OPINION: Climate change–is it a crisis? (Part 1)

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RBC I While there are a growing number of people proclaiming the warning that climate change will destroy the earth, it seems to me we need to look at both sides of this issue — something the mainstream media has failed to do. While I commend the young Greta Thunberg for wanting to be involved in world politics, we must remember she is simply making an emotional case for what she has been taught in schools and learned from her parents and the media. The fact that she addressed the United Nations does not mean her statements were backed by sound science. No one disagrees that the climate is changing and always has been changing ever since the world began. The questions are:

What are the causes? Is the issue overblown? What about the consensus?

Is there only a single cause that can be identified? Is it a threat?

Can we really prevent it? Just what can we do about it?

Many today firmly believe that global climate change is occurring because of what man is doing. Back in the ‘70s the cry was that the world was cooling, at least that’s the way the media spun the story. Then global warming became the mantra. People of notoriety like Al Gore championed the idea as they flew around the country in their private jets telling everyone else to stop polluting the atmosphere. Now the catch phrase is: “CO2 emissions are getting so high we will all die.” How do we know? Consensus science tells us so.

Let’s break that down. We all know the world was much colder in past years — even in recorded history. There is plenty of evidence that the Ice Age created the Great Lakes in this country as well as carving out other canyons as glaciers covered a good portion of the globe. No one argues with that, but most would say that nothing like that has happened since recorded history. My question here is, how many of those who would say that, have actually read much of recorded history? According to those promoting the coming climate catastrophe, temperatures have remained rather constant until the past 50 years or so (depending upon who’s drawing the chart.) Dr. Willie Soon, an astrophysicist, geoscientist and researcher at the Solar and Stellar Physics Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and others have shown that the “hockey stick chart,” as they call it, ignores the “Medieval Warm Period” and the “Little Ice Age” which occurred between 800-1500 AD. (1) If you Google Little Ice Age, even Wikipedia has a brief discussion about it. (2)

We are also told that polar bears are nearing demise due to climate change. Supposedly they are losing their habitat. (3) But are they? A number of articles can be found that completely refute that idea. Not only are the polar bears not disappearing, according to papers written in 2016/2017, their population is on the rise. (4) It is entirely possible that climate change has nothing to do with the polar bear population, but rather other factors such as hunting and lack thereof that may have played a bigger role in this picture.

One of the reasons we’re told climate change is a threat is that we have more forest fires from the extra hot temperatures than we’ve ever seen before. This extrapolation is easily refuted by Dr. Soon and others who point out that the charts used to promote that hypothesis start with the year 1960. When you look at the graphs on hot days and forest fires that start with the year 1926, you can see that the number of hot days recorded was far greater in the mid-1930s than anything we’ve ever seen. There were also more forest fires during those years than what we see today. (5) By way of reference, that was also coincided with the Great Dust Bowl in the mid-west. Keep in mind that while we did have greater factory pollution in its early days, automobiles were not at all ubiquitous like they are today, nor was there a lot of air travel. Certainly industrialization was not as widespread worldwide as it is today. The population then — just over 2 billion — was about 1/4 of what it is today, (6) and the population of the United States was only around 130 million compared to the roughly 330 million today. (7) Therefore, since people cannot be blamed for the hot temperatures in the1930s, why is humanity to blame today when it was worse then?

We are told the world will end, and we will all die if we don’t stop the increase of CO2. If CO2 continues to increase, we are told, the ice caps will melt and the oceans will flood the lowlands of the earth. CO2 is being blamed as the big greenhouse gas that will kill all of us, but is that true? Dr. Soon will tell you that as opposed to causing global warming, he sees it as following global warming. (8) So just what is a greenhouse gas and how much of the atmosphere is occupied by greenhouse gasses? The North Carolina Climate Office defines it this way. “The atmosphere is composed of a mix of several different gases in differing amounts.  The permanent gases whose percentages do not change from day to day are nitrogen, oxygen and argon.  Nitrogen accounts for 78% of the atmosphere, oxygen 21% and argon 0.9%.  Gases like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, methane, and ozone are trace gases that account for about a tenth of one percent of the atmosphere.  Water vapor is unique in that its concentration varies from 0-4% of the atmosphere depending on where you are and what time of the day it is.  In the cold, dry arctic regions water vapor usually accounts for less than 1% of the atmosphere, while in humid, tropical regions water vapor can account for almost 4% of the atmosphere.  Water vapor content is very important in predicting weather.”(9) To make that a little easier to understand, let’s look at the amount of impact CO2 has on the whole. Our atmosphere as a whole is fairly stable, while the Greenhouse gasses are all variable. All greenhouse gasses except water vapor only account for less than one-tenth of one percent (0.0009). Let’s take a stack of 100 pennies and pull one out. Then cut that one penny into 10 pieces and pull one piece out. Next cut a 10th off that little piece and what remains will show you what an extremely small part of the total atmosphere is composed of the smaller greenhouse gasses. Keep in mind that CO2 is less than half (0.0004) of that part of a penny. All the other greenhouse gasses noted above are in that little part of the penny as well.

Dr. Soon and others insist that water vapor (H2O), which makes up most of the earth’s greenhouse gasses, has far more effect on the climate than CO2. (10) Plus, there are other aerosols and pollutants in the air that are not considered into the equation.

Footnotes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zrejG-WI3U

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Greenland

https://polarbearsinternational.org/research/research-qa/are-polar-bear-populations-increasing-in-fact-booming/

https://canadafreepress.com/article/polar-bears-doing-quite-well

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zrejG-WI3U

https://www.thoughtco.com/current-world-population-1435270

https://www.thoughtco.com/us-population-through-history-1435268

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zrejG-WI3U

https://climate.ncsu.edu/edu/Composition

https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience/climatesciencenarratives/its-water-vapor-not-the-co2.html

 

By LEONA HEMMERICH
Special to the Herald Times

6 Comments

  1. Once again an ignorant Global Warming Denier fabricates what “Consensus science tells us”. One of these days (hopefully) GWDs might actually read an IPCC assessment report to learn what is really happening – and why.

  2. But the most important point is that whatever happened in the past is really irrelevant. Polar bear habitat is disappearing due to global warming. Even the most careful on-the-ground management doesn’t matter if polar bears don’t have the required habitat.

    Polar bears depend on the sea ice surface to efficiently catch their seal prey. A shorter duration of ice cover over their productive hunting areas means less opportunity to hunt. A reduction in sea ice has been statistically linked to reduced stature and weight in polar bears and to lower survival rates of cubs. So, it doesn’t really matter that hunting is now largely under control or that we know a lot about other impacts people might have on bears. Without habitat, polar bears will disappear no matter what else we do. If a farmer has 100 cows out in a pasture, and every year he goes out and paves over some of his pasture, pretty soon he won’t have enough habitat to support 100 cows. And, each time he paves over a little more land, his remaining land will hold fewer cattle. There may be some short-term enhancements of the remaining habitat that will forestall the inevitable. But, when his whole pasture is paved there will be no cows! Declining habitat now and the assurance it will decline in the future is why polar bears were listed as a threatened species. Discussions about how many bears may have lived in the past before and after hunting quotas have no bearing on this new situation.

  3. The great climate change agenda is the perfect hoax. Unlike pollution issues which can identify problems with real world possible quantifiable actions and results the “climate change” narrative is driven by those who want to abolish fossil fuels but are aware that is unrealistic so they create a false narrative to support their agenda. Think about it. We are being told that if we just throw obscene amounts of money at organizations they will somehow be able to “prove” the dangers of climate change with no expectation of realistic action to change the weather or weather patterns which is pretty much what climate change is all about. The supporters of this agenda want increased “taxes” on “carbon emissions” but where is that money supposed to go and what difference is the special interest groups anticipating the windfall really going to make except the enrichment of themselves and their programs. No plans, no measurable results but plenty of emotional hand wringing and screaming at the sky. It is the perfect con because no one expects accountability for a nebulous situation of constantly changing global weather patterns as long as they can churn out the feel good rhetoric about making a difference while happily skipping through the rain all the way to the bank.

  4. I have a very good rebuttal to Ms Hemmerich, which the newspaper says they can’t publish since I’m not local and which the commenting system rejects as spam. (It’s anything but spam.)

    Alas.

  5. My new career

    I’ve grown gardens. But I just found out I could have been a farmer all this time! Democrat Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said all you have to do is put a seed in dirt and give it water. And he’s a billionaire, so he must know.

    I thought that being a successful farmer meant you had to know a lot about irrigating, planting and harvesting at the right time, keeping the soil healthy, developing a sixth-sense about weather, learning to keep machinery running (often with baling wire), risking your time and money on something weather could destroy, learning how to control insects and diseases, working long, back-breaking hours and more. I never knew you could just put a seed in dirt, give it some water, and watch the corn come up!

    But that’s okay. I’ m coming out of retirement to be a machinist. Bloomberg said that all you have to do is get a piece of metal and start the lathe turning. I can do that! Want a new crankshaft? Just give me a call!

    Bruce Many, Eckert, CO

  6. Dear Herald Times,

    Unfortunately, Leona Hemmerich conveys a great many climate myths in her Feb. 16th essay “Climate change–is it a crisis? (Part 1).” Notably, she references very few scientific studies, almost as if they don’t exist.

    First, there was certainly no agreement on global cooling in the 1970s[1]. It was a time before satellites, so scientists had little global data to work with. But President Lyndon Johnson received an environmental report in 1965 whose last chapter was about global warming from atmospheric carbon dioxide[2]. That was the same year Frank Ikard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, said at the 1965 American Petroleum Institute’s annual meeting, “Carbon dioxide is being added to atmosphere by the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas at such a rate that by 2000 the heat balance will be so modified as possibly to cause marked changes in climate beyond local or national efforts.”[3] Los Alamos physicist Edward Teller warned about CO2-warming in 1959. Svante Arrhenius, a Nobel Laureate, did so in 1896. Etc.

    Next, no scientist has ever said “we will all die,” which is why Hemmerich didn’t quote a scientist who said that.

    Mann et al’s hockey stick did not ignore the Medieval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age – it found there was no evidence to support their existence. They were regional phenomenon, not global. Studies since have confirmed this finding, as well as the correctness of the hockey stick[4,5].

    Of course there were more forest fires before 1960. It was a time before fire fighters made all-out efforts to suppress fires. Comparing 1920s and 1930s fire seasons to the present is simply impossible, and very misleading.

    About the 1930s: it was an extraordinary few years in the continental Unites States (but not the globe; remember, the continental US is less than 2 percent of the globe’s area), with extraordinary warming of, mostly, a natural origin. Such natural fluctuations happen, and this was a large, albeit geographically limited one. But even then the effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide was 1/4th of today’s value.

    It’s certainly true, as Hemmerich writes, that water vapor is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. BUT, the amount of water vapor in the air cannot increase until the air’s temperature first increases. But carbon dioxide keeps building up regardless of the temperature. Carbon dioxide is what initially heats up the planet, and then water vapor increases – by about 7 percent per degree Celsius of warming. That additional water vapor[6] then causes even more warming, and so on, a positive feedback.

    Scientists say that water vapor is a “condensable” gas – any increase quickly rains out of a stable atmosphere – while carbon dioxide is a noncondensible gas, as are methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and the other manmade, greenhouse, heat trapping gases.

    I could go on, but I think the point is made: scientists have spent a century providing evidence for manmade warming. At this point it’s silly to deny that – we should instead spend out time talking about what we should do about it.

    Sincerely,

    David Appell
    Keizer, Oregon

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  1. Climate change–is it a crisis? (Part 1) | Rio Blanco Herald Times - Climate Change News
  2. OPINION—Guest Post: Climate change–is it a crisis? (Part 2) | Rio Blanco Herald Times | Serving Meeker, Rangely, Dinosaur & Northwest Colorado
  3. OPINION—Guest Post: Climate change is not a matter of 'belief' | Rio Blanco Herald Times | Serving Meeker, Rangely, Dinosaur & Northwest Colorado

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