Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day redux

Since we are in Earth Hour today, here are some reminders about climate change.  

  1. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant. CO2 is necessary for life on earth. Nothing would be green without it. Vegetation thrives on increased levels of CO2. CO2 amounts to approximately 0.04% [1] of the Earth’s atmosphere. Likewise, mankind’s contributions to annual atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions are tiny. 97% of the CO2 released into the air is from natural sources. Mankind is thus responsible for 3% of the 0.04% of the atmosphere that’s comprised of carbon dioxide (0.001% of the atmosphere). As a greenhouse gas, CO2 is a weak agent. The most powerful contributor to the greenhouse effect is water vapor, which is responsible for 95% of the Earth’s greenhouse effect [2].
  2. The Climate Changes. The Earth has constantly gone through periods of warming and cooling. The recent warming trend (which has now reversed – average world temperatures have been falling for the last decade) is not outside the natural variation that’s been observed in the geologic record. Mankind had nothing to do with the onset or end of any of the numerous past ice ages or warm periods.
  3. Garbage in, Garbage Out. Computer models used by UN IPCC scientists that project catastrophic global warming are based on flawed inputs. The models assume that when average global temperatures are rising, less solar radiation is escaping from the Earth’s atmosphere. A new study by MIT climate scientist Richard Lindzen, using 15 years of data collected from an orbiting satellite found that the exact opposite is true [3].
  4. Consensus. Science isn’t determined by consensus. Consensus is a mechanism of politics. We always hear that the debate is over, the science is settled and the scientific consensus is that we are facing a manmade global warming crisis. It’s a lie. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change consists of hundreds of bureaucrats and only a handful of scientists. Only 50 IPCC scientists were responsible for the reports claiming catastrophic climate change is around the corner. 54 IPCC scientists dissented, but their remarks were excluded from the reports. Over 31,000 scientists from around the world, each holding a bachelor’s or higher degree (over 9,000 PhDs) have now signed a document stating that global warming is not a serious concern [4]. There is a consensus, but it’s not what we’ve been told.

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