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Greenhouse Gasses and Fossil Fuels

image credit: Dr Happer
donn dears's picture
president Donn Dears LLC

Donn Dears began his career at General Electric testing large steam turbines and generators used by utilities to generate electricity; followed next, by manufacturing and marketing assignments at...

  • Member since 2010
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  • Jan 5, 2021
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Scientists have established that greenhouse gasses are not a threat. 

Even if they were, it's impossible to eliminate fossil fuels

The evidence is in my article A Message for All Americans at http://bit.ly/3ogwGVP

 

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jan 5, 2021

Donn, scientists have established a lot of things about climate change. Unfortunately, scientists are often conflicted - they're incentivized to hold opinions that benefit them personally.

So when I read of someone challenging scientific status quo - that greenhouse gases are indeed a threat to global climate change, species diversity, human welfare, etc. - there are two possibilities: 1) Either the person is a qualified researcher who has happened upon some profound truth that has escaped the attention of hundreds of leading climatologists, or 2) The person, whether scientist or not, has a conflict of interest - he or she stands to benefit from advancing a theory with little or no scientific basis.

The first thing we can do is try to learn more about that person, a task sufficiently easy for anyone in this Internet Age. If we learn more about Donn Dears, sometimes we can learn why he's adopted a position which would be widely considered contrarian. Here's what I found:

"Mr. Dears worked at General Electric testing large steam turbines and generators used by utilities to generate electricity; followed, by manufacturing and marketing assignments at the Transformer Division. Later he led an organization servicing these and other GE products in the United States and established facilities around the world to service power generation, transmission and other electric equipment.

...Mr. Dears has inspected oil producing and shipping facilities in Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries in the Mideast and Northern Europe, as well as examining iron-ore mining locations and major shipping centers in Europe and Asia to assess their need for U.S. technologies and equipment."

Certainly you can understand why someone might recognize a significant conflict of interest in someone who has both personally profited from an industry threatened by scientific status quo, and also spent their career working among others with the same conflict?

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

donn dears's picture
donn dears on Jan 5, 2021

The scientist I quoted is Dr Happer a leading physicist. As for energy issues,

I'm better qualified than most to evaluate whether the proposed solutions are reasonable or practical.

I doubt of you bothered to read the article.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jan 5, 2021

Donn, you're correct, I didn't bother to read the article. I don't have time to read the hundreds of articles written about climate change each year, so I trust scientific consensus to weed them out for me.

The vast majority of those articles build on the work of many, many others which, with the exception of a number of credentialed climatologists / geophysicists that can be counted on one hand, are in agreement: there are ~37 gigatons of CO2e emissions, each year, directly attributable to carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels; solar energy retained by atmospheric CO2 is causing ~0.75 W/m^2 less energy to be radiated out to space than absorbed by the terrestrial biosphere; and together, they are responsible for the many varied (and overwhelmingly negative) impacts of climate change.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 5, 2021

Scientists have established that the five most abundant greenhouse gasses will not significantly increase temperatures if they double from current levels.

I'll leave that one alone, now, since a vast majority of people listen to the near-consensus of trained scientists to know that emissions and climate change are in fact connected and are a threat. 

Even if greenhouse gasses were threats, it’s impossible to eliminate fossil fuels using any currently available technology.

To this one, though, I'm not sure this is a reasonable take. What if it's not about eliminating fossil fuels, but greatly reducing reliance on them? What if it's not about available technology but developing the technology that can? What if it's not about just throwing our hands up in the air and proclaiming "well, there's nothing we can do about it-- so drill, drill, drill!"?

donn dears's picture
donn dears on Jan 5, 2021

Why would we want to reduce our use of fossil fuels? They are inexpensive and very efficient. As for environmental issues, wind and solar have just as many as do oil and natural gas.

Let's increase the use of nuclear power and develop fusion energy. 

Let's develop superconductors for better magnets and lower losses in electrical equipment. There are many things we can do that can improve our use of energy, but wind and solar aren't the best options to pursue.

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