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No Evidence to Support Carbon Dioxide Causing Global Warming!

Bob Ashworth's picture
Sr. VP

Mr. Ashworth is a chemical engineer and has presented over 50 technical papers on fuels and fuel related subjects. Relating to the subject of global warming, he has written two papers, "CFC...

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  • May 11, 2009 12:00 pm GMT
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Introduction

In the early nineties, some scientists were saying that carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions were causing global warming. This was disturbing to the author; a chemical engineer who has worked on coal conversion processes his whole life. Before it was investigated as to whether or not this was really true, the author developed a scheme to remove CO2 from power plant flue gas by bubbling it through a pond of water to form algae, then skimming it off, drying it and feeding it back to the power plant as a fuel to be blended with the coal. This would do two things, reduce the overall CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, and conserve our coal reserves. After investigating CO2 as a cause of global warming, it appeared at that time to be false.

In the late 1990's it was brought up again and in 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced that CO2 was causing the earth to warm and developed computer models to predict how much the earth would warm in the future. In 2006-2007, the author evaluated this again in depth and found the premise was clearly false. IPCC scientists did not relay that, during the time from the mid 1960's to 1998, the stratosphere cooled almost three times as much as the earth warmed. From this input, the author could prove that CFC destruction of ozone, not CO2, was the cause of the abnormal warming over that period. He wrote a paper on his CFC destruction of ozone findings. However, putting this aside, does any evidence exist to support the premise that increased concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere have caused the earth to warm?

Do Scientists Support Global Warming?

First, most scientists do not agree with the CO2 global warming premise! In the United States 31,478 scientists, including the author, have signed a petition rejecting the Kyoto global warming agreement (see Figure 1) and of these, 9,029 have PhDs, including Dr. Edward Teller.



Figure 1. Rejection of Kyoto Global Warming Agreement 1size="1">.

In addition, U.S. Senator James Inhofe 2size="1"> (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, recently delivered a global warming speech entitled: "Global Warming Consensus in Freefall: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims." Inhofe also detailed the growing number of left of center scientists and environmental activists who are speaking out to reject man-made climate fears.

Dr. Richard Lindzen, MIT Professor of Atmospheric Science and past UN IPCC contributor, explained that only a few scientists were involved in writing the IPCC 2001 Third Assessment Report 3size="1">. Although purported to speak for thousands of scientists, it was not thousands offering their consensus. Dr. Lindzen participated in that and said, "Each person who was an author wrote one or two pages in conjunction with someone else. They traveled around the world several times a year for several years to write it, and the summary for policymakers had the input of about 13 of the scientists. Ultimately, it was written by representatives of governments, of environmental organizations like the Union of Concerned Scientists, and industrial organizations, each seeking their own benefit."

Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" Documentary has Cause and Effect Reversed

In the documentary "Inconvenient Truth", Al Gore conveniently separated the Vostok Ice core temperature and CO2 graphs so you could not see which came first, a warming spike or a CO2 spike. He said that a CO2 spike came first but alas, it was the just the opposite! When the graphs are combined, it is clearly seen that a global warming spike always comes first (blue line). This warms the oceans, which reduces the solubility of CO2 in water and results in the liberation of CO2 from the oceans. He also gave no explanation what would cause a CO2 spike to occur in the first place. What is so disturbing is that climatologists, like Al Gore, seem to have a problem discerning cause and effect. It is very simple and does not require a rocket scientist. If what you call an effect comes first, you have it backwards; the cause comes first to produce the effect.



Figure 2. Vostok, Antarctica Ice Core Data 4size="1">.

Does Atmospheric CO2 Change Correlate with Earth Temperature Change?

Does a correlation exist between the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and the earth's temperature? No, that does not exist. Does an increase in CO2 cause the earth's temperature to increase? No, look at Figure 3 below developed by Joseph D'Aleo, certified meteorologist. Even a non-scientist can see there is absolutely no correlation between CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and the earth's temperature. If there were a correlation, they both would rise and fall together. The CO2 has been on a continuous upward trend -- not true for the earth's temperature.

The atmospheric concentrations of CO2 were taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. Two sets of temperature measurements are shown, one set by NASA's Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) for the troposphere and the other by the UK's Hadley Climate Research Unit for the land and sea. Both show declining temperatures over time even as CO2 has increased from 366 ppmv in January 1998 to 385 ppmv by January 2008. Note that the earth surface temperature (pink line) in January 2008 was some 0.48 oC cooler than it was in January 2003.



Figure 3. Earth Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 Concentration 5size="1">.

Global warming advocates also say that CO2 builds up in the atmosphere over a 50 to 250 year period, but this cannot be true either. Figure 3 above shows that the CO2 concentration oscillates based on the growing season in the Northern Hemisphere. The ratio of land to ocean in the Northern Hemisphere is about 1 to 1.5 and in the Southern Hemisphere is 1 to 4. Therefore, the Northern Hemisphere with much more land mass has a growing season that dominates the Southern Hemisphere growing season with respect to absorption of CO2.

As shown in Figure 3 above, each year around April, increased CO2 absorption by plants in the Northern Hemisphere starts reducing the CO2 in the atmosphere and the reduction continues until around mid to late August when plants start to go dormant. The cycles occur on a regular yearly basis and the swing in CO2 concentration is in the 5 to 8 ppmv range. If CO2 stayed in the atmosphere for long periods before being consumed, the season to season cyclic effect would not be seen. It is clear that nature reacts very fast in its consumption of carbon dioxide.

The graph in Figure 4 shows the IPPC computer modeling projections from the year 2000 to 2100 based on various assumptions of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. The black line from 1998 to 2008 was added by the author to the IPCC graph; it shows the actual measured surface temperatures.



Figure 4. IPPC Predictions compared to Actual Surface Temperature Measurements 6size="1">.

The actual temperature for 2008 was some 0.43 Degrees C cooler than the IPCC projection based on the assumption that atmospheric CO2 concentration remained constant with time. On an actual temperature basis, one sees that the IPCC models predict temperatures that are not even close to actual measurements. The temperature in 2008 was the same as in 1982. To this old chemical engineer, the predictions represent the classic "garbage in -- garbage out" analysis for computer models. It reminds me of the computer models used to predict where Hurricane Ike would hit the U. S. in 2008. Five meteorological models all predicted the hurricane would hit the west coast of Florida, then changed it to New Orleans, then to Galveston, down to Corpus Christi and then back up to Galveston, where it finally hit, all of this over a five day period. Here again, meteorological models are not trustworthy.

Human Made Emissions of Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Do you realize that CO2 emissions created by man's activities, combustion of fuels, etc. (called Anthropogenic emissions) is miniscule compared to the emissions of CO2 from nature? Table 1 was developed by the IPCC. It shows annual CO2 emissions to the atmosphere from both nature and man and how much of the CO2 emitted is re-absorbed by nature.

Carbon Dioxide Natural Human Made Total Absorption
Annual Million Metric Tons 770,000 23,100 793,100 781,400
% of Total 97.1% 2.9% 100% 98.5%


TABLE 1. GLOBAL SOURCES AND ABSORPTION OF CO2

Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis
(Cambridge, UK Cambridge University Press, 2001), Figure 3.1, p. 188.

Using the table above in combination with a total concentration of 385 ppmv of CO2 seen in the atmosphere in January 2008, one sees that the increase in CO2 caused by all of man's activities amounted to only 11.5 ppmv. The amount of CO2 from man is a mouse milk quantity compared to nature's emissions. If we eliminated all anthropogenic CO2 emissions, we would go back to the level we had in 2001-2002 when it was warmer than it is now.

Nature absorbs 98.5% of the CO2 that is emitted by nature and man. As CO2 increases in the atmosphere, nature's controlling mechanism causes plant growth to increase via photosynthesis; CO2 is absorbed, and oxygen is liberated. Photosynthesis is an endothermic (cooling) reaction. Further, a doubling of CO2 will increase the photosynthesis rate by 30 to 100%, depending on other environmental conditions such as temperature and available moisture 7size="1">. More CO2 is absorbed by the plants due to the increased concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere available for conversion to carbohydrates. Nature therefore has in place a built-in mechanism to regulate the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere that will always completely dwarf man's feeble attempts to regulate it. Further, no regulation by man is necessary because CO2 is not a pollutant; it is part of the animal-plant life cycle. Without it, life would not exist on earth. Increased CO2 in the atmosphere increases plant growth, which is a very good thing during a period of world population growth and an increasing demand for food.

No Greenhouse Signature in Atmosphere

There are several possible causes of global warming, and each warms the atmosphere at different latitudes and altitudes. Each cause will produce a distinct pattern of hot spots in the atmosphere and will leave its "signature". The greenhouse signature is very distinct -- see Figure 5. If this signature were present, warming would be concentrated in a distinct "hot spot" about 8 to 12 km up over the tropics, with less warming further away, turning to cooling above 18 km. Actual measurements have been taken where the warming is occurring using satellites and balloons.

The observed signature is shown in Figure 6. As one can clearly see, the actual signature is nothing like the predicted IPCC "Greenhouse" signature. The greenhouse signature is not seen -- no "hot spot" exists! Although not shown here, the actual signature is most like the one the IPCC developed for ozone depletion.



Figure 5. Theoretical Greenhouse Signature (UN climate models) 8size="1">.



Figure 6. Actual Observed Signature 9size="1">.

IPCC Greenhouse Effect is Impossible

The IPCC (Figure 7) analysis shows 390 watts/m2 being radiated from the earth (right side of graph) to the atmosphere, excluding thermals and water evaporation from plant leaves (evapo-transpiration) for simplicity, when only 168 watts/m2 is absorbed by the earth (left side of graph) in the first place. This graphic violates the first and second laws of thermodynamics, which in essence state that you cannot get more energy out of a system than you put into that system.



Figure 7. IPCC Greenhouse Effect 10size="1">.

If what the IPCC is presenting were true, for every unit of energy in, one would get back (390/168) = 2.32 units of energy. The U.S. Patent Office never awards a patent for a process that claims it gets more energy out than it puts in because thermodynamically it is quite impossible. Strangely, the IPCC promotes such nonsense to the people of the world and is not soundly rebuked for it!

A friend of mine, an analytical chemist 11size="1">, correctly writes, "As a further rebuttal of the influence of carbon dioxide over the climate, the alleged IPCC greenhouse effect is a non-existent effect. No greenhouse, whether made from glass, plastic, cardboard or steel will reach a higher inside temperature due to the magic of re-radiated IR energy. If it did, engineers would have long ago been able to design power stations made from air, mirrors and glass, extracting more energy out of it than was put into it -- if only!"

Carbon Tax Effect on the Average American

Taxing carbon would do absolutely nothing to improve the climate but would be a devastating economic hardship to the people in the world. Following is a summary of the U.S. carbon tax legislation 12 proposed by Michigan Representative John Dingell:

Tax on carbon content:

$50 / ton of carbon (phased in over 5 years and then adjusted for inflation)

Let us complete a ballpark analysis of the impact of a carbon tax on the cost of electricity. In the United States, 50% of our electricity comes from coal-fired power plants. According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), the average open-market selling price in 2007 was $40.80/ton for bituminous coal (12,500 Btu/lb and 70- wt% carbon). Therefore, the tax on bituminous coal would be around $35/ton (~86% of its open market selling price).

The average selling price of electricity to residential users in 2007 was $0.1061/kWhr. Assuming a heat rate of 10,000 Btu/kWhr of electricity generated for bituminous coal, the carbon tax would add $0.014/kWhr of electricity, a 13% increase.

Tax on gasoline:

$0.50/gallon of gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene (petroleum based), added to current gasoline tax phased in over 5 years and adjusted for inflation. This $0.50/gallon gas tax is in addition to what is derived from the per ton carbon tax in the previous section.

Consider gasoline contains 86-wt % carbon and weighs 6.5 lb/gal. Dingell's carbon tax would add $43/ton of gasoline or $0.14/gallon. When added to the $0.50/gal tax will equate to $0.64/gal. Based on an initial gasoline selling price of $2.00/gallon with the added carbon taxes, the price would increase to $2.64/gal, a 32% increase.

Conclusion

Based on actual data, CO2 causing global warming is clearly a figment of the IPCC's imagination. The lesson to the world here is, when it comes to science, never blindly accept an explanation from a politician or scientists who have turned political for their own private gain. Taxing carbon will have absolutely no beneficial effect on our climate, will hurt the economies of the world, and will be harmful to the production of food because less carbon dioxide means reduced plant growth. Many scientists, including the author, see global warming from CO2 as a cruel global swindle, so that a few, at the expense of the many, can reap huge profits from carbon taxes.

References:

1. Global Warming Petition Project, Click Here
2. Click Here
3. Dr. Richard Lindzen, MIT Climate Scientist Calls Fears of Global Warming 'Silly' - Equates Concerns to Little Kids
Attempting to "Scare Each Other", February 1, 2007 U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works,
Click Here
4. Petit, J.R., et. al., "Climate and Atmospheric History of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok Ice Core, Antarctica", Nature 399: 429-436, June 3, 1999.
5. D'Aleo, J. S., "Correlation Last Decade and This Century CO2 and Global Temperatures Not There"
Click Here
6. NASA Earth Observatory, based on IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (2007)
(Click Here) and Hadley Climate Research Unit, Global Temperature Record, Phil Jones, Click Here
7. Pearch, R.W. and Bjorkman, O., "Physiological effects", in Lemon, E.R. (ed.), CO 2 and Plants: The Response of Plants to Rising Levels of Atmospheric CO2 (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1983), pp 65-105
8. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2007, p. 675, based on Santer et al, 2003. See also IPCC, 2007, Appendix 9C).
9. "Carbon Emissions Don't Cause Global Warming, November 28, 2007", Dr. David Evans,
Click Here
10. J. T. Kiehl and Kevin E. Trenberth, Earth's Annual Global Mean Energy Budget, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 78, No. 2, page 206, February 1997 (adopted by IPCC 2007)
11. Comments to U. S. EPA on Global Warming, Hans Schreuder, November 15, 2008
Click Here
12. Carbon Tax Summary, Click Here

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Ferdinand E. Banks's picture
Ferdinand E. Banks on May 12, 2009
Mr Ashworth, I like - no, I LOVE - to tell people that I am the leading academic energy economist in the world, and I can prove it to any unbeliever who makes the mistake of finding himself or herself in a seminar room with me. I'm also a great economics teacher.

But let's face it. Where most of what is called economics is concerned, I'm strictly a babe in the woods. Sure, I know a lot, but a lot may not be enough if I stepped into the ring with the real heavyweights. The present boss of the Federal Reserve made some statements about oil that I consider nonsense, but where the rest of the show is concerned he's one of the main men.

Now, about these scientists you mentioned who put the bad mouth on warming. I haven't seen that particular list, and I'm not sure that I want to see it, but I have seen several 'lists', and some of the people called scientists probably have about the same scientific qualifications that I had when I was expelled from Illinois Institute of Technology for poor scholarship. In fact I think that I was last in the class. If you want to convince my humble self, then you have to show me a list with all the top climate scientists on it, and proof that the majority on that list say that AGW idoesn't exist. Merely mentioning that a top climate scientist who also believes that smoking is good for your health (or maybe image) - Richard Lindzen - would be on such a list doesn't cut any ice with me.

And of course, those top climate scientists could be wrong. Their cause is hardly strengthened by the endorsement they received from Nobel Laureate Gore, and in addition their star Dr Hansen is a little too soft spoken for my taste, but even so I'm really and truly and completely and overwhelmingly glad that the movers and shakers are prepared to treat AGW as a clear and almost present danger.

Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on May 12, 2009
"When the graphs are combined, it is clearly seen that a global warming spike always comes first" -- This statement is so wrong it is not even in error. 1) There is NOTHING "clearly seen" on that graph except that temperature rises and CO2 rises appear fairly co-incident. After 5 minutes of study (and I've seen this precise combined graph several times in past and studied the same issue before) I conclude that your statement MAY have SOME merit for the period from 450,000 yrs BP to 375,000 BP, but otherwise accurate comparison makes it a draw and your statement false. 2) Why did you leave off the METHANE GHG curve from the Vostock publications in Nature? (those rises CLEARLY preced warming)

Such a waste of time. I MAY read further later if this debate EVER gets interesting.

Alan Belcher's picture
Alan Belcher on May 12, 2009
Assuming the human contribution of CO2e (anthropogenic emissions) to be, by way of argument, 20% of the sum total of CO2e, then surely the true reduction that might be expected could not exceed this 20%. Even if we were to completely stop all anthropogenic releases as of this moment, the anticipated impact on climate change would be extremely low, if not negligible.

I do believe that climate change is taking place, in one way or another, but this headlong rush into eliminating CO2 , with a minimum of supporting evidence, flies in the face of sound scientific and engineering practice. And, I might add, sound business practice.

Please note that I am using the term CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) which serves as a “yardstick” (unit = 1) against which we can measure all GHGs.

Also, I have used an empirical 20%, dragged out of thin air (no pun intended), but Bob Ashworth cites a mere 2.9% attributable to anthropogenic activity.

What should we do?

Ferdinand E. Banks's picture
Ferdinand E. Banks on May 12, 2009
I have been engaged in a 'slanging match' about nuclear energy with a certain gentleman in this forum. He has decided to use his non-nuclear engineering background to condemn nuclear energy, however I not only believe but am certain that that the present nuclear renaissance is gaining momentum. I don't see how this can be denied by anyone who condescends to read the popular press.

But as someone has noted in one of the discussions/debates about nuclear in this forum, an almost psycopathic hatred of nuclear prevails that, as far as I can tell, threatens to overwhelm the laws of economics. Therefore, If governments and financial markets will not take their responsibility where the future supply of energy is concerned, then it is just as well for almost everybody if the next generation of nuclear technology is hurried into existence with the aid of a light panic about global warming.

Len Gould has identified some inaccuracies in Mr Ashworth's presentation, and it is here that we have the problem with issues of this nature. What's the point in claiming that AWG is bunkum, and filling your argument with mistakes - especially mistakes that can be easily identified? The point of course is to impress persons as dumb as my good self in these matters, however in THIS forum there are contributors who know how to deal with spurious hypotheses And not just here. A gentleman on one of the lists mentioned above, who poses as some kind of scientist here in Sweden, had the gall to go to California Institute of Technology and claim that AGW was a fraud, following which he was ridiculed by real scientists in the audience.

And finally, I notice that Dr Edward Teller was cited in this article. I really dont understand how anybody who is familiar with Teller's behavior in the Robert Oppenheimer affair would be interested in a petition or anything else signed by that gentleman.

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on May 12, 2009
Len: The blue line is the temperature and the red line is the CO2 concentration. Look at the lines 10,000 years ago, 130,000 years ago and 240,000 years ago. The lines are fairly close together because the plot covers 420,000 years but you can clearly see the blue line rises first. Nasif Nahle shows this plot over a shorter time frame (http://omsriram.com/GlobalWarming.htm Figure 2) where it can be clearly seen by everyone. CO2 in the atmosphere starts rising around 800 to 1000 years after a huge solar spike as Nasif shows. Apparently it takes that long for the oceans to heat up and release more CO2 to the atmosphere as a result of decreased solubility at higher temperatures.

Alan: Look at Table 1 again, the IPCC who is touting the CO2 global warming nonsense shows in their table that man only contributes 2.9% of the CO2 that goes to the environment. If you eliminated worldwide, all of the athropogenic CO2 we would go back to the concentration we had in 2001- 2003. It was warmer then than now.

Ferdinand: I forgot about the Oppenheimer controversy but Teller was a smart guy. It is funny that the IPCC never presents a list of scientists that are backing them. I signed that petition as well, a long time ago. In the 1990s I think.

No science backs up the IPCC. They made computer models that predict rises in temperature but never check it against actual measurements. Charlatans of science really make me mad because it is clear they are doing this for their own financial gain at the xpense of the many.

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on May 12, 2009
James; You are right on the signature point. I think the ones who worked on this must have never taken a course in thermodynamics. They violated the first and second l;aws of thermodynamics with their so-called Greenhouse Effect..

There was a slight abnormal warming from the mid sixties to 1998. This was caused by CFC destruction of ozone that cooled the stratosphere off some three times more than the earth warmed. I wrote a paper on that first. I have a version of that paper on my website. It is the same website address as above: http://omsriram.com/GlobalWarming.htm.

I believe the CO2 levels are rising because of the massive amount of methane being liberated from the permafrost in Siberia. I write about this in the paper referenced. Researcher's estimated the methane being released there at some 100 times as much carbon as man emits. CH4 slowly converts to CO2 in the atmosphere. The Arctic and Anarctic areas have warmed over twice as much as the average earth temperature rise because less ozone exists in those cold climes. We really need to remove the chlorine from the stratosphere that is destroying the ozone.

Hope this is helpful.

Mathew Hoole's picture
Mathew Hoole on May 12, 2009
These discussions on global warming always intrigue me. The man made CO2 relationship to warming may or may not be there. Santer et al tried to find the signature and had to settle with "the fog in the data may be global warming".

Both believers and sceptics can correlate their arguments with historical events, but correlation is not causation. Proof is still pending. And I believe both sides have to play a part. The "signature" can still possibly be found, and if it is, how significant is it?

Unfortunately global warming is no longer about playing the ball. Although sceptics have their ear biters and kidney punchers eg his lordship Mr Monckton, the alarmists seem to have an army of Mike Tysons eg Tamino.

The tactics of some are even more insidious.

1. Some prominent scientists/researchers don't release their raw data eg Michael Mann.

2. Some researchers get smeared and have their career nearly destroyed for trying to bring order to the chaos eg Bjorn Lomborg.

3. Some publishers are lobbied to prevent publication of selective scientific material, or have biased editors eg as what happened to former IPCC lead author Roy Spencer with his recent attempts at publication.

4. Some prominent persons hoping to join the global warming bandwagon get impunity from their ridiculous claims eg prominent Australian head of World Vision Tim Costello claims that Tsunamis are caused by global warming.

5. Some scientists who spend a lifetime focussing on science get pack attacked and smeared if they release something against the "consenus of global warming" eg Ian Pilmer after releasing Heaven and Earth.

6. Some researchers are rewarded for thuggery eg John Holdren rising to prominence in the Obama Admin after his smear attacks on other researchers eg Lomborg.

7. And most importantly the gradual disappearance of former easy to obtain research papers on the global climate that contradict the IPCC agenda eg Shaopang Huang's global Ice core study that proved the MWP and LIA were largely global events. Instead we get the very contradictory Mann Hockey Stick that doesn't highlight these events, and does not release the data to the public.

So knowing all this, where should we go, and what as a society should we do? I personally think the answer is very simple in many cases. As there are plenty of other real environmental problems, we should be focussing on those. Incidently many strategies that combat other environmental problems may also reduce CO2 emissions eg revegetation programs in addition to providing habitats and reducing erosion would also provide carbon capture.

It is unfortunate that those who shout the loudest about global warming are not genuinely interested in the environment. It is a smokescreen to bring down successful market economies. It is utterly foolish to propose closing down a coal power station, and replace it with a series of wind farms thus reducing cheap reliable energy with land intensive intermittant energy. However this is what the extreme alarmists propose, and bombard society with constantly.

It is a shame that there are many scientists and researchers who believe in global warming and have honourable intentions for society. Their mistake is that they have not disowned the "Chicken Little Alarmists" from among their ranks. Even "couch potatoes" will only put up with "wolf criers" for so long.

It is time to get back to science, rational, sustainable and sensible environmental solutions, and most importantly it is time to restore some maturity to the debate of man made global warming.

For if we don't we will punish the innocent, we will increase poverty, we will introduce costly and largely redundant "solutions". And ironically considering that besides global warming, global populations seem to be a major global threat, it is the prosperity level of a nation that seems to most influence its native population growth. And if there was ever a reason to kick these mischievous anti capitalist, pro socialist, wolf crier activists to the curb, this is it.

Cheers

Mathew Hoole's picture
Mathew Hoole on May 12, 2009
To Bob Ashworth

How does CO2 increase if there is an increase in methane?

Noted the Arctic hs warmed (as the top 3rd of the globe has been where most of the natural and/or man made "global warming" has been. I would like to observe what happens over the next 30 years as the pacific decadal oscillation has started to commence its cooler phase.

The Antarctic however has not warmed, at least not substantially. In fact the continent's land and sea ice levels are quite impressive.

Cheers

Ferdinand E. Banks's picture
Ferdinand E. Banks on May 13, 2009
Why, why oh why Mathew did you have to call Bjorn Lomborg a "RESEARCHER". A researcher in what? He is a nice looking guy, likes pizza, speaks perfect English, and he is best known for inviting some people to Copenhagen for what he called the Copenhagen Consensus. The consensus comes about when they agree to go down to the Tivoli and get twisted on some of that excellent Danish beer.

Lomborg is some kind of statistician, but note, he is NOT represented in the scientific literature. When I gave a talk on oil in the Danish Parliament, Lomborg was expected to come there and tell me that there was 100 years of oil remaining, but apparently he had other commitments. Actually, for what it is worth, there might be thousands of years, but so what. If the oil price goes back to $147/b and keeps moving up, the number of years of oil remaining is completely uninteresting.

Bob Ashworth, Teller was a brilliant guy, and his name definitely would mean more on any kind of climate warming petition than e.g. mine, but since he had other things to do in his life than studying climate science, I think it best not to pay any attention to what he believed or didn't believe about climate warming.

So John Holdren smeared Bjorn Lomborg, did he. Well Teller smeared Robert Oppenheimer. The smearing of Bjorn Lomborg doesn't bother me at all because it has no real significance given Lomborg's attraction for the media, but the smearing of Oppenheimer is a sorry chapter in American history.

And Mathew, the environmentalists don't want to close down coal burning power stations. I know this from looking at the situation in Germany. What they really want to do is not just to stop the building of new nuclear plants, but to close down ALL the existing nuclear plants, and prohibit the building of more. And you know something, if governments are really so dumb as to go along with replacing nuclear with intermittant power, then they and their supporters deserve what they will get.

Mathew Hoole's picture
Mathew Hoole on May 13, 2009
Ferdinand said: "Why, why oh why Mathew did you have to call Bjorn Lomborg a "RESEARCHER". A researcher in what? "

Errr yes I knew he was a statistician and not a scientist. I called him a "researcher" based on the number of footnotes/references (approx 2900 in The Skeptical Environmentalist) he uses in his published work. Using the term "researcher" was meant to be a broad positive. I'm open to a suggestion on a better word.

I don't agree with everything the man says, but while activists and reactionaries try to create anarchy, Lomborg made a great effort to rationally bring order from the chaos on a macro level which is a damn sight better than what just about anyone else has done.

I am also unaware what Lomborg says on a daily basis, him being in Europe and all. But I do know the guy has a lot of enemies including parts of the media. But hey if Patrick Moore defends the guy (and I admire Patrick Moore) and risks himself copyright infringements, then that is good enough for me.

In Australia activists are trying to stop new hydro dams, coal power stations, and any thought of going nuclear. To them it is wind and solar (and other rarely used renewables eg geothermal/tidal/biomass) or nothing. Our new mildly socialist govt is accelerating clean coal and carbon storage pursuits, as well as introducing new solar power plants (introduced in the 2009/2010 Federal Budget just last night).

Cheers

Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on May 13, 2009
"No science backs up the IPCC." -- Ridiculous to the point of complete absurdity.
Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on May 13, 2009
If the skeptic crowd could seriously reduce the ratio of persons among them who make completely absurd statements

eg. "man only contributes 2.9% of the CO2 that goes to the environment." -- wrong. Just because man's additions amount to only 2.9% of the ocean's emissions is meaningless. The oceans DO contribute 90 gt C/yr to the atmosphere, BUT they also remove 92 gt C/yr. Man does nothing comparable to mitigate his 5.5 gt C/yr. Also see data from Woods Hole website that of ALL the EXCESS CO2 that goes to the environment and makes up the 1.8 ppmv/yr annual increase, man contributes about 100% and in fact some as yet poorly understood benefactor in Nature is still sinking a lot of it (about 45% of the annual atmospheric increase) somewhere we haven't found yet. Will that continue? For how long? How about putting some of your "scientists" from the denier crowd onto that question?

Atmospheric increase = Emissions from fossil fuels + Net emissions from changes in land use - Oceanic uptake - Missing carbon sink

3.2 (±0.2) = 6.3 (±0.4) + 2.2 (±0.8) - 2.4 (±0.7) - 2.9 (±1.1)

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on May 13, 2009
Matthew: The information I found shows both the Arctic and the Antarctic Peninsula have increased in temperature. The Antarctic Peninsula has increased about 2.5°C in the last 50 years, this is 2 or 3 times faster than the average in the rest of the world. This is double the Arctic increase which makes sense since ozone loss in Antarctica is greater than that for the Arctis. I write about it in my CFC Destruction of Ozone paper at:

http://omsriram.com/GlobalWarming.htm (same reference I gave before) The temperature of the rest of Antarctica shows no current indications of rising. I think this is because of an elevation effect. the peninsula varies from around 0 to 5000 ft. and the rest is in the range of 10,000 to 13,000 ft. I believe that the radiant heat loss at those high elevations counters the loss of ozone effect. I say this because Vostok even cooled (no warming) over the same period that stratospheric ozone destruction took place. At night or during the periods of the year when darkness prevails, reduced ozone yields high radiant energy loss to outer space.

Regarding how CO2 increases from methane release, CH4 slowly converts to CO2 in the atmosphere: CH4 + 2O2 = CO2 + 2H2O

Len: I always hear it is riduclous when I say there is no science attached to CO2 causing global warming. I have never found any from real measurements. CO2 concentration does not correlate with temperature at all. There is no greenhouse signature in the atmosphere as the IPCC predicted. Further the IPCC greenhouse effect is bogus from the getgo because it violates the first and second laws of thermodynamics which in essence state you cannot get more energy out of a system than you put into it.

Further, and this comes from an IPCC report, man contributes only 2.9% of the CO2 that is admitted to the atmosphere each year and of that nature absorbs (through photosynthesis) 98.5%. Man's contribution then to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is only 0.0435%. Since man's contribution is so small if all of man's CO2 emissions globally were eliminated we would go back to the concetration we had in the early 2000's when the earth was warmer than it is now. What data can you cite that refutes what I have relayed above. To me this CO2 warming pseudo-science is the greatest scam ever attempeted to be imposed on We the People. Gore started his Generation Investment Management LLC (UK)firm that only invests in green technologies in 2004 and in four years (2008) he had raised $5 billion dollars to invest. Pretty good for a startup company. Pelosi invested in T. Boone Pickens windfarms and of course is pushing cap and trade. I hope the people of the world wake up soon, the burden of any tax imposed for anything whatsoever is never paid by corporations or any other entity, it is always just passed on to We The People.

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on May 13, 2009
Len: Sorry I didn't see your last comment before I finished my last comment. The other 45% absorption of CO2 that the oceans don't account for is taken up by plant growth on land and the Northern Hemisphere is controlling because it has more land mass than the Southern Hemisphere. Look at Figure 3 how the CO2 concentration oscillates from the spring (low concentration) to fall (high concentration) each year.
Mathew Hoole's picture
Mathew Hoole on May 13, 2009
Bob

Thanks for the chemistry explanation.

The Antarctic peninsula is not the whole Antarctic. As a whole Antarctica has remained pretty constant, and currently has near record levels of sea and land ice (admittedly with some big chunks of sea ice about to break away).

http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/20061013/20061013_02.html

I did see a new study from Michael Mann claiming the Antarctic Peninsula had a recent radical warming period which was much stronger than the mild cooling on other parts of the continent. However as no other study (to my knowledge) has claimed such strong warming on the Peninsula, as Michael Mann has earlier controversies and as Michael Mann does not publicly release his data (to explain such controversies), I am unsure how to accept his claims.

I do agree that if global warming is real and becomes significant, consequential events in permafrosted areas of the globe could be severe.

Cheers

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on May 13, 2009
We dismissed a paper by this guy that Alan Caruba tried to promote some months ago. Bob ran away at that point.

But apparently, he seems to be back. He again mentions his problems with the Figure 7. picture. His concerns can be easily resolved by noting that those are average energy transfers over the course of a day or year. Some of the element have the ability to store some amounts of energy for a period of time. There is no violation of thermodynamics.

Sigh.......

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on May 13, 2009
Jim: I didn't run away, just got tired of beating a dead horse. Radiant energy transfer is pretty much instantaneous. I think you know it travels at the speed of light. It won't build up over any period of time through re-radiation. When you analyze a system you set the boundaries for that system and thermodynamics must always apply no matter what boundaries you set, large or small. Some physicists now have awakened from their slumber and realize there is a violation of thermodynamics for the IPCC Greenhouse Effect, i don't know what took them so long. I also believe that the promoters of the Greehouse Effect don't know that real greenhouses are heated at night by fossil fuels. Why would they need to do when re-radiation can last up to a year? Bogus science Jim. Do you have a technical background?

I didn't run away.

Ferdinand E. Banks's picture
Ferdinand E. Banks on May 14, 2009
Mathew, as far as I can tell, 'clean' coal and sequestration have no place to go in at least the near future, but I could be wrong. As a result I am glad to see Australia moving ahead in this direction. Better them than the persistently stupid Swedish government, which feels that it has to 'clean up', although environmentally this country has been rated very close to the top of industrial countries.

In neo-classical economics a determined effort by e.g. Australia would be observed by e.g. Sweden, and this would increase the knowledge of both countries in environmental matters. If I require a reference to neo-classical economics in order to make a debating point, I might use one, but otherwise I stay as far away from it as possible. I can mention though that if things do not work out for Australia, perhaps...perhaps the Swedes will get the message, and I will gain a few dollars.

In the strange case of Bjorn Lomborg, please don't talk about order being obtained from chaos due to the efforts of a gentleman who assembles a posse of academic hustlers and busybodies, calls them the Copenhagen Consensus, and then takes them down to the Tivoli to drink beer. BESIDES, WHY WASN'T I CONSIDERED WHEN THE INVITATIONS WERE BEING PASSED OUT? I DRINK BEER TOO.

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on May 14, 2009
Bob,

So if I toss you a red-hot rivet, you'd have no trouble holding it in your bare hand, as the radiant energy transfer is instantaneous? Radiant transfer is proportional to k(T^4) so yes, there is TIME involved in the energy transfer, it is not 'pretty much instantaneous'. Any body warmer than another will transfer heat to that other body, whether its 100 degrees warmer or 2 degrees warmer. Note that energy transfer from only slightly warmer bodies is at a very low rate, but it does occur.

As Roger Arnold patiently tried to explain to you and Alan, the IPCC is not going to make the sophomoric mistakes that you suggest. Someone else would have noticed them. This is not to say that one shouldn't be prudent and vigilant with their (or anyone else's) claims, but it also means simply denying thoughtful counter-claims to your assertions is a waste of both of our time.

By accusing IPCC of these simplistic mistakes, you are in effect making an extraordinary claim. I think you'd at least agree to that. I agree with the late Carl Sagan when he said extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (from Hume's Maxim).

At this point, you are providing no such evidence that would be convincing to anyone skilled in this field.

I do have a technical background, and have even taken graduate level courses in heat transfer. But the claims you are making can be dismissed by a freshman physics student.

Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on May 14, 2009
Bob:"other 45% absorption of CO2 that the oceans don't account for is taken up by plant growth on land " -- You must be a brilliant researcher, to have so simply resolved a question of significant impalance in earth's CO2 cycle so easily. Now I wonder why none of the scientists reviewed by IPCC noticed those sneaky green things all around. Plants, you call them, eh? Wonderful!
Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on May 14, 2009
Bob:"I also believe that the promoters of the Greehouse Effect don't know that real greenhouses are heated at night by fossil fuels." -- Another breakthought by Bob the Brilliant Thermodynamicist/Earth Scientist! So, according to Bob, we should treat glass greenhouses (main solar heat gain above un-enclosed surroundings due to interuption of convection by a glass barrier) and earth's interface with space (main solar gain above other celestial bodies due to interruption of thermal re-radiation by molecules tuned to recieve specific frequencies of IR radiation) as identical situations?

"I didn't run away, just got tired of beating a dead horse." -- You should stop beating that horse, Bob. Given your (obviously absent) powers of observation, I'd say its likely you may be charged with cruelty to a live horse.

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on May 14, 2009
Jim: The extraordinary claim was made by the IPCC not me. Engineers have to abide by the laws of thermodynamics to design things that work. They are not given the luxury of using pseudo-science. The source of most heat on earth comes from the sun (molten core is the other heat source but minor). The energy comes from the sun as radiant energy. As you correctly state radiant heat transfer flows from a hotter to cooler surface as a function of the T^4 differnece in temperature between two bodies. However, the temperature cools as one moves from the earth up through the atmosphere, right. By definition then re-radiation from the cooler atmosphere back to the earth is quite impossible. It is that simple and straight forward and you and the IPCC "so-called scientists" should have known that. The IPCC made the extraordinary play station claim with absolutely no science to back it up yet even people like you with some degree of a technical background can't see their folly. This is amazing to me.

As I said previously some physicists have finally awakened from their slumber; they recognize what I and many many others recognize, see below:

Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics Authors: Gerhard Gerlich, Ralf D. Tscheuschner (Submitted on 8 Jul 2007 (v1), last revised 4 Mar 2009 (this version, v4))

Abstract: The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that many authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier (1824), Tyndall (1861), and Arrhenius (1896), and which is still supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist.

Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature it is taken for granted that such mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation. In this paper the popular conjecture is analyzed and the underlying physical principles are clarified. By showing that (a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet, (c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33 degrees Celsius is a meaningless number calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsified.

Comments: 115 pages, 32 figures, 13 tables (some typos corrected) Subjects: Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (physics.ao-ph) Journal reference: Int.J.Mod.Phys.B23:275-364,2009 DOI: 10.1142/S021797920904984X Cite as: arXiv:0707.1161v4 [physics.ao-ph]

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on May 14, 2009
Len: Yes it is obvious land plants absorb the rest of the CO2, why did I have to point that out to you. Len, where else could it go??? Another thing, have you ever asked yourself how CO2 could increase before the earth and oceans warmed. Why would it increase? What mechanism could cause that? Volcanoes perhaps? Their effect is short-lived, only a few years and they spew particlulate out so the overall effect is cooling, not warming.

Did you know Mrs has four times the CO2 concentration in its atmosphere as earth does but the day and night temperatures differ by 100C. How can that happen, Len?

Also I bet there is a 50/50 chance that the IPCC scientists do not know that greenhouses are heated. Why would you have to heat them with all of that re-radiation bouncing around and lasting for up to a year or so?

I have found during my life that all of the answers you have about life and the universe are very simple and staring you in the face. Have you ever heard of Occam's razor? The Monk stated that the simplest answer is most likely correct. A wise man. Another wise man said, simplicity and profundity are one!

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on May 14, 2009
Bob: What I said was the extraordinary claim is not the the IPCC made a sophomoric mistake. It's that they made such a mistake and no one noticed it for years until you, Bob Ashworth, came along.
Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on May 14, 2009
Jim: I have no idea why these IPCC scientists took such a bogus course. Why was I the only one to recognize it? I wasn't the only one or the first one. Hans Schrueder, an analytical chemist from the UK pointed out to me the greenhouse gas effect was bogus. I had not thought about it much before nor had paid any attention to the graph the IPCC used. I analyzed what Hans relayed to me and agreed in a very short time he was right because it violated the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics.

Let me say this, I consulted to a group who had a metal carbide process they claimed was getting more energy out than they put in. I told them that was impossible, you might approach 100% but you cannot exceed 100% unless you are converting mass to energy like in a nuclear reaction. The engineer working on the project said, "If that is the case there is no reason to pursue the technology!" They didn't invite me back, didn't pay me, and needless to say the technology was never commercialized. Sounds crazy but this happened.

The two physicists who wrote their paper in 2007, published in 2009, recognized what Hans and I recognize. People like to jabber about stuff but very few really take the time to analyze things for themselves and use an open mind doing it.

If you disagree with the status quo, they call you names and try to crush you so you rarely hear the other side of the story (I think Paul Harvey is dead now). My CFC destruction of ozone paper had been peer reviewed and accepted for publishing in Chemical Engineering Progress in June. Not long ago they told me they changed their mind about publishing the paper because they had not taken a position on global warming (don't offend anyone). So science, like everything else is becoming very political.

The DOE and EPA were completely politicized during the Bush administration and Obama is impeccably following that lead.

Mathew Hoole's picture
Mathew Hoole on May 14, 2009
Ferdinand

You are correct that clen coal will not be soon available. According to the recently released Garnaut Report, Clean Coal Technology is still approx 20 years away. However that has not stopped the Australian Federal Govt from planning ahead eg looking for a carbon storage site.

In the early to mid 90's it was trendy for (moderate) socialists to claim "Well Sweden does it, why can't we?". Now that the (moderate) socialists are in power again, the trendoids in Sweden may yet again gain some influence.

I don't know how to respond to your angst with Bjorn Lomborg. I do see groupthink as a bane of civilisation. Perhaps write him a letter explaining your credentials, your interest in the Copenhagen consensus and your love of beer. I must admit I am totally naive to the environmental politics in your side of the world.

Cheers

David Smith's picture
David Smith on May 14, 2009
Anyone else notice the resident AGW promoters here - Jim and Len - ALWAYS resort to snarky ad hominem attacks when confronted with irrefutable anti-AGW fact?

It is indeed frightening to know that almost our entire federal government has become metastasized by such closed-minded psuedo-scientific AGW zombies. No wonder most Average Americans have given up on our so-called representative republic and have resorted to stocking up on guns and ammo.

FYI - Bob is not the first person on this site to point out that AGW theory violates the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics. I made that point over a year ago, so those horses have been beaten into micronized decay by now.

Or is this the oater version of "Night of the Living Dead" (horse).......'cause them zombies just keep popping up!

David Smith Moscow ID USA

Ferdinand E. Banks's picture
Ferdinand E. Banks on May 15, 2009
Mathew, I buy the AGW argument because I don't see any harm in buying it. We must have a new energy economy, and if the movers and shakers buy it and understand how to present it to the TV audience, then it might get the kind that we need in time. In timefor what? Well, that's for me to know and certain other people to find out.

What about the extreme anti-AGW promoters (like Bob Ashworth) , and the anti-nuclear people? The truth is that they have an important part to play in the scheme of things, because they are needed to keep the AGW people and the nuclear shills - like me, according to Tam Hunt - honest. I have a guy on my case now in this nuclear thing, and his assuring me that I am a lightweight makes me a better...middleweight (?).

Where the US government is concerned, I figure the president and his team are smart enough to know that their announced energy policy is for the birds, but this is precisely what cannot be said. (There is a similar situation in Australia and, probably, New Zealand.) Of course, the so-called energy appointments of President Obama were wrong, but so what. Corrections can be made later - or perhaps I should say, they should be made before the voters wise up.

As for what is happening in Sweden at the present time, the important thing to know is that Sweden is a member of the European Union, and for the politicians and up-market bureaucrats THAT MEANS EVERYTHING. The would sell this country out in a heartbeat for a plane ticket to Brussels ,a chance to strut through EU headquarters, and maybe cop some free beer at some point in the evening..

John K. Sutherland's picture
John K. Sutherland on May 15, 2009
David, you took the words out of my mouth wrt Len's and Jim's comments. Attack the messenger, denigrate, ridicule and keep away from addressing the real science.

The IPCC process was flawed from the start, but just try going up against an organisation showering money around to get something started, even if it smells a bit. One hopes that the science will prevail. By the time of the first report, the flaws were obvious. And then of course, there was Mann who retroactively changed the climate history of the last 1,000 years, and few noticed. Then they started to flex their muscle, and adopt this attitude that if the science disagrees with the political summary we will edit what the scientists say. Even many of their scientists now disagree openly.

There always were an army of scientists who did not like the process or its outcome, and who eventually realised that good science would not prevail. By then the political machine was talking 'concensus' and 'all scientists agree'' even though there had been no poll and to disagree was to see one's job disappear. Science is, however, beginning to prevail and raise its head above the noise.

And Ferdinand 'where is the harm'? After seeing the utter social destruction that is facing Europe and the US, because the EU and Obama bought into this scam of Gore and Hansen (near the top of Obama's Gilbert and Sullivan's 'list' of things to do), I cannot believe you said that.

The cost of sequestration of carbon dioxide adds another 30% (knocks the working energy output down by 30%). Environmentalists love it as it makes their unworkable renewables seem more workable.

John K. Sutherland's picture
John K. Sutherland on May 15, 2009
And now try this most delightful speech that set my toes tingling.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/14/now-thats-a-commencement-speech/#m...

John.

Edward Reid, Jr.'s picture
Edward Reid, Jr. on May 15, 2009
Gentlemen,

The ratio of heat to light emanating from this comment thread appears to be rising exponentially. Therefore, allow me to jump on board with a few tangential thoughts, intended merely to "stir the pot".

Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that global climate is changing as the direct result of the accumulation of carbon emitted by the combustion of fossil fuels and the emissions of methane from a variety of sources. The current warming trend, which arguably began in ~1650 (the trough of the "Little Ice Age", for the non-Mannians in the group) and apparently went "on vacation" in ~1998, produced a peak warming of ~0.8 C above a reasonably accepted long term average temperature and of ~2.3 C from the trough of the Little Ice Age. Since 1998, the warming above the reasonably accepted long term average temperature has declined to ~0.1-0.2 C (UAH MSU / RAH MSU).

NOTE: I have not used GISS above because the warming being discussed is less than 1 C and the average GISS measurement station is prone to errors in excess of 2 C (www.surfacestations.org) based on the NCDC evaluation criteria. Therefore, the GISS reporting of temperature anomalies to 2 decimal place "accuracy" is highly problematic.

It is as yet uncertain whether the current warming trend, which arguably began in ~1650, is still "on vacation", or whether it has been replaced by a cooling trend indicative of the onset of a Dalton or Maunder Minimum on the part of our currently somnolent sun.

However, assuming that the current climate change scenario is the result of anthropogenic carbon emissions, which began to manifest as increasing atmospheric carbon concentrations in ~1750 (~100 years after the temperature rise began), we can posit that halting the increase in atmospheric carbon concentrations would require reducing annual anthropogenic carbon emissions to some rate less than the rate of emissions at which the atmospheric carbon concentration began to increase. That would require a decrease of ~99.95% in GLOBAL anthropogenic carbon emissions from current emissions rates.

Also note that UN FAO estimates that ~18% of annual GHG emissions are the result, not of fossil fuel combustion, but rather of domesticated animal husbandry. Eliminating that contribution to anthropogenic climate change would require the GLOBAL adoption of a vegan diet. (I will not attempt to estimate the impact of a GLOBAL switch from animal protein to legume-sourced protein on human methane emissions.)

Therefore, if one accepts the concept of anthropogenic climate change, it is quite obvious that none of the "solutions" proposed to date is, in fact, a solution to the issue. It is also obvious that the US alone, or in cooperation with the other developed countries, is not capable of halting anthropogenic climate change, even ignoring the stated intent of the developing nations to continue increasing their carbon emissions for the forseeable future. The currently projected increases in China's carbon emissions over the next 10 years would "swamp" any reasonably achievable reductions by the developed countries.

I have suggested here previously that the path to some increase in energy independence and the path to some reduction in anthropogenic carbon emissions would likely be different. I still suggest that it would be handy if we agreed on where we intended to go before we began the journey. I know we're all guys (with the possible exception of the "lurkers") and thus are averse to asking for directions, but this would be a very good time to break out of that mold.

My estimate of the US investment required to achieve the Waxman-Markey "wish" of an 83% reduction in US carbon emissions by 2050 is ~$700 billion per year, or nearly $30 trillion over the period. This does not include any carbon tax or allowance auction revenues intended to flow through the US federal government into a group of as yet unidentified "rat holes".

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on May 15, 2009
Ferdinand:

Here are the problems with the AGW agenda. First of all the Cap and Trade bill being proposed by Waxman and Markey will cost every family in the US some $3100/year in increased energy costs and this is probably on the low side. This affects retired people living on fixed incomes, the poor and unemployed the most.

The increased energy costs will drive more businesses overseas and decrease our ability to survive financially. All of us know we are in deep trouble and printing more money may work for the US government for a short time, but like Swartzeneger said, "The State of California is not like the US government, we can't just print money." We can't either!

We should not live in a virtual world like the AGW promoters want us to so they can line their pockets at the expense of the rest of us. If we live in the real world and use real science we can survive but we won't if everyone lies about everything for their own hidden agendas.

David and John:

Thanks for not remianing silent. Thomas Jefferson, perhaps the greatest patriot the US has ever known, once said, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent!” John: Rattie's adress was a good one.

I, like the two of you, analyzed global warming without any preconceived ideas going in. There is absolutely no truth to CO2 causing warming as you both know. The AGW agenda will devastate many people but the promoters don't care. If a country can keep its people poor and destroy their morals then they will have total control over them. That is going on in the world big time these days and they keep coming up with new ways to accomplish their goals (like this AGW legislation).

An ex-VP of a major utility company recently relayed to me that a US Senator told him 12 years ago that the Democrats are going to implement carbon taxes not because of the climate but because it is a new way of taxing and the American people are too stupid to realize what is being done to them. Nice!

Edward Reid, Jr.'s picture
Edward Reid, Jr. on May 15, 2009
Bob,

Please allow me to nitpick your first paragraph immediately above.

The estimated $3100 annual cost of W-M is not energy cost; it is tax, pure and simple, no matter how it is collected.

Also, a reasonable estimate of the return on the $700 billion which would have to be invested each year to actually reduce carbon emissions is ~10%, or about $70 billion, roughly equivalent to the projected average annual tax "take" from W-M. However, in year two, the cumulative investment would increase to $1.4 trillion and the annual return on investment would increase to slightly less than $140 billion, depending on the depreciation rate applied to the investments. In year three, add another $700 billion and another increment of return on investment.

Pretty soon, the tax "take" from W-M pales into insignificance. Interestingly, virtually nobody is focused on the investment requirements. Must be because of all of the extra money floating around in the world economy today.

Ferdinand E. Banks's picture
Ferdinand E. Banks on May 15, 2009
John, where the "social destruction" facing Sweden is concerned, you can thank Bill Clinton and George Bush - especially the latter. (Clinton is guilty because without his stupity the second Iraq war would not have taken place). And if you remember, my position on AGW was taken before the social destruction set in. Note, I said Sweden above, because where the rest of Europe is concerned they can take care of themselves..

And Bob, I doubt whether anybody has ridiculed cap-and-trade more than I have, and here I'm thinking of my new energy economics textbook, my articles, and especially my lectures. In Bangkok, when the teacher before me left something on the blackboard about cap-and-trade, I immediately went into a half-hour rant against it. For all I know, he was against it too.

As I see things, intelligent movers and shakers should be working overtime now to make sure the the nuclear sector is not diminished, which is what those other people really want. Eventually a reasonable energy strategy will be found, and it will be roses all the way. Of course it won't be the optimal energy strategy, but that is only found in Econ 101.

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on May 15, 2009
I don't think that saying extraordinary claims call for extraordinary evidence is an ad hominem attack. I meant no offense to Mr. Ashworth personally.

Perhaps we can ALL take some solace in noting that DOE Secretary Chu has chosen to eliminate the pointless hydrogen energy research by the Federal government. That seemed very unlikely to be productive anytime soon. (Apparently, they are still doing some fuel cell research).

Mathew Hoole's picture
Mathew Hoole on May 15, 2009
Ferdinand. I suspect AGW is is probably real, but not at an apocolyptic level. There are also other man made variables other than CO2 that influence the climate. And I of course always insist on the right to change my mind at any time. I consider groupthink and fortress mentalities a negative on society.

Quite a few emerging energy technologies incidently have lower carbon emissions. CO2 does not necessarily have to be argued to improve Energy Infrastructure and supply etc.

I think governments globally are failing with strategic energy planning for their economies eg by including unnecessary redundancy and intermittant sources.

To John http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/14/now-thats-a-commencement-speech/#m...

Yes I read that in full yesterday. A very good article, and more than a few nails were hit on the head.

Cheers

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on May 15, 2009
Bob Ashworth,

Absolutely brilliant.

I am convinced the AGW agenda is all about politics and control of the many by the elite few. Trying to actually better the lives of the masses is not even a consideration. Reasonably affordable energy is what is needed if lives are to be improved. That is where the emphasis should be placed. Do that and the "AGW" phantom will take care of itself as a happy by-product.

The staggering sums of money being squandered by the current “climate change” exercise are hardly helpful.

Mike

Ferdinand E. Banks's picture
Ferdinand E. Banks on May 16, 2009
Given political constraints and the enormous lack of knowledge about things like energy economics, it might be true that governments are doing the best that they can where energy and environmental issues are concerned. Of course, I cannot possibly understand why President Obama made the so-called energy appointments that he made, although I believe that - in theory at least - it will be possible to get the new energy secretary to understand the things that he needs to understand in order to get the optimal energy show on the road.

As for bettering the lives of the masses Mike, the masses should have voted Mr Bush and his team out when they had the chance. Now all of us are in trouble.

Edward Reid, Jr.'s picture
Edward Reid, Jr. on May 16, 2009
Fred,

"As for bettering the lives of the masses Mike, the masses should have voted Mr Bush and his team out when they had the chance."

Let's see. That would probably put us in the second term of John F. Kerry and whoever replaced the now-disgraced John Edwards. Hmmm.

Ed

Ferdinand E. Banks's picture
Ferdinand E. Banks on May 17, 2009
Ed, I might be completely out of it, but if Edwards had found himself addressed as Mr Vice President he might have kept his libido under control. Might - because that would give him a very good crack at the presidency. As for John Kerry vs Bush, I have to ask just what the American people are after, and where are the majority of them when the information is going through.

Kerry left a soft job to become a Swift Boat captain, and when Bush was asked if he wanted to go to Vietnam he answered in the negative. Of course it might be possible to say that Kerry doesn't have it because he didn't do what he should have done to win - whatever that was.

Let me also affirm that to my humble way of thinking, the man responsible for our/my troubles is the gorgeous William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton. If, upon becoming president, he had announced that no child (and perhaps also elderly person) in Iraq would suffer because of a lack of medicine, and kept every hospital in Iraq supplied, then the second Iraq war might not have taken place, while the US could have had its 'splendid little war' in Afghanistan - you know, the one that was won 5 years ago, but which Senator McCain is willing to keep going for a hundred years.

Edward Reid, Jr.'s picture
Edward Reid, Jr. on May 17, 2009
Fred,

This is not the venue to discuss US politics or your mental state. :-)

The American people are too busy watching Entertainment Tonight and trying to program their DVRs to record American Idol to worry about trivial issues such as energy supply and climate change. They will focus on those issues when there is no fuel available at local gas stations, or when the lights don't turn on when they flip the switch.

I suspect you are amused, as I am, that the current discussion of Waxman-Markey is focused totally on the relative merits of "Cap & Tax" vs. a carbon tax; and, the impact of the federal "take" on energy bills; and, the multiple "rat holes" down which the resulting funds might be poured, mostly ineffectually.

There has, so far, been no public discussion of the out-year investments which would be required to actually reduce carbon emissions by 83% by 2050. I have estimated those investments at ~$700 billion per year, or a total of ~$30 trillion over the period, as I mentioned above. The potential tax take rapidly pales into insignificance compared to those investments and the necessary returns on them.

I believe the lack of discussion of the investments is intentional misdirection on the part of our legislators. I suspect the lack of media coverage is the result of collusion, or ignorance, or a particularly dangerous combination of both. I am totally mystified by the silence of the "loyal opposition".

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on May 17, 2009
Ed: You are probably right about the out-year investments to reduce CO2 emissions by 83%. We have no control over nature so I guess you are only referring to man-made CO2 emitted in the US only. Czechoslovakia knows full well CO2 causing warming is bogus, the Russians won't try to reduce CO2 and you know India and China won't either. Why should they it is bogus science. So anything the US does will be meaningless. However, don't worry Chicken Little is wrong about the sky falling.

Instead of living in the IPCC virtual world let us move over to the real world. No then, if we were to completely eliminate ALL man-made CO2 emissions throughout the whole world tomorrow, the CO2 concentration would go back to the 2001-2002 level we had. And, oh yes, it was warmer then than it was in 2008. (The information to make this assessment comes from an IPCC report, Table 1 in the text above).

CO2 causing global warming isn't worth discussing, but because of charlatans we are forced to do it. No science involved here, only computer programs with hidden agenda input created so We the People could be taxed more.

Obama on the one hand says he wants to give married persons that in total make under $150,000/year an $800/year tax break, but on the other hand he wants to tax them $3,100/year through Cap (Tax) and Trade. In reality he wants to increase their taxes by $2300/year. Wow he is really taking care of us. Soprry I meant to say really taking us to the cleaners. He and Gore are Masters of a full gamut of Smoke and Mirrors techniques.

Edward Reid, Jr.'s picture
Edward Reid, Jr. on May 17, 2009
Bob,

Correct on both counts; US anthropogenic only.

Waxman-Markey is a “unilateral” US declaration of an “unwinnable” war, to be embarked upon based on “questionable intelligence” and a “tortured” definition of science, without a “broad coalition” of support, to be waged with “inadequate equipment” at a tremendous cost of “talent and treasure”. “This war is lost” before it begins.

Don Giegler's picture
Don Giegler on May 18, 2009
Fred,

As some of us are well aware, it may take a hundred years of war to wise up. Or maybe a silver bible or two. But are you sure you didn't mix up the desire to build one hundred new U.S. nuclear power plants with that for one hundred years of war?

Ferdinand E. Banks's picture
Ferdinand E. Banks on May 18, 2009
Don, I miss a lot these days, but the guy said - en passant - that the war had to be won if it takes 100 years. There was also this thing with a large number of nuclear plants, which might have gone up toward the century mark.

About the Waxman-Markey suggestions. Frankly I don't know anything about them, but it seems to me that the big industry people favor a carbon tax over cap-and-trade. I favor a carbon tax too because I want the tax revenues returned to the people who pay it, although I haven't worked out the details, nor do I intend to try to do so. But as somebody said to me - and he was NOT a democrat - people like the big boss of Exxon don't want cap and trade or carbon taxes, but if they have to choose it will be carbon taxes. Lord Browne (of BP) said the same thing. I dont guess then that I will be persecuted for favoring carbon taxes, because if that decisive margin of voters get their way, it's going to be one or the other.

Ed, you said that the American people are heavily involved with entertainment of one type or another. That's true everywhere, isn't it, and it's economics: It has to do with competition - in the broadest possible sense - and finite life spans. Things are of course complicated by the movers-and-shakers, the shot callers, and their greed and enormous ignorance. Of course I'm probably wrong here, because everything seems to be reduced to politics these days, and these phonies know infinitely more where politics is concerned than I do.

Len Gould's picture
Len Gould on May 19, 2009
Bob: "By definition then re-radiation from the cooler atmosphere back to the earth is quite impossible. It is that simple and straight forward and you and the IPCC "so-called scientists" should have known that. " -- That is so incorrect it's an error to call it merely wrong. Re-radiation from any molecule at any level in the atmosphere has a random chance of going in any direction, up down or sideways, regardless of relative temperatures of any levels of atmosphere.

This is simply too frustrating. What is incredible is that ANYONE thinks this makes any sense.

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on May 19, 2009
Len,

I think Bob meant the radiation from cooler temps to warmer ones, for which there is indeed no net energy transfer. But he's still wrong because the atmosphere at some points is still warmer than the ground, so radiative energy transfer can still occur.

We should remember that the basic currency we are working with is the radiation spectrum from a 5500 C heat source, namely, the sun.

I am very frustrated by this kind of debate as well. Both sides seem to think the other has the burden of proof (look at the title of Bob's paper) when in fact both sides are burdened, We should stop acting like children about this. It's not about 'winning', it's about finding the truth, however hard that might be.

AGW skeptics might argue they should have no such burden, as they don't believe in global warming in the first place. But the fact remains that CO2 levels HAVE been rising steadily since the 1750s, higher than they've been in 600,000 years, so that enough (in my opinion) is a concern to verify what is or is not going on.

There are two ugly truths in this debate, one is that CO2 remediation would be incredibly expensive. The AGW believers don't want to acknowledge that. The other is that we clearly have too many people on the planet for the resources we have and how we are currently using them. And to paraphrase Ed Reid, we also have no "plan" on how we manage these resources as our numbers rise from 6.5 Billion to 9 Billion souls over the next 30 years. The AGW skeptics, or status quo folks, are loathe to acknowledge that as well.

D. Victor Bush's picture
D. Victor Bush on May 19, 2009
"we clearly have too many people on the planet for the resources we have and how we are currently using them. And to paraphrase Ed Reid, we also have no "plan" on how we manage these resources as our numbers rise from 6.5 Billion to 9 Billion souls over the next 30 years"

The word "pandemic" comes to mind. An unfortunate reality in an overcrowded world.

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on May 19, 2009
Jim and Len: Heat transfer by radiation is always from a hotter body to a cooler body, never vice versa. You can calculate the transfer based on the radiation formula where the amount of energy transferred, taking into consideration the emissivity of the surfaces, is controlled primarily on a T^4 difference between the warmer body and the cooler body. Jim you are right, the atmosphere above the earth can get warmer than the earth during an inversion but this is not the norm.

Jim, to me science is a search for truth and truth only. If you find where I have erred and you are correct I will change my position immediately. Engineers have to design things that work, we can't afford to use play station science, if we want to keep our jobs. No real data confirms anything the IPCC made up; at least I could not find any. I often tell my wife i should have been a meteorologist because you never have to account for your mistakes, you just leave that behind and predict the weather for the next day and if wrong again on to the next day, etc,, etc.. maybe that was one of the problems here.

Jim Beyer's picture
Jim Beyer on May 19, 2009
Bob,

I think you should back off on your complaints about the IPCC Figure 7. The diagram shows energy stasis, so I don't even know what your concern about it is in the first place. One just needs a body of air (like a cloud) to be heated by a warm surface region (like a desert) and then drift over to a cooler surface region (like a lake or ocean). QED. I really don't see what the big deal is.

The relevance to GW is that CO2 molecules are better at trapping heat than O2 or N2.

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