Global Warming, Global Cooling, Global Unimportance

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greenhouse_gasesIs the world warming, cooling or does it matter? Most of us will say it matters, a lot, at least in public anyway. And especially if you are hoping to pay rent or retire one day with a career based around the belief that Amsterdam, New York and Dubai will no longer exist unless we cut greenhouse gases and stop the icecaps from melting. But what has happened now that the earth cooled over the past year? Not to mention former NASA Chief Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson’s claim last year that now that she is “no longer affiliated with any organization nor receive any funding” that she can publicly say that she “remains skeptical.” Recently the name was changed from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’ – what is really going on? Or does it matter?

This blog, by the way, is not about proving or disproving global warming, global cooling, or that the earth’s warming and cooling cycles over the past 6 ice ages really were the fault of mankind. This is about the fact that it does not matter what is happening with temperatures but that reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and energy use and creating renewable energy makes complete sense even without climate change political debates.

Republican, democrat, socialist or communist, the following 3 ideas fwindor cutting greenhouse gases without relevance to climate change are hard to argue, but if you can I welcome you to comment below:

  1. Releasing black substances that cause cancer into the air in which we breath is not healthy. As if it weren’t obvious enough, the EPA finds greenhouse gases pose a danger to health. That’s for any skeptics out there that think that ‘the solution to pollution is dilution’ and that puffing on a tailpipe is good for your skin. No reference to climate change here.
  2. It costs money to put these black cancerous gases into the atmosphere. It is our extreme use of carbon based fuels, oil and coal, for transportation and electricity that our money is going to instead of being used for health care, education, infrastructure and your dividend payout. Who can argue that energy efficient policy and using energy efficient products, therefore, reduces the amount of these black gases that enter the atmosphere while basically paying you to do it. More legitimate reasons with no reference to climate change.
  3. Politically and financially we cannot afford to continue to use finite sources of fossil based fuels, that create greenhouse gases, to power our lives. Some believe it is the left’s fear factors that say the earth is runreceeding-oil-discoveryning out of oil to push their agenda. Even if true, definitely not the whole picture by any means. Briefly, China and India’s population and need for energy is skyrocketing while oil discovery is steadily declining (left). Therefore the most simple supply/demand curve from your first economics class will explain what that means for our future cost of energy. Renewable energy that does not create pollution nor depend on other nation’s economies and that does not put gases into the air solves more than one problem without the mention of climate change.

Simple enough? So depending on your argument there is a way to curb climate change for some, put money in the pockets of others and finally if neither of those are your flavor, how about not breathing poisonous gases? By using common sense and not trying to pinpoint who is right and wrong, we can appease the masses in one way or another by decreasing energy use and turning to renewable sources of energy. If you are able to think of it, what is a way to argue climate change that does not touch on the topics of health, immediate financial benefits or protecting us from the future cost of energy?

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17 Comments

  1. Chips Guevara on

    Cheers to you Peyton for putting things into context! Yes, Global warming is a theory, which may be right or wrong. Nevertheless, it is painfully obvious that there is something going on with our environment and with our climate. Hurricane Katrina, and the 4 hurricanes sequential that hit the US; Unprecedented snow in China, South African, and California; Unprecedented flooding in India, Indonesia, Colombia, Yorkshire and Oxford UK; what ever label is placed on it (Global warming, pollution, or otherwise), there is something terrible that is affecting our climate.

    There is a need for renewable sources of energy, and petroleum will become obsolete whether by legislation or naturally. We need cleaner sources of energy for sure. If the Kyoto Protocol and similar carbon reducing mechanisms will create opportunities for such alternative sources of energy, even if the basis of which is the “Global Warming Theory”, then it should be done.

  2. John Thomson on

    A recent Rasmussen poll finds just 34% of Americans believe humans are responsible for climate change, while 48% attribute the phenomenon to planetary issues. Interestingly, a separate Rasmussen study found that 70% claim to recycle their waste. [Rasmussen's polling service is generally considered to be among the most professional the country.]

    The foregoing suggests two important points:

    1] Right or wrong, the massive effort to “sell” global warming has been as great a failure as the effort to convince Americans we were in for global cooling some 20 years ago.

    2] A solid majority of Americans want to do the right thing, environmentally. We should welcome the shift from what might be called the inconvenient mistake of terming recent climate issues as “global warming” and referring to them declaratively as “climate change”.

    If we are really serious about effecting environmental change, we should mount a comprehensive campaign against pollution and for its remediation and eventual elimination. Pollution in all its forms is something most Americans can see and feel; it affects their senses and their health, and they know it. Such a campaign should be waged at every level, against every form of pollution.

    That is, government should provide significant tax incentives to industry to reduce polluting emissions of all types; waste centers should be established in virtually every city and town. Citizens should be urged to participate actively: first, disposing of all waste by type and securely; additionally, reporting to civic authorities pollution wherever encountered, whether it be an effluent emitting factory, a broken sewage conduit, a contaminated pond … anything identifiable as a pollutant or a polluting action.

    An umbrella awareness campaign should be mounted: “Pollution: Everybody’s Problem, Everyone’s Opportunity”. Properly developed, it could make the difference between perhaps 60-70% participation and nearly universal involvement.

    Americans do not have to be made to feel guilty or frightened; pressure groups do not have to — inferentially or otherwise — pit citizens against business. In fact, instead of achieving the purported goal, such tactics probably cause more people to react negatively than positively.

    State the pollution case; point the way to its remediation and elimination; inform people about what can be done at every level of society: that will get the job done — effectively and at a fraction of the doomsayers’ vaunted cost claims.

  3. What is wrong with the opportunities posed by the carbon market? What ever the effects are, there will be some effects (hopefully not irreversible) to unbalancing our atmosphere with CO2.

    It stems deforestation, captures methane from landfills, and provides heavy polluters (regardless of how you feel about CO2) like coal a tax for using our common good (granted, for our benefit!). If the prices are higher… great, lets make do with less by creating the same or more stuff more efficiently than before.

  4. Yes, many people do not believe in climate change, especially Americans. That is why leaving out the climate change debate and concentrating on more solid facts will get the pro- and anti- climate change believers to the same point…reducing CO2 while doing things that make financial sense.

    Recycling is part of the life-cycle of products which manufacturers are beginning to address, we just need policy to enforce it, as we need policy to enforce cutting greenhouse gases. “Cradle to cradle” instead of “cradle to grave”…by producing biodegradable packaging and easier steps to integrate products into a second life, landfill growth and mountains of useless toxic computer parts in Africa should greatly reduce – but will all manufacturers and individuals work toward this goal without financial incentives/punishments?

    The bottom line is that we’re spending too many resources debating climate change when the answer to the majority of our issues can be found by working on the same goal but with different points of view. You do it to reverse the damage we have caused the earth, I’ll do it in order to spend less $$ on energy and we will all get off fossil fuels to keep from paying $4/gallon this August.

  5. Earth Day should be changed to Human Progress Day. The environmentalist gestapo cares less about mother earth than they do about imposing arbitrary regulations and taxes upon human progress. Take a look at the EPA website or browse through the Clean Air Act. Or watch on Google Video “Global Warming or Global Governance?” The melting of the ice caps is nothing new. It’s just how the earth recycles water. We learned about it in grade school. But now suddenly the polar caps are growing and Al Gore’s infamous hockey stick is nowhere to be found. If temperatures rise a couple of degrees, who cares? I’m sure people living in Siberia will hardly notice. CO2 is necessary for plants to grow. And natural factors are more responsible for climate changes. Climatologists are not scientists any more than the weathermen doing predictions on the local news.

  6. Another comment from LinkedIn, by Bob R.:

    The first intelligent comment I’ve heard in a while. Apocalytic voices generally have a self-intersted agenda, and not usually an agenda others will find agreeable. Much better to let the scientists figure out what’s going on and not make sweeping conclusions until it is done. Shouldn’t take too many more years for this to happen. The earth will neither heat up or cool down in the interim more than the standard deviation and we have all endured that numerous times. There are more compelling and proven reasons to switch to green energy and Peyton has admirably outlined such.

  7. Climate change is only an issue directed at human beings as the planet’s natural ecosystems will continue to evolve and modify its inhabitants over the millennia’s. Lets not kid ourselves, homo sapiens greatest challenge is how our burgeoning population can live with diminishing global resources. I visited Beijing in ’95 and worked with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and their modelling suggested that a future global society would need “ten planet earths” worth of resources to match population growth. We can live with climate variations but need fundamental resources such as food, warmth and water. Its time to wake up from the over-consumption of globalisation and start to value our own local resources and wastes.

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  8. The idea that we are running out of resources is absurd. The water is cleaner and the air is cleaner today than it was 30 years ago. The alarmists were making the same absurd predictions when Paul Ehrlich came out with The Population Bomb. Julian Simon made a bet with the environmentalist hack on commodity prices and guess who won the bet? Now go back to sleep the government will take good care of the enviroment just like they did in Soviet Russia and Eastern Europe.

  9. I am not a scientist nor do I make claims based on figures

    I do know that in a (pretty much) closed environment as we live in, we should maintain balance unless we have a death wish.

    So if some scientists claim that things go a bit out of balance in a world where we are with more people than ever before, do you really think continuing our fairly wasteful behaviour is the best way forward?

    Or would it maybe be good to be a bit more considerate and make some small changes to our daily life and try to leave the world in the same way (or better) as you found it when you arrived. Call it sustainability or whatever, lets be nice for whoever follows us on this planet.

    Yes, maybe water and air cleaned up in your area, why did it? Is it really because you drive a bigger car, or bought your 10th couch? Think.

    Not to worry, nature will actually recover from any disaster (man-made or natural). Species come and go, but do you want to be responsible if nature recovers without your children?

    Do not stick your head in the sand, we have….

    Only One Earth

  10. Hugo Bloemers on

    Agree with using finite resources wisely. Agree with seeking to reduce harmfull emissions. But a blanket “green hose gasses cause cancer” is a waste of time, CO2 for example is a building block of life, and not a toxin. So is H20, and also H2O is a green house gas.

    What is the implication: Lets all do away with water??? Sounds absurd, but it is only an extreme extrapolation of the way of thinking of climate alarmists.

  11. You have it all backwards. What you call “wasteful behavior” is really human progress and what I call “wasteful behavior” is wasting time and money on things like recycling, solar, wind, etc or whatever. There is no personal profit in any of these activities and all you are doing is satisfying the whims of government do-gooders and conceited environmentalists.

  12. Points well taken. First of all, pulling it all back to context which is saying that we can leave climate change out of the picture all together, focus only on economics and health and come to the same point as if we were making change only to save mother earth.

    Lets say OPEC and the worldwide controllers of oil are in a conspiracy, that they are sitting on trillions of barrels of oil and only telling us we are running out of natural resources to regulate prices. What part of that scenario do you want to keep playing? Getting away from this and toward an energy future not controlled by 0.0001%, if that, of earth’s population sounds fairly attractive. If we are running out, well, that’s a no brainer.

    If the earth and water are cleaner than they were 30 years ago, what about 60 years before that? I have not accumulated references but I would say that a lot of action has been taken since 1980 to regulate companies who pollute heavily. Agreed the earth takes care of itself and goes through cycles, however taken to the context as if we allow all the sharks in the ocean to be harvested for fins, earth isn’t going to just take care of it. We have to be responsible to some extent for the entire system…some are more visible than others. Letting the government just take care of it is narrow sighted and it all points back to us as individuals. Whose tax dollars go toward governments ‘just taking care of it’ instead of investing in education and providing infrastructure?

    Finally, greenhouse gases of course are a building block of life. Vitamin C is also good for you but too much of it causes illness. So does sitting in a running car in a garage with the windows rolled down. Too much of a good thing. Why did the Beijing Olympics require the city to cut car use just before the games so that runners could run? Pollution doesn’t sound healthy.

  13. Well lets wait till here in Asia we are all up to the same standard of living as the US population.

    And on another note, a lot of the polluting for products you use has been done here in Asia, so yes, water around you might have become cleaner. In China, the ground water of over 40% of the cities can not be used as source for drinking water. Lovely eh?

    So please continue thinking this way, hope the rest of the world is as wrong as me :)

  14. Propoganda. Yeah that’s what my wife says. Pollution in China is all the US’ fault. Lots of countries have problems with their tap water. You never hear of private bottled water company having an undrinkable product and it’s always the government water agency that has this problem. So it has nothing to do with so-called pollutants that I use and it has everything to do with centralized planning of water. In the US, we have a filter on our fridge so we don’t have to swallow flouride, chlorine, lead or whatever else they put in there. Filter costs $50 at Sears. Chinese people boil their water so that way it’s safer to drink. Socialism has failed every single time it has been tried throughout human history. That’s why China has a pollution problem and that’s why our economy sucks so bad right now. Too many regulations, taxes and fiat currency. We are straying from the whole framework of property rights and free choice in favor of the arbitrary costly regulatory approach. You want to see blantant waste? Take a look at how government officials in Australia mismanage water. Why aren’t the environmentalists aghast over this? http://mises.org/story/3338 Human progress comes from savings, production and entrepreneurship. It has nothing to do with imposing green lifestyle on other people or forcing them to pay carbon taxes or to obey the Clean Air Act. The communists’ economies collapsed in the early Nineties so now the Mikhail Garbachevs and the Al Gores of the world are trying to impose their weird collectivist agenda under the green banner by using chicken little mass hysteria. Why should we listen to them demanding a sacrafice to our lives?

  15. Global warming will continue to go up and up. Eventually, the whole planet will like when boiling clay in a pot. There is hope for those that want to overcome. A free gift for humanity is available. No group to join, no money required. Any human being, regardless of color, religion, political or religious position has the potential within. Please ask for a free book at: http://www.hercolubus.tv. It has the practices to prepare yourself for what is coming. No one can do the job for you. You and you alone can prepare for what is already happening: Floods, Earthquakes, Global Warming, Pandemics, World Wars etc.

  16. We must reevaluate science of Global Warming (GW).

    Ideas that green house gases (GHG) trapped infra red (IR) radiation are correct, but properties of water are playing more important role in GW. They actually cool the air.

    We need 539 kcal to evaporate one kg of water, to heat one kg of water on 1º C we need only 1 kcal of energy. It takes 80 kcal of heat to melt 1kg of ice under normal pressure and 0º C.

    Molecular mass of N2 = 28, of O2 = 32, of CO2 =44, of H2O = 18. It mean that water vapor is lighter than most gases in air. As lighter gas it has tendency to go up to cloud level and above.

    Water vapor is invisible gas, what we see in air it is water DROPLETS in form of fog, clouds and particles which mostly responsible for visibility.

    Water vapors also GHG and trapped IR radiation and therefore also heats the air.

    In air we always have some droplets of water, energy of molecule, with trapped IR radiation if it will collide with water droplet will evaporate at least one molecule of water from that droplets and this process will cool the air.

    Wind always evaporates partially water droplets and this process also cools the air.

    What more important that huge amount of water vapor on clouds level condensed to water droplets and released the same energy as they take in process of evaporation. We have only one differences-energy released on 2-7 miles close to space, where IR radiation of condensation will more easily escape to space.

    Clouds, which reflect back to space direct sun radiation, also cool the earth.

    Everyone must have health insurance. 100% of employment is only one way to achieve this goal.

    Globalization is reality, nobody could stop it and it is good. Today is Independence Day and we could start our direction to be energy independent. This direction could provide us with 100% of employment despite many jobs went to others countries.

    In huge power plants we are using only electricity. 80% of fuel energy we are loosing in vain.

    If we will start new policy to build relatively small plant to use as electricity, as heat our need for energy will reduce at least 4 times. Wood in this case will provide more useful energy than oil products. All GHG from oven could be solved in water to watering forests surrounding these power plants. Together with ash it will be the best nutrition to grow forests.

    If we will achieve not so difficult task to harvest 5 dry ton/acre/year of wood we need 300,000,000 acres of forest to feed all projected energy needs in 2010 year.

    When one person with weight around 200 Lb. is moving to job and back on car weighting around 2000 Lb., real efficiency of movement of person will be less than 1% (calculate efficiency of engine, gasoline production, stops on the road, heating or cooling etc).

    We can’t gather all GHG from millions of cars. Only electrical power without any batteries could provide as economically as environmentally friendly movement.

    Small carts (20 Lb.) moving by road, absolutely automatically on road without intersection must to be direction of our transportation future.

    It will be energy and transportation solutions with ZERO EMISSIONS, 100% of employment and insurance.

    Sun is only one nuclear power plant, which will work for millions years and mankind no need to worry about its waste, or proliferation, or others form of disasters. Energy from sun is more than enough for earth population. Growing trees as source of energy is the cheapest way to produce energy compare with others today solutions.

    Without any doubt it will be as environmentally as production friendly direction.

    Trees will work as huge pumps to evaporate water-using energy of sun. Water vapors as lightest than most others gases will go up to clouds levels, where latent heat capacity of producing droplet of water will easily escapes to space. This is natural source of cooling the Earth surfaces. More clouds will reflect to space more sun energy and additionally cool the Earth.

    North America is only one huge land from France to Japan. Cooling air with help of forests in places where we growing corn or grass for ethanol production all around USA, Canada and Mexico will mild climate in North America. It will reduce power of weather disaster and more important reduce movement of air from south to north-main reason of melting ice in Greenland.

    It is more easy to move millions tons of water, to watering these forests, than millions tons of cars and people, what we did because of hurricane Gustav, or Katrina. Insurance Companies will willingly pay for systems to relocate water from flooding areas, especially if Government will create law of mandatory insurance for weather disasters in flooding areas.

    We can start pump water right now and also create job possibilities for workers.

    Scientist and engineers have their parts of job to decide economically cheaper way to move this water, to found places for new forests, to create best systems of watering.

    We will create source of energy to power plants-wood energy-the cheapest and closest to consumer source of future energy.

    If we will build small power plants to use not only electricity, but also heat we will use almost 100% of energy of the wood, not 20%. That means we will need to use three- four times less energy sources.

    Of course we need time to build these small power plants, but we can grow trees as fuel for these plants right now all across USA. They will start evaporate water immediately.

    We can start working on project to relocate water from flooding areas to areas with drought possibilities right now.

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