CA, First Edition 2005

From the Introduction:

          “..... As the New York Times columnist David Brooks put it, the UN has become the instrument of ‘elites’ and ‘technocrats’ who want to turn the unelected bodies of the UN and related global forums into some sort of ‘supranational authority’. (For the sake of clarity, we’ll refer to these elitists throughout as ‘globalists’.)
          Secretary-General Kofi Annan – and Boutros Boutros-Ghali before him – have actively promoted this ideology, with the encouragement from the majority of developing countries who dominate the UN’s General Assembly and stand to gain from the world organization’s aggrandizement at the expense of the United States.  Sympathetic world leaders like French President Jacques Chirac, prominent liberal ‘thought’ leaders like Bill Clinton and his Presidential aspirant wife Hilary, and the editorial board of the New York Times all contribute to giving the globalists a prominent platform on the world stage.
          Copious funding from Billionaires such as George Soros and Ted Turner keep the globalist propaganda machine whirling away. The globalists’ left-wing, anti-American proselytizing is additionally facilitated by the immense resources afforded them by private, unelected and unaccountable advocacy organizations – known as NGOs – including such extremist groups as Amnesty International and Greenpeace.
          While the UN’s past failures and present travails get most of the media attention, the real story lies in the dangerous direction the organization is taking with globalists at the helm .....”

TYGER angry in the night
in the forest, not so bright

ooo 000 ooo

But Sustainability could be unravelled and defined:

 SUSTAINABILITY - THE FULL MONTY  is published by Lulu Press, at                                                                                  


Wednesday, 1 July 2015



These Laws are, of course – you guessed it – the Laws of Thermodynamics, of which the First, Second and Third are familiar, when best remembered in the words of C P Snow:

First Law:        You cannot win,
that is, you cannot get something for nothing, because matter and energy are conserved.
Second Law:   You cannot break even,
meaning that you cannot return to the same energy state, because there is always an increase in disorder; entropy always increases.
Third Law:       You cannot get out of the game,
                                    because absolute zero is unattainable.

So far it sufficed to know (at least among laymen like me) that this ‘absolute zero’ is zero K (the zero point in the Kelvin scale of temperature, or -273.15 °C in the familiar Celsius scale).   Peter Atkins in his book (shown illustrated in slide [A] below) relates the need for another law to describe the term ‘temperature’ in these words:

Classical thermodynamics is the part of thermodynamics that emerged during the nineteenth century before everyone was fully convinced about the reality of atoms, and concerns relationships between bulk properties. You can do classical thermodynamics even if you don’t believe in atoms. Towards the end of the nineteenths century, when most scientists accepted that atoms are real and not just an accounting device, there emerged the version of thermodynamics called statistical thermodynamics, which sought to account for the bulk property of matter in terms of its constituent atoms…
“In short, whereas dynamics deals with the behaviour of individual bodies, thermodynamics deals with the average behaviour of vast numbers of them…
“Speaking about the ‘inside’ of a system, its structure of atoms and molecules, is alien to classical thermodynamics, but it adds deep insight, and science is all about insight.”

And therefore the need for the Zeroth Law -- zeroth, because the existing three laws of thermodynamics
“… are so well established that there was no hope of going back and renumbering them. As will become apparent, each law provides an experimental foundation for the introduction of a thermodynamic property. The zeroth law establishes the meaning of what is perhaps the most familiar but is in fact the most enigmatic of these properties:  temperature.”

Zeroth Law:     If A is in thermal equilibrium with B, and B is in thermal equilibrium       with C, then C will be in thermal equilibrium with A.
“The zeroth law implies that just as the pressure is a physical property that enables us to anticipate when systems will be in mechanical equilibrium when brought together regardless of their composition and size, then there exists a property that enables us to anticipate when two systems will be in thermal equilibrium regardless of their composition and size: we call this universal property the temperature

“The zeroth law is the basis of the existence of a thermometer, a device for measuring temperature. A thermometer is just a special case of the system B that we talked about earlier.”

Slide [A]

A footnote regarding the reporting of energy is also given by Atkins, and I think worth quoting here:

Energy is reported in joules (J):  1 J = 1 kg m2 s-2. We could think of 1J as the energy of a 2 kg ball travelling at 1 m s-1.  Each pulse of the human heart expends an energy of about 1 J.”

Shortly after I had prepared Slide [A] for a talk, I paid a short visit to Munich where I was dumbfounded by seeing what I meanwhile made into Slide [B], as part of an exhibition simply entitled RUMFORD (Count Rumford, Benjamin Thompson, 1753 – 1814).  This exhibition covered many aspects of life and work of this cosmopolitan multi-talent, equally at home in Boston, Munich, London (Fellowship of the Royal Society, 1781; founder of the Royal Institution) and Paris.

One of the displays on show was a scale model of his horse powered experiment to help clarify the relationship between energy, work and heat quantity.  An exhaustive and beautifully presented 370-page Quarto format book [RUMFORD, Rezepte für ein besseres Bayern (RUMFORD, recipes for a better Bavaria), Münchner Stadtmuseum & Hirmer Verlag GmbH, Munich, 2014; author: Thomas Weidner], accompanied the exhibition, from which the illustration in my talk slide [B] is taken. 

Slide [B]

Let me quote this excerpt from the start of Thomas Weidner’s account of this of Count Rumford’s many experiments (my translation):

“From this best known of Rumford’s experiments he derived a proof that heat is a form of energy-in-motion which is still valid today. His researches brought a long-running dispute to end; it had started with the hypothesis that heat should be classified as a form of matter. This substance made the rounds at the time under names like ‘Caloricum’ or ‘Phlogiston’ in learned discussions. A leading proponent, among others, of this ‘caloric’ theory of heat was the chemist Antoine Laurent de Lavoisier (1743 – 1794) who believed that this proposed heat fluidum could be regarded as one of the chemical elements. It is one of history’s curiosa, that Rumford later married Lavoisier’s widow.

With this demonstration of the kinetic definition of heat, Rumford was instrumental in helping the opposite view to become the winner in this dispute. It was a fundamental concept underlying the development of industrialisation during the 19th century….”

Having been primed by Peter Atkins’ description and definition of the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics before seeing this RUMFORD exhibition and then also reading Thomas Weidner’s detailed account of Rumford’s experimental setup and account of his meticulous records of thermometer readings, the thought occurred to me that this experiment could well be termed the Birth of Thermodynamics with this model as iconic reminder. 

Rumford presented his experiment to the Royal Society in London on25 January 1798 under the title
An Experimental Inquiry concerning the Source of Heat which is Excited by Friction. I found it published as one of nine other of Rumford’s presentations in the collection by Sanborn C Brown:

                    Pergamon Press  First Edition 1967

Rumford concludes his presentation to the Royal Society with these observations (as printed in the Society’s Philosophical Transactions):

“And in reasoning on this subject, we must not forget to consider that most remarkable of circumstance, that the source of the Heat generated by friction, in these experiments, appeared evidently to be inexhaustible.
It is hardly necessary to add, that anything which any insulated body, or system of bodies, can continue to furnish without limitation, cannot possibly be a material substance; and it appears to me to be extremely difficult, if not quite impossible, to form any distinct idea of anything capable of being excited and communicated in the manner the Heat was excited and communicated in these experiments, except by MOTION.
I am very far from pretending to know how, or by what means or mechanical contrivance, that particular motion in bodies which has been supposed to constitute Heat is excited, continued, and propagated; and I shall not presume to trouble the Society with mere conjectures, particularly on a subject which, during so many thousand years, the most enlightened philosophers have endeavoured, but in vain, to comprehend.
But, although the mechanism of Heat should, in fact, be one of those mysteries of nature which are beyond the reach of human intelligence, this ought by no means to discourage us or even lessen our ardour, in our attempts to investigate the laws of its operations…
“Nobody, surely, in his sober senses, has even pretended to understand the mechanism of gravitation; and yet what sublime discoveries was our immortal Newton enabled to make, merely by the investigation of the laws of its action!
The effects produced in the world by the agency of Heat are probably just as extensive, and quite as important, as those which are owing to the tendency of the particles of matter towards each other; and there is no doubt but its operations are, in all cases, determined by laws equally immutable.
Before I finish this Essay, I would beg leave to observe, that although, in treating the subject I have endeavoured to investigate, I have made no mention of the names of those who have gone over the same ground before me, nor of the success of their labours, this omission has not been owing to any want of respect for my predecessors, but was merely to avoid prolixity, and to be more at liberty to pursue, without interruption, the natural train of my own ideas.”

That experiment of Count Rumford has, no doubt – as in his explicit acknowledgement – had a long intergenerational and interpersonal gestation period, but his iconic experiment here described surely was the eventual ‘birth’ of the laws of thermodynamics, starting with his establishing the energetic equivalence of ‘Heat’ (in the parlance of the time) and Work, or in today’s parlance, the identity of Energy, Work and Quantity-of-Heat.

As a result of this re-acquaintance with the Four Laws – without which nothing in the Universe that happens, happens – I updated one of my blogsite excursions based on Oliver Morton’s book Eating the Sun.  This sequitur can be found at

I count myself lucky that Amazon, with its wide net also embracing second-hand bookshops, has found Sanborn C Brown’s book for me.  Not only for being able to read Rumford’s own accounts of his work, but more importantly for the Preface by the editors of the ‘Commonwealth and International Library of Science Technology Engineering and Liberal Studies’ under whose auspices this book has seen the light of day in 1967. At the same time I am sad because the only reason that this book has found its way into the second-hand market is that a US university library released it from their collection.

Some excerpts from this Preface may explain my concern:

“The publication explosion in scientific literature had dictated such an economy of publication space that the periodical literature in physics at the present time is written in a peculiar type of clipped language and laconic style which conveys nothing but the bare outline of the scientific contribution…
“This has not always been the case and in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the accepted scientific writings were often attempts at literary efforts which were aimed at being as interesting to the general public as it was useful to the professional natural philosopher…
“In this process of streamlining and making efficient scientific reporting, something of real value has been lost which shows up in many ways, including the currently popular image of the scientific endeavour as one of inhuman attention to ‘cold fact’ and the reputation of the scientific enterprise as one in which the scientist himself, as a human being, must never appear. The fact is, of course, that the scientist today is just as human as the scientist of 150 to 200 years ago but until we find some better way of transmitting scientific information than the present written scientific communication to cope with the information explosion of the modern scientific age, the current tendency will continue toward making the scientific paper less and less readable to more and more people…
“Count Rumford typifies much of the scientific enterprise of the eighteenth century. Few of the leading research scientists were trained professionals…. It was an age in which the learned society fulfilled the function of our present-day research laboratory and the scientific communication was written to be interesting to the general educated world…”

For the chance of any user of that university library [Gonzaga University]  to stumble upon this whole, more than two printed pages long editorial Preface, would have warranted its retention.  Their loss is my gain, and I am thankfully drawing attention to it here.