$3.80 out of $10,000. That’s the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
1.7 cents out of $10,000. That’s the amount of Methane in the atmosphere.
Terrifying, isn’t it?
$3.80 out of $10,000. That’s the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
1.7 cents out of $10,000. That’s the amount of Methane in the atmosphere.
Terrifying, isn’t it?
Currently CO2 makes up about 390 parts per million of the atmosphere.
The assumption of the global warming alarmists has been that a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels, from about 290 ppm to about 580 ppm, would drive the world over a ‘tipping point.’ So much heat would be captured, they claim, that the atmosphere would warm by as much as ten degrees, mass extinctions would occur, polar ice caps would melt, sea level would rise catastrophically, etc, etc.
These claims are made despite the fact that it is well established that the world has been through periods of very much higher CO2 than at present (over 1000 ppm) with no ill effects.
Now researchers Mark Pagani, Matthew Huber et al have shown that when the deep antarctic ice was formed some 34 milion years ago, atmospheric CO2 was about 600 ppm – well beyond the alarmists’ supposed polar ice melting tipping point:
By analysing ancient algae found in deep-sea core samples, Professor Matthew Huber and his colleagues determined that the mile-thick ice which now covers the south polar continent formed around 34 million years ago. At that stage the atmosphere held much more CO2 than it does now, some 600 parts per million (ppm) as opposed to today’s level of 390 ppm.
There is often concern that the Antarctic ice sheet might melt due to global warming (though in fact, despite much publicity over losses of ice from the Western peninsula, Antarctic ice has been steadily increasing in extent for the last 40 years). It would seem that this is highly unlikely given current and near-future levels of atmospheric CO2: at current rates of increase it will take a century at least to reach 600 ppm, the level at which the ice sheet formed itself, and higher levels would be needed to actually start it melting.
I have said right from the beginning, starting fifteen years ago, that I was unconvinced by arguments for anthropogenic global warming for the simple reason that there is no correlation between human activity and global changes in climate.
People who think as I do have been compared to holocaust deniers, heretics, creationists, crop circle enthusiasts, and religious fanatics. The difference of course, is that the climate alarm sceptics are the ones who are focussing on the evidence – what is really happening in the real world.
The world has certainly warmed slightly – just over half of one degree Celsius – over the last 150 years. And a darn good thing it is. It is possible that there may have been some human influence on this, although so far as I can see, there is no evidence outside of computer modelling that supports this hypothesis.
Yet we are constantly told that we must ‘take action now’ to prevent a huge catastrophe. Even though there no reason at all to believe that such a catastrophe is really on the way, I would not object to people ‘taking action’ if it made them feel better, if it were not for the enormous cost to everyone else of these utterly pointless projects.
From Matt Ridley:
Well here’s why it matters:
The alarmists have been handed power over our lives; the heretics have not. Remember Britain’s unilateral Climate Change Act is officially expected to cost the hard-pressed UK economy £18.3 billion a year for the next 39 years and achieve an unmeasurably small change in carbon dioxide levels. At least sceptics do not cover the hills of Scotland with useless, expensive, duke-subsidising wind turbines whose manufacture causes pollution in Inner Mongolia and which kill rare raptors such as the griffon vulture.
At least crop circle believers cannot almost double your electricity bills and increase fuel poverty while driving jobs to Asia, to support their fetish.
At least creationists have not persuaded the BBC that balanced reporting is no longer necessary.
At least homoeopaths have not made expensive condensing boilers, which shut down in cold weather, compulsory, as John Prescott did in 2005.
At least astrologers have not driven millions of people into real hunger, perhaps killing 192,000 last year according to one conservative estimate, by diverting 5% of the world’s grain crop into motor fuel.
That’s why it matters.
That was from Ridley’s Angus Millar Lecture to the Royal Society of the Arts, Edinburgh, 31 October 2011.
The opinions of politicians, singers and film stars on the state of the climate and what should be done about it, are eagerly sought by the populist press. As a partial consequence of this, the populist press is becoming less and less popular.
On the other hand, the ABC and other leftist media organisations are quick to dismiss climate realists who do not have science qualifications. According to them, if you are a climate alarmism sceptic, you only have the right to express your views if you have an advanced degree in a relevant field of science. And even then you don’t because your scepticism marks you out as ‘not a real scientist’ or ‘in the pay of the oil companies.’
Point out that science is not decided by consensus but by evidence, that every citizen has the right to discuss matters of public policy, and that in any case, there is no consensus amongst climate scientists that the world is warming in an unusual or alarming way, and you will be greeted by the equivalent of fingers poked in ears, looking away and shouting ‘I can’t hear you.’
If that doesn’t work, they will try to stop you speaking at all, suggest you be imprisoned or tattooed so everyone can see you coming and avoid you, or even suggest you should be gassed or your children blown up if you persist in your dangerous derangement.
This is derangement in the same sense that anyone in Germany who disagreed with Nazism, or in Soviet Russia with Stalin, was thought by the state to be deranged, and dealt with accordingly.
Just don’t say you think their proposals sound like fascism, because then you really will be in trouble. Greenies apparently believe it is OK to act like a fascist. But that it is not OK, in fact grossly unfair and horrible and like, really mean, man, for anyone to point out that they are doing so.
But facts are stubborn things. And scientists with integrity can be stubborn as well.
One such scientist is Dr William Happer, Professor of Physics at Princeton University.
He has written a longish article called The Truth About Greenhouse Gasses, in the current edition of First Things magazine.
Here are a couple of paragraphs:
I want to discuss a contemporary moral epidemic: the notion that increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide, will have disastrous consequences for mankind and for the planet. The “climate crusade” is one characterized by true believers, opportunists, cynics, money-hungry governments, manipulators of various types—even children’s crusades—all based on contested science and dubious claims.
I am a strong supporter of a clean environment. We need to be vigilant to keep our land, air, and waters free of real pollution, particulates, heavy metals, and pathogens, but carbon dioxide (CO2 ) is not one of these pollutants. Carbon is the stuff of life. Our bodies are made of carbon. A normal human exhales around 1 kg of CO2 (the simplest chemically stable molecule of carbon in the earth’s atmosphere) per day. Before the industrial period, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was 270 ppm. At the present time, the concentration is about 390 ppm, 0.039 percent of all atmospheric molecules and less than 1 percent of that in our breath. About fifty million years ago, a brief moment in the long history of life on earth, geological evidence indicates, CO2 levels were several thousand ppm, much higher than now. And life flourished abundantly. …
We conclude that atmospheric CO2 levels should be above 150 ppm to avoid harming green plants and below about 5000 ppm to avoid harming people. That is a very wide range, and our atmosphere is much closer to the lower end than to the upper end. The current rate of burning fossil fuels adds about 2 ppm per year to the atmosphere, so that getting from the current level to 1000 ppm would take about 300 years—and 1000 ppm is still less than what most plants would prefer, and much less than either the nasa or the Navy limit for human beings.
Yet there are strident calls for immediately stopping further increases in CO2 levels and reducing the current level. As we have discussed, animals would not even notice a doubling of CO2 and plants would love it. The supposed reason for limiting it is to stop global warming—or, since the predicted warming has failed to be nearly as large as computer models forecast, to stop climate change. Climate change itself has been embarrassingly uneventful, so another rationale for reducing CO2 is now promoted: to stop the hypothetical increase of extreme climate events like hurricanes or tornados. But this does not necessarily follow. The frequency of extreme events has either not changed or has decreased in the 150 years that CO2 levels have increased from 270 to 390 ppm. …
Let me summarize how the key issues appear to me, a working scientist with a better background than most in the physics of climate. CO2 really is a greenhouse gas and other things being equal, adding the gas to the atmosphere by burning coal, oil, and natural gas will modestly increase the surface temperature of the earth. Other things being equal, doubling the CO2 concentration, from our current 390 ppm to 780 ppm will directly cause about 1 degree Celsius in warming. At the current rate of CO2 increase in the atmosphere—about 2 ppm per year—it would take about 195 years to achieve this doubling. The combination of a slightly warmer earth and more CO2 will greatly increase the production of food, wood, fiber, and other products by green plants, so the increase will be good for the planet, and will easily outweigh any negative effects. Supposed calamities like the accelerated rise of sea level, ocean acidification, more extreme climate, tropical diseases near the poles, and so on are greatly exaggerated.
I have often wondered about the economic and environmental value of public transport buses lumbering through city traffic.
I have lived in rural areas most of my life, and it has always annoyed me that I have to pay for those busses through my taxes when I never use them, and when I pay more for petrol, earn less, and have to travel further to work than the people I am subsidising.
So I was interested to read Ezra Levant’s article The bus stops here: The truth about public transit in the Edmonton Sun a few days ago.
Here are a few paragraphs:
Let’s start off with the obvious: Buses are extremely expensive. They take billions of dollars each year from all levels of government. And yet despite these massive subsidies, bus fares continue to skyrocket.
But everyone knows government transit is a huge waste of money. That’s a given. But buses are supposed to be environmentally superior to cars. That’s the whole excuse for them.
It’s a lie.
For a couple of hours each day, buses are full — so they’re efficient. But outside of rush hour, buses are mainly empty. But they still burn nearly as much gas and still cost the same to run and maintain as if they were full.
Using data from the Washington-based CATO Institute, investigative reporter Kevin Libin found that when you compare the amount of energy burned and pollution emitted per person, per mile, buses are bigger polluters than cars are.
City buses burn 27% more energy per passenger mile than cars do. Of course — because most of the day, those huge tanks are barreling down the road with just a few people in them, sometimes just the driver. And city buses emit 31% more CO2 than cars do.
If you want to reduce pollution, drive your car. Don’t take a bus….
Same thing with bike lanes, including in wacko cities such as Toronto and Vancouver where actual car lanes on the street have been blocked off for bikes only. So in rush hour, thousands of cars sit idling in traffic jams — wasting time and wasting fuel. The odd bike goes by — but thousands of drivers are punished.
Buses are more expensive, use more fuel, and pollute more per passenger mile than cars. And because they slow traffic, bike lanes cause more, not less, pollution.
Canada does not have a monopoly on dopey big spending policies which achieve the opposite of what they intend. And we’re not short of wacko cities in Australia either.
The Australian Greens have accused polluters of an “ugly attack” on Hollywood star Cate Blanchett, who has come out in a new television advertising campaign in support of a carbon tax.
Yes, but if CO2 is a pollutant, then everyone still breathing is a polluter, right?
A tax on CO2 will have a serious effect on the ability of average householders to pay for fuel, electricity and ordinary household items. The whole point of a CO2 tax is to make it impossible for ordinary people to go on using the resources they use now. In other words, the point is to make people poorer.
But Cate’s response to these concerns is not just ‘Let them eat cake,’ but ‘No problem, let a few starve or freeze. Can someone bring me my second cappuchino. And where is the limo to take me to my private jet?’
And for heaven’s sake, why can’t the people who want a tax talk clearly about what it is they want?
They don’t want a ‘carbon tax.’ They want a tax on human production of CO2. Calling CO2 ‘carbon pollution’ makes as much sense as calling water ‘oxygen pollution.’
When Cate Blanchett lives in a two bedroom cottage like I do, uses only rain water like I do, car pools like I do, uses less than 6000 kWh of electricity per year as I do, then I will listen to what she has to say on the subject of reducing our resource usage.
Until then, she can keep her preaching to herself.
Dyson Freeman is probably the most important 20th Century scientist not to win a Nobel Prize, and more important than many who have. He is certainly the world’s leading theoretical phycicist.
James Delingpole reports today on a correspondence between Dyson, the scientist’s scientist, and the notoriously alarmist UK Independent.
A couple of samples:
First, the computer models are very good at solving the equations of fluid dynamics but very bad at describing the real world. The real world is full of things like clouds and vegetation and soil and dust which the models describe very poorly.
Second, we do not know whether the recent changes in climate are on balance doing more harm than good. The strongest warming is in cold places like Greenland. More people die from cold in winter than die from heat in summer.
Third, there are many other causes of climate change besides human activities, as we know from studying the past.
Fourth, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is strongly coupled with other carbon reservoirs in the biosphere, vegetation and top-soil, which are as large or larger. It is misleading to consider only the atmosphere and ocean, as the climate models do, and ignore the other reservoirs.
Fifth, the biological effects of CO2 in the atmosphere are beneficial, both to food crops and to natural vegetation. The biological effects are better known and probably more important than the climatic effects.
Sixth, summing up the other five reasons, the climate of the earth is an immensely complicated system and nobody is close to understanding it …
I am saying that all predictions concerning climate are highly uncertain. On the other hand, the remedies proposed by the experts are enormously costly and damaging, especially to China and other developing countries.
On a smaller scale, we have seen great harm done to poor people around the world by the conversion of maize from a food crop to an energy crop. This harm resulted directly from the political alliance between American farmers and global-warming politicians.
Unfortunately the global warming hysteria, as I see it, is driven by politics more than by science. If it happens that I am wrong and the climate experts are right, it is still true that the remedies are far worse than the disease that they claim to cure.
I noted last August that people seemed to be confused about how much carbon dioxide there was in the atmosphere. Some people thought that CO2 made up half of all the gasses in the atmosphere.
One of Jo Nova’s readers recently asked 100 people questions about the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and came up with similar results.
The actual amount is about 380 parts per million. Or 0.038%. Or not quite four one hundredths of one percent.
Human contribution to this total is about 3%. No one knows for certain because there is no way of telling human produced CO2 from natural CO2.
In the past there have been much larger natural variations in CO2 levels without any human input.
For example, when many modern green plants developed in the Cretaceous period, CO2 was aprroximately three times its current level. Coral reefs evolved and thrived during the Mesozoic Period, when atmospheric CO2 levels stayed above 1,000 parts per million for 150 million years and exceeded 2,000 parts per million for several million years, compared with 380 ppm now. Any influence of human activity is minor compared with past natural changes.
But we know that human use of fossil fuels does contribute something to current CO2 levels. Calculations (necessarily very approximate) of the amount of CO2 produced by all human activity as a proportion of what we think we know at the moment of the normal natural carbon cycle, gives a figure of about 3%.
So the influence of human CO2 production on atmospheric gasses is about 0.038 x 3% = 0.00114%
Australia’s share of human produced CO2 is 1.5%.
So Australia’s share of the impact of human CO2 production on atmospheric gasses is 0.038 x 3% x 1.5% = 0.0000171%
The Greens/Gillard plan to tax CO2 is intended to increase prices and reduce production so that CO2 output is reduced by 5%.
So the anticipated change to atmospheric gas composition if this plan is successful is 0.038% x 3% x 1.5% x 5%, or 0.000000855%
Australia’s Carbon Tax will change atmospheric gas composition by less than one molecule in 100 million.
Even on the most exuberant alarmist guesses about the impact of CO2 on climate change, the impact of Australia’s Carbon Tax on climate change will be zero. Nothing.
Just to be clear, the only way a CO2 tax can reduce CO2 output is by making corporations and people change their behaviour. It does this by increasing the cost of energy so that energy usage is reduced.
Increasing the cost of energy means more expensive production and therefore reduced production. It means travel and transport are more expensive. This means everything from food to electricity to sleeping bags to tractors, will cost more.
The cost to selected major corporations is already estimated to be over $10 billion. These costs will be passed on to ordinary Australians in the form of price increases. When other companies and costs are factored in, it is likely that the total cost of the Carbon Tax will be well over $25 billion per year.
This is about $1,250 for every Australian. Or $5,000 for every household. To achieve nothing.
Again, $100 per week cost to the average household, to achieve nothing.
Human CO2 production is growing at approximately 3% per year. Australia’s CO2 output is 1.5% of the total. Even if Australia instantly stopped all CO2 output – that is, if we stopped producing anything, driving anywhere, turned off every appliance and all the lights and stopped breathing – the world would have caught up in just six months time.
An Australian Carbon Tax will have no impact on climate whatever.
The only possible reality based argument for the introduction of a carbon tax in Australia is that of leadership. For this argument to hold water, you have to believe the following things:
If even one of those points is refuted, the whole argument fails.
Four of New York’s seven worst ever recorded snow storms have occurred since 2003.
This January has been new York’s snowiest since records have been kept, breaking a record that goes back to 1925. January 26th also broke the 1871 record for the most snow to fall in one day.
Records for cold and snow are being broken across the northern hemisphere. In Korea, for example.
But that’s just weather. It doesn’t mean anything. No one could have predicted it.
Except that Piers Corbyn did. Based on science. Against the global warming establishment.
So did the Farmer’s Almanac. Based on science. Against the global warming establishment:
And it’s going to keep getting colder.
A comment I posted on Tim Blair’s blog this morning:
There are between three and four molecules of CO2 for every 10,000 particles of air.
Anthropogenic CO2 is assumed to be about 4% of that, which comes to about 14 molecules of CO2 per 1 million particles of air.
Australia’s contribution to global CO2 is assumed to be about 1.4% of the total of anthropogenic CO2.
That amounts to 0.2 molecules of CO2 for every 1 million particles of air.
If we reduce our CO2 output by 20%, destroying our transport and primary industries in the process, our contribution to global CO2 will go from 0.2 particles per million of air, to 0.16 particles per million of air.
In other words, from an indetectably tiny and insignificant amount, to a very slightly smaller insignificant amount.
And this will only cost us our competitivness in in international trade, a massively increased cost of living, and massively increased unemployment.
But, you know, feeling like we’re doing something is so important.
Go you greens!
I asked three random people (well it’s about as scientific as those polls in the Courier-Mail) some simple questions.
Do you believe the world is getting warmer as a result of human action? Two said yes, one no.
To the two who said yes: ‘What are we doing that is causing the world to get warmer?’
They both answered that we are making too much carbon dioxide, and this is trapping sunlight.
Next question: ‘If you had a box containg 10,000 air particles, how many of them would be carbon dioxide?’
One answer: Half?
The other answer: About 3,000?
My response. ‘Three.’
‘What, three thousand?’
‘You mean 300?’
‘That can’t be right.’
“Go and check it out.’
‘No that can’t be right.’
Ahh, the joyful bliss of ignorance.
Except that, in this case, and often, ignorance does not promote bliss, but uneccessary panic.
There is vastly more water vapour in the air than CO2, and water vapour is a more effective retainer of heat.
The minimal effect of that tiny amount of CO2 is simply swamped by other factors including water vapor.
The even more minimal additional amount of CO2 resulting from human activity causes so little change that it cannot even be measured.
Despite this, everywhere is getting hotter faster than everywhere else, and Mars is getting hotter fastest of all. And it’s all our fault. Except Mars.
Gol darn those irresponsible truck driving martians!
Of course, scientists keep saying we should stop panicking about climate because we can’t do anything about it anyway, and get on with solving real problems, but I still think those martians need to be taught a lesson.
© 2023 Qohel