An Inconvenient Climate
Al Gore might be a nice guy. He may be absolutely sincere in his concern for the environment. Maybe it would be fun to have a beer with him and share some laughs. I don’t guess that will ever happen.
Chris Searles might be a nice guy too. He is the author here at Austin Post who frequently posts articles on climate change. I was hoping to share a beer with him at the recent AustinPost party. That didn’t happen either.
So Al and Chris have some things in common. They might be nice guys. They also believe that the debate is over, humans are causing the planet to warm, this is causing a climate crisis, and that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.
I have posted elaborate opinions on this subject at http://patdixon.org/globalwarming.html, but here are a few points to ponder:
- The debate is not over. The alleged scientific consensus continues to diminish. Throughout the global warming campaign there has been a large contingent of respected climate experts challenging the claims of Al Gore. Most recently, retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John S. Theon stated, “I appreciate the opportunity to add my name to those who disagree that global warming is man-made.” What is more interesting is that Dr. Theon was the supervisor of James Hansen, who is one of the leading proponents of the manmade global warming theory. The list keeps growing and the credibility of the proponents continues to suffer.
- The planet is not warming. There has been no perceptible warming in over a decade. Those of you that saw al Gore’s movie remember his prediction that temperatures will increase at an alarming rate. It isn’t happening. I understand that there are many things that effect climate, including the composition of the earth’s atmosphere. What has not been proven is that human activity is the dominant, or even a significant, driver in the temperature of the earth. Al Gore is wrong.
- Imagine for a moment that I was wrong. Let’s pretend that the earth is warming. Is this bad? Is it better for those who suffered through one of the toughest winters in recent history with power losses and bitter cold than to suffer through a warmer climate? What is the optimum temperature os the earth? Could it be that a warmer climate is healthier? Does it promote growth of more food? Would we have fewer fatalities on the roads? Let’s further imagine that we knew how to make the earth colder. Would we be able to really control it? Is it possible we could make the earth too cold and produce another ice age? The bottom line is that it is not at all clear that there is any crisis and it is not clear that anything the global warmers advocate will make conditions any better.
- Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. You are creating carbon dioxide right now. In our ecosystem, our conversion of oxygen and carbohydrates into carbon dioxide is critical. Without it all plant life on earth would cease, and life on this planet would cease. The carbon dioxide produced from our fuels is not a pollutant. It is being recycled from the vegetation that produced these fuels. We have approximately 60 years known reserves of petroleum, 150 years known supply of natural gas, and 210 years known supply of coal. Combustion of these fuels does produce pollutants such as carbon monoxide and NOx. There are ways if minimizing the production of these pollutants during combustion. However, the only way to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced during fuel combustion is to not use the fuels. This is most damaging to those places in the world that suffer from lack of power, infrastructure, and clean water. The developing nations need to make use of resources that are available today. A policy that takes all of these known reserves of fuels off limits on the premise that carbon dioxide is a pollutant is dubious and harmful.
My guess is that years into the future when it is obvious that the fears of global warming are unfounded, Al and Chris will move on to other more productive pursuits. Having a beer with me could be a much more productive pursuit.