Guest Post: Climate change–is it a crisis? (Part 4)

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RBC I Recap: In the first three parts we discussed the makeup of our atmosphere and the climate and noted some challenges by scholars of some of the current talking points. We also gave examples of why just following the “consensus” science is not a good enough reason to accept any point of view.

Is Man responsible for at least some of the global warming? We must assume that premise is true, but the question then is — to what degree?  In certain locales, such as big cities, man is definitely responsible for some of the climate since more people in a given area means more water is being used, and therefore more evaporation is taking place, which means in that area the humidity may make that area seem warmer. Given the fact, though, that much of this planet remains uninhabited, it doesn’t make sense that those cities are affecting vast portions of the globe. When volcanoes erupt, the CO2 and other aerosols such as SO2 (sulfuric acid) they emit can have a big impact on the earth’s climate. Depending upon the type of volcano, the emissions can have either a warming or a cooling effect. (1) Some volcanoes spew their emissions over five miles high, which will affect large portions of the globe. Just over 200 years ago Mt. Tambora  in Indonesia erupted measuring a 7 on the Volcanic Eruption Index (VEI). This was equivalent to 800 megatons of TNT.(2) All the sulphur dioxide that was shot up into the stratosphere caused a global drop in temperature of about 1˚C in just one year and resulted in 1816 being called the year without a summer. (3)

I remember when Mt. St. Helens erupted (VEI-5) in the state of Washington back in 1981. We were living in Denver, more than 1,000 miles away, at the time, and our car would get an ash dusting any time it was parked for more than a couple of hours. That lasted several days. In 1991, Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted so violently that the ash cloud rose 22 miles into the stratosphere. (4) This caused the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica to expand and caused a .5˚C cooling effect on the earth.(5)

According to the advocates of climate change as a crisis, the pollution from the volcanoes we see today do not equal the emissions from human activity, but other scientists say the ozone depletion that is caused by volcanoes like this are not being considered in that equation. (6) Of course we cannot blame volcanoes and other natural disasters for all the climate change we experience, but neither can we leave that aspect out of the picture.

In California they seem to think cows contribute too much methane and want farmers to control that. (7) While the farmers could all move to another country, like China, where there are no such concerns, and no one, not even Ms. Thunberg or others proclaiming this fear, to my knowledge, is visiting that country to make their case about climate change. While methane isn’t CO2, it does eventually become CO2. During its short life as methane, apparently it does hold in heat. These components of our atmosphere that are called greenhouse gasses are very small portion of those gasses, comprising less than 0.1% of our total atmosphere, while H2O varies between 0-4% of the total atmosphere. (8) Yet it seems that those promoting this issue think all the small greenhouse gases need to be eliminated, especially CO2. How do they expect plants to grow if you aren’t willing to feed them the CO2 they need? (A little side note regarding another crisis of manure — according to Eric Morris, a PhD student studying transportation, back in the late 19th century, many were concerned about the amount of horse poop in the cities. He wrote a paper titled “Horse Power to Horse Power” citing the following historical information. Before the invention of the combustion engine using gasoline, and the primary mode of transportation was by horses, it was getting harder and harder for city workers to keep up with the required manure removal. In 1884 the London Times predicted that by 1950 horse the manure in the streets of London would be piled 9 feet high. Another prognosticator from New York predicted that by the 1930s, the manure would reach up to the windows on the third floor of the buildings in Manhattan. I, for one, am very glad that we not only don’t have to put up the stench of that prediction, we also don’t have the diseases caused by breathing in those aerosols, which, when concentrated, can be toxic. (9)

Considering the fact that we have never in recorded history ever seen the climate remain constant, should we really be fearful to the point of alarmism that we will all die as a result of climate change? As Dr. Soon would ask, shouldn’t we consider the sun and other natural events into the equation rather than just assuming man is entirely responsible for any and all climate change? The fact that as we’ve grown in population and grown in industrialization, means we are no longer the agricultural society of two centuries ago. Thanks to innovation, we are using cleaner methods of heating our homes — natural gas (NG), coal and oil vs. wood or dung. Yes, some use electricity, but much of that is also produced by NG, coal and oil, and we also know that those worried about the environment don’t want anymore dams built to provide hydroelectric power. Even the “clean” energy produced by wind and other sources requires fossil fuel — both for operation and to manufacture them. (10) Of course, there are other problems with windmills as well. (11) 

Footnotes:

https://scied.ucar.edu/shortcontent/how-volcanoes-influence-climate

https://www.wowshack.com/12-facts-1815-eruption-tambora-will-blow-mind/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RleDV5tzIZo

https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/1997/fs113-97/w

https://www.thoughtco.com/mount-pinatubo-eruption-1434951

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAnacf4eboQ

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/california-adopts-strict-rules-for-methane-emissions/

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

“Horse Power to Horse Power” https://www.accessmagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2016/07/Access-30-02-Horse-Power.pdf

https://www.wind-watch.org/documents/windmills-increase-fossil-fuel-consumption-and-co2-emissions/

http://www.aweo.org/windbackup.html

EDITOR’S NOTE: We inadvertently switched Ms. Hemmerich’s Part 3 and Part 4 of her series.

 

By LEONA HEMMERICH | Special to the Herald Times