Rutan, Lovelock & Branson

By David Archibald – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Burt Rutan is one of the most interesting men on the planet. He has designed 46 aircraft, six of which are included in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport. One of his designs, Voyager, was the first to fly nonstop around the world on one tank of fuel. That was in 1986.

He started his career as a flight test engineer in 1965 and has spent 55 years doing data analysis/interpretation/presentation. In Burt Rutan’s experience of engineering data is critical and there are consequences for being wrong – witness the 346 people who died in 2019 in crashes of the Boeing 737 Max 8.

Burt Rutan also has an inquiring mind and is an early adopter of new technologies, particularly environmentally friendly ones. He built his own solar hot water heater in the 1970s:


He had an electric car decades before the current infatuation. This was General Motors’ EV-1 from 1997 to 2004. He built an energy-efficient house in the shape of a pyramid to minimize his energy consumption in the California desert:


That’s his personal ride in front of his award-winning house. You don’t see EV-1s anymore because General Motors crushed them all in 2004.

In 2010 he built a 34 acre solar PV farm.

So Burt Rutan’s environmental credentials are impeccable. Everything he has touched was made to be as efficient as possible. And Burt Rutan doesn’t believe in global warming.

While most engineers of various strands of the profession are silent on the matter, and professional engineering societies have been captured by the dark side, it appears that Burt Rutan is offended by the sheer sloppiness of what passes for climate science.

Recently Mr Rutan shared with friends his experience of Richard Branson trying to convert him to the dark side:

One would think that Sir Richard Branson and I would remain lifetime friends, since he has spent about 100 million $ in space-related contracts with one of my companies.

However, since 2017 when I suggested that he not mix his political beliefs with his life story in his autobiographies (thus making nearly half of his fans hate, rather than admire him), we have not been able to have pleasant conversations in private.  When he brings up BREXIT, Global Warming or Trump it does not go well. A year ago he insisted that we, in the future, only discuss Space.

In 2006 he tried to get me to publicly debate CAGW with his friend James Lovelock (at the time the world’s most extreme Global Warming Alarmist).  Shockingly, the first email I got from James Lovelock noted that the current Alarmist/scientists’ fraud was nothing compared to their lying and data manipulation in the 70s during the Ozone-Hole panic. 

My attempts to get Lovelock to come forward with the truth were spotty (he did do a talk at the British Museum but the press said at 88 he was merely senile).

In 2012, at age 92 he did not even look like an alarmist:

Lovelock celebrated his 100th birthday in July.  While once considered on ‘Team Al Gore’, he has been ignored by the Alarmist crowd for more than a decade.

Sir Richard does not want to talk about his once-friend James Lovelock.  So, lately I have given up on discussing CAGW, except for an occasional “Has your coral and beach at Necker Island been flooded yet by rising seas??”

The 1970s Ozone Hole fraud is still having consequences. Popular and cheap refrigerant gasses were replaced by ones that were expensive, fluorine-free and patented, under force of legislation. Some businesses could not afford the new refrigerants and switched to hydrocarbons, with fatal consequences. For example in 2008, the 400 kg of propane used as refrigerant in a cool store in Tamahere, New Zealand exploded, killing one firefighter and injuring several others.

The death toll from the global warming fraud is still ramping up. For example the rate of admissions to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney for elderly people with respiratory failure in winter has risen 25% in the last two years. In a country with abundant coal, gas and sunshine, these people could not afford to heat their houses in winter. Global warming is supposed to be heating the planet but it is killing people mostly in winter.


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