As an avid lover of the outdoors (skier, biker, hiker, lawn mower, etc..), I am generally interested in not trashing either my or my neighbors’ environment. I like clean air, water and “normal” temperatures just as much as the next guy. However, when people raise the specter of my activities in engaging in what should be a totally free market that I am partially the cause of predicted catastrophic global warming I not only take notice, but take issue…
Whether it is CO2 or methane, or some other gaseous boogie-man, the whole house of catastrophic man-made global warming cards is premised upon one singular concept: man is increasing the concentration of gases (particularly CO2) into the atmosphere that in turn increase the global temperature, which ostensibly increases the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere – this implies a theoretical multiplier effect from the production of additional water vapor.
The reason an increase in water vapor is critical in the analysis is that water vapor (including cloud formations) is almost exclusively the most important aspect of the atmosphere responsible for keeping us warm enough to live on the earth. There is no disagreement in any quarter of science in this matter, it is utterly self-evident. The sun shines, it warms the ground and the air, and the higher the water vapor content the faster and warmer the air becomes. You can see this on any muggy August day when the humidity is high as not only does the ambient temperature warm dramatically during the daytime, it remains hot even after dark.
So, the theory of catastrophic man-made global warming is premised upon the idea that by increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere you get not just an effect from a higher concentration of CO2, but you get a positive feedback above and beyond, and this then becomes a vicious circle of doomsday proportions. In fact, this positive feedback loop has been “quantified” by the IPCC to be +60%. This is how they have been able to calculate predictions of global warming with a doubling of pre-industrial CO2 to over 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the science is clear and irrefutable and there is a consensus by scientists that this is the case how can it be that there are skeptics? How could any rational human not rally to the cause and do whatever is necessary to save mankind from himself? Well, this is where the story gets interesting. There is an inconvenient truth, and it is a profound inconvenience for the whole theory stated (albeit in abbreviated terms) above. And it is based not on a theoretical model of positive feedback, but rather on direct observations of what has actually happened relative to reasonably accurate measurements of the increase in CO2.
The evidence shows that, just as Al Gore misrepresented the cause and effect relation of temperature and CO2 in his now totally debunked movie, the IPCC has misrepresented the positive feedback. Oh, they got the number approximately correct, 60, but they got the sign wrong! The real relationship is actually NEGATIVE. There is no positive feedback loop, in fact it is actually a negative feedback and this is why we now have many more scientists around the world scratching their heads and jumping off the “consensus” bandwagon and becoming skeptics.
Is the climate changing? Yes. Are we responsible for it? Good question. The fact is we have an impact, we are real, and we are here. The direction and extent of what our activities here on earth contribute to climate change is not known. What we now do know is that the IPCC’s model is seriously flawed, as was Gore’s movie.
For a great primer on this, please see:
Yet, all the contortions in Congress, the presumptuous news articles all about, and all of the climate legislation that has been proffered to date and, most likely, to be resurrected again, is premised on this positive feedback theory. So, if and when you get a chance to corner your Senator or Congressman, please ask them to explain the fundamental rational behind whatever flavor of climate legislation is de jour. Pin them on this, and force them to explain the premise. Then, when they utter the positive feedback idea (if they even have that under their hat) let them have it with both barrels on the above reality…
We need cap and trade like we need a hole in the head, and your elected representative needs to know the folly of pushing it further..