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Which Carbon Do They Mean, Anyway?

I have to say, at the start of this piece, that I am extremely skeptical of the claims made by those who so warn us of 'Global Warming'. Part of it is their manner - I do not take kindly to being threatened or bullied, and I see a lot of that among the 'Climate Change' thugs, no matter how popular they may be in Hollywood or how well-funded their activists may be. I also do not think it is an effective manner to address the question, by declaring the debate to be over just when it really begins. If your case is solid, it can withstand questions, challenges, and doubts - telling me not to test your claim is really telling me you are a con artist.

There has been a lot of Science claimed in this debate, with a lot built on speculative projections by computers. You know, those same computers that year in and year out miss the number and scope and location of hurricanes we will see each summer, yet we're supposed to buy a century-ahead projection based on the assumptions I just noted never get tested in the first place. I could go into the technobabble, but really that does not get us anywhere since it all comes down to chroming up a Yugo to make folks forget it's a Yugo. Let's get down to simple cases, I suggest.

Pollution is a very real problem, and like a certain other problem it's obvious when you see it. If trees and grass die in the vicinity of a factory, it's pretty reasonable to wonder what sort of effect that factory is having on the kids in that neighborhood. If the water turns funny colors and gets lumpy, you could reasonably question its safety. If the air turns funny colors and gets hard to breathe, it's even more an obvious problem. There was a time when getting rid of particulates in the air, carcinogens in the water, and filtering out known poisons from the trash and by-products of a machine or building was right and needed. The advocates for the environment stood for us all then, but as I recall their chief method was to inform and debate, to encourage folks to ask questions and be skeptical. Funny how different the next generation of 'environmentalists' are about their method.

I say that because we hear a much different cry today. The air, the water, and the land are all much much cleaner in the United States and most "industrialized" nations. It sort of puts the environmentalists out of business, the way things have gone, but they found a new Bogeyman, nice and even scarier because they can - and do - claim that the whole planet is in peril, and there's no time to do anything but what they tell us. It comes down to carbon.

Carbon is an element, no more harmful than Hydrogen or Iron or Oxygen in itself. A diamond is simply compressed carbon, coal is carbon that is burned for energy use, and other types of carbon find their way into food and clothing and all sorts of uses. It's not harmful, judging by the history of the past few thousand years. There's even a nice little symbiosis between animals and plants; we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, and plants consume carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. Again, that way of things has been around for thousands of years, probably longer but unlike the ecologists I try not to claim something where we cannot really verify it.

But all of a sudden, carbon emissions are supposed to be threatening the planet. The way this is supposed to happen is kind of like cross-genus evolution, there's carbon emissions at the start, then somehow it all turns into earth-ending catastrophe. Horrible storms, droughts, floods, bad hair days, failed marriages and TV writers going on strike, it's - well- every bad dream all rolled up neatly into a packaged crisis which can only be solved by, well, mindlessly agreeing to the dictates of a few "experts" who are so smart and important that we're not even allowed to check their credentials. Sorry, but I'm one of those gotta-see-the-proof kind of guys, and from where I sit, a factory that emits carbon dioxide pretty much the same way my piehole does, is really a good thing, not a bad one.

Now, having said that, I also want to say that I try hard to be open-minded, and I am aware that Carbon can be dangerous in certain forms. Carbonic acid, Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Tetrachloride, it's certainly possible for Carbon to take a form which is dangerous to folks, but I don't see Carbon Dioxide that way, again because there's really no hard evidence to show causality.

So here's the thing, you Global Warming, Climate Change, or Gore Is God types or whatever you call yourselves this month: Present your evidence, support your position against challenges and questions, and demonstrate that your hypothesis is superior to any of the alternatives - and yes there are certainly alternative suggestions - and you could win us over. But if all you can do is make demands and refuse to support your claim, then please just go away and let the adults get back to work.



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Comments (37)

Everyone who has died has b... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

Everyone who has died has breathed/inhaled Carbon Dioxide at some time in their lives, therefore it is clearly dangerous/deadly!

That's applying the same kind of science as the global warmers, right?

Careful DJ, or you'll ruin ... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Careful DJ, or you'll ruin the efforts of the Goracle and his cohorts to make billions of dollars for themselves in trading 'carbon offsets'.

Think how third-world despots like Robert Mugabe can destroy Zimbabwe's agriculture and overall economy, yet get more billions to steal from his people by selling his 'carbon offsets' to gullible buyers. This, thanks to the Goreacle who has created a commodity literally out of thin air.

Very well put.You'... (Below threshold)
Clavius:

Very well put.

You've really hit the nail on the head. This is about grabbing power and money, nothing more.

I think Al Gore has done more to harm the cause of true environmentalism than anyone in a long time by lying in the name of his Global Warmist cause.

You don't win by lying.

The truth stands on its own.

Which is pretty much what you said.

But DJ, if they weren't all... (Below threshold)

But DJ, if they weren't allowed to threaten or bully you, they'd never get your attention -- and this is an emergency! CAN'T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT???

[/sarcasm off]

DJ, I think this is one of ... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

DJ, I think this is one of my favorite postings from you... and Amen!

How about all that carbon p... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

How about all that carbon produced by AL GORE as he and those idiots from GREENPEST(GREENPEACE)AS THEY TRAVEL ALL OVER LYING ABOUT THIS WHOLE THING AND ESPECIALY GREENPEACE AND THE GOOFY SHIP WITH THOSE SILLY SAILS ON IT

There is no science in glob... (Below threshold)
bill-tb:

There is no science in global warming, it's all a bunch of untested, who knows what, computer models. Here is my suggestion, set the initial conditions to 1980 and run the models until 2007 data comes out. Then compare the model predictions to the real world that has been.

Another test is find the CO2 global warming signature in the atmosphere. Problem with that is many have tried and it's just not there as the computer models predict it would be.

And then there is this little problem with the quality of the data that is used, the USHCN stations are a case study in what not to do.

There is no reason this whole debate cannot be open and verified, unless of course there is a reason .. Having a biased party conduct the science is disastrous and that is just what the UN IPCC is biased ... who gets the taxes?

It's really bad when you ca... (Below threshold)

It's really bad when you can't even trust a thermometer. If they have bad data, they will have bad results. The guy running this website is trying to locate every weather station in the country to compile accurate data
http://www.surfacestations.org/

DJ, were to begin?... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

DJ, were to begin?

First, the Bush administration is the bullies. It has been well documented that they have bullied, pressured and revised documentation on and by government scientists. Here is just one example:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/29/science/earth/29climate.html

To discard climate models because annual hurricane predictions are not accurate is just faulty logic on your part. The methodology between the two are different and not comparable.

If you think that pollution has been removed from the environment you're just not paying attention, and the Bush administration has done all they can to rollback laws that have protected us:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E06EEDA1E31F935A2575AC0A9639C8B63

Several states have filed suit and won against the Bush administration on environmental issues.

Carbon levels affect us in other ways. Carbon levels in the sea are rising which caused the acidity level to increase. This is a major cause of reef destruction and will lead to less productive oceans, and less sea live we can harvest.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/science/07/04/oceans.acid/index.html

The bottom-line is if we take positive action on global warming and we are wrong we have a cleaner world and we are the leaders of an emerging alternative energy industry. If we are wrong we will have to deal with serious problems such as loss of coastal areas, loss of plants and species and loss of agricultural land.

BarneyG2000:I won'... (Below threshold)
Clavius:

BarneyG2000:

I won't comment on your mentioning "bullies" but you do quote the NYT. 'Nuff said.

Positive action on global warming is OK as long as it makes economic sense. The Kyoto-style proposals will shut down the world economy and will not have a material affect on the climate. It would also entail handing the keys of the economy entirely over to the government, creating a great opportunities for liars like Al Gore to make a lot of money.

Clavious, pull your head ou... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Clavious, pull your head out of Limbaugh's ass for a second and do some research. We can move forward with or without Kyoto. Since when does incentivizing new technology mean handing over the economy to the Feds? If that is the case we should eliminate all grants and tax breaks to corporations such a the oil and mining industry.

Well done DJ. It appears o... (Below threshold)
RFA:

Well done DJ. It appears once again it's more about the power and prestige than the environment.

Barney go suck an egg.

"There is no reason this wh... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"There is no reason this whole debate cannot be open and verified, unless of course there is a reason .. "

TB bill, what do you mean no debate? There has been nothing but debate since the first Bush administration.

"Barney go suck an egg."</p... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"Barney go suck an egg."

I not sure but I think I sucked an egg out of your wife's vaginal last night.
depp=true
notiz=you're out of line buddy

Barney, for once be a leade... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

Barney, for once be a leader.
Quit exhaling.

The Greens can't debate the... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

The Greens can't debate these issues because they would have to actually show the data behind their opinions. There is little or no data to support their ideas, they want to shut down the economy and this is the latest justification to do so.
This is just a big con by socialist in Green sheeps clothing.
The IPPC got caught using fabricated data (the Hockey Stick chart) for gosh sake. That was outright fraud and yet they are supposed to be credible now ? Please ...

Simple question for the Greens ...

Since 1998 which year was warmer than 1998 ?

I'm going to start with adm... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

I'm going to start with admitting that I don't think global warming is a major issue. Any influence people have on the environment is swamped by the natural influences.

That said, I would like you to consider these data points.

Net emissions (sources and sinks)

1990 5573.2

1995 5875.6

2000 6523.6

2001 6348.0

2002 6312.7

2003 6316.0

2005 6384.4

2006 6318.9

I can't import the chart, but look at ES-15 on page 27 of 28.

It shows that we have a constantly increasing GDP, a constantly increasing population and a constantly decreasing greenhouse emissions per $GDP.

It also shows that green house gases per capita have been consistently lower under Bush than under Clinton. Even though population is increasing, less greenhouse gasses per person. You only get that with less green house gasses period when your population is growing.

Now the media bias question is why has this not been widely announced? Why is there no acknowledgement that under Bush we are seeing a growing economy producing more with less greenhouse gas emissions (per $GDP and per capita)? Why don't we hear that under Bush we are consistently seeing lower net emissions than when Clinton left office?

This is an example of the dog not barking. "Good news" is kept under wraps. If Gore had been elected in 2000, do you think that this would not have been front page news?

Think about the filter through which you are getting your news from when the press has a left leaning bias.

Barney, [quote]Cla... (Below threshold)
Clavius:

Barney,

[quote]Clavious, pull your head out of Limbaugh's ass for a second and do some research. We can move forward with or without Kyoto. Since when does incentivizing new technology mean handing over the economy to the Feds? If that is the case we should eliminate all grants and tax breaks to corporations such a the oil and mining industry.[/quote]

I'll ignore the ad hom.

Given what you say about "going without Kyoto" I'd agree. There is nothing wrong with incenting new technology. In fact, there are some very cool coal gassification technologies that can capture all unwanted gasses. We should push tons of money that way.

But things like carbon credits aren't the right idea. Nor is draconian regulation. That's what I have a problem with and that's what the fear-mongering seems to be pointed toward.

Once again, Barney comments... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Once again, Barney comments where he does not understand the fundamental issues.

The basic "research" that claimed that recent warming was unprecedented has been essentially destroyed. There are serious questions about the causality of greenhouse gases like CO2 and warming - this because there are studies which suggest that warming precedes CO2 levels by centuries in geological history.

We need to get the science to meet a higher standard of reliability before creating the enormous economic upheavals that Barney blindly and ignorantly misrepresents as being just "cleaning" up the world.

Beyond that, anyone who is advocating "doing somethign" about global warming that does not include massive building programs for nuclear power is just a kook.

The "global warming" cultis... (Below threshold)
Michael:

The "global warming" cultists are just a bunch of simpletons.

SPQR:[QUOTE]Beyond... (Below threshold)
Clavius:

SPQR:

[QUOTE]Beyond that, anyone who is advocating "doing somethign" about global warming that does not include massive building programs for nuclear power is just a kook.[/QUOTE]

Right on! Proven technology, no possible greenhouse gas (whether or not that really matters).

Michael,I prefer t... (Below threshold)
Clavius:

Michael,

I prefer the term (from Taranto)"Global Warmist."

"I have to say, at the star... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"I have to say, at the start of this piece, that I am extremely skeptical of the claims made by those who so warn us of 'Global Warming'." -- DJ Drummond

This from someone who believes that a couple thousand years ago a half-man, half-god creature would cursed fig trees for the hell of it.

"If the air turns funny colors and gets hard to breathe, it's even more an obvious problem." -- DJ Drummond

Not to SUV-loving conservatives, who love to belch filth into the air that I breathe. Nor to George W. Bush, who as governor of Texas didn't give a damn about how dirty Houston's air was.

"It also shows that green house gases per capita have been consistently lower under Bush than under Clinton." -- yetanotherjohn

Increasing price of oil had nothing to do with this, right, dude? Nor did the fact that Republicans in Congress during Clinton's presidency refused to pass legislation demanding increased fuel efficiency for cars have any bearing?

Hey Barney,Carbon ... (Below threshold)
Aaron:

Hey Barney,

Carbon increases in the ocean cannot make it more acidic as Carbon is a Base that neutralizes acids. Perhaps you've never heard of the periodic table or Tums or any other antacid.

Might I suggest stopping your ignorant posts and go study the periodic table...

This from someone... (Below threshold)
Maggie:
This from someone who believes that a couple thousand years ago a half-man, half-god creature would cursed fig trees for the hell of it.

If you're alluding to Jesus with your bashing,
what exactly does that have to do with the
topic of this thread? An excuse for you to
bash Christ, or his followers? Does that give
you a rush?

Okay, I'll bite and play th... (Below threshold)
RicardoVerde:

Okay, I'll bite and play the warmenista. Carbon dioxide is a gray gas that allows most solar irradiance to pass through, yet absorbs a selected portion of the thermal radiation from the earth's surface. It is a 'greenhouse gas'. There seems to be sufficient data to say that of the recent warming (as indicated by several different governmental agency's records) about half (0.25-0.3C) is due to the increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Further increases in CO2 will increase the temperature more.

So what? I don't care and neither should you. The present warming is not unprecedented. Using even the GISS temperature reconstruction, present warming is approximately equivalent (so far) to the warming experienced in the 1930s, at least in North America. Temperatures were most likely even warmer worldwide during the medieval warm period (wine grapes in England, Trees in Greenland Fjords). There was no widespread famine and displacement of persons. There is no reason to believe this will happen if we get a degree or so warmer.

The catastrophic conditions predicted are based upon assumed positive feedbacks introduced in computer models. There is no evidence in past warmings that these feedbacks caused runaway conditions. There is no evidence to indicate they will in the future. It's speculation. Our ecosystem, it seems to me, is heavily buffered about it existing state at least as far as increasing temperatures are concerned.

I think it's great if you can live your life and try to minimize your impact on the world around you. You are a good steward and citizen. It makes good practical sense. But convoluting your life to conform to some doomsday scenario is foolish.

We've had these debates man... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

We've had these debates many times on Wizbang and the same people post the same links to support their position, but I doubt anyone has changed their opinion, if they had one to start. Regardless of the facts, the global warming proponents have the political advantage. I've also noticed that many companies, even oil companies, have figured out ways to spin global warming into money making scams. That should scare the crap out of every environmentalist who's not so deluded as to think big business has "seen the light". Just as the environmentalists hijacked climate science, big business is now hijacking environmentalism.

"Hey Barney,Carbon... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"Hey Barney,

Carbon increases in the ocean cannot make it more acidic as Carbon is a Base that neutralizes acids. Perhaps you've never heard of the periodic table or Tums or any other antacid.

Might I suggest stopping your ignorant posts and go study the periodic table...

24. Posted by Aaron"

Aaron, maybe you have not heard about chemical reactions, nor have you heard about carbonic acid. That is a "carbon" based acid.

"Most of the carbon in seawater is in the form of HCO3-, while the concentrations of CO3-2- and dissolved CO2 are one and two orders of magnitude lower, respectively. The equilibrium reaction for CO2 chemistry in seawater that most cogently captures its behavior is

CO2 + CO32- + H2O == 2 HCO3-"
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=169

Just a quick and inconvenie... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Just a quick and inconvenient fact for Herman. Governor Bush cared about pollution in Texas, but there was a problem with the EPA's clean air data for Houston. Every year, farmers in Mexico burn off their brush and a lot of trash, and a lot of Mexican plants do the same thing, because the Mexican government does not do anything about it. That sooty cloud of pollution, several hundred miles wide, is carried north and crosses Houston. The EPA counts that as Houston's pollution, even though H-town cannot do a thing about it. Governor Bush asked the EPZ to take the Mexican source into consideration, and when the EPA said no, Bush decided the EPA was not worth his time.

As usual, you and the facts are far apart and moving away from each other.

Researcher: Basic ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:
Researcher: Basic Greenhouse Equations "Totally Wrong"

New derivation of equations governing the greenhouse effect reveals "runaway warming" impossible

Miklós Zágoni isn't just a physicist and environmental researcher. He is also a global warming activist and Hungary's most outspoken supporter of the Kyoto Protocol. Or was.

That was until he learned the details of a new theory of the greenhouse effect, one that not only gave far more accurate climate predictions here on Earth, but Mars too. The theory was developed by another Hungarian scientist, Ferenc Miskolczi, an atmospheric physicist with 30 years of experience and a former researcher with NASA's Langley Research Center.

link h/t www.QandO.net

What's the matter Aaron? Y... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

What's the matter Aaron? You don't got the balls to apologize for insulting me? I guess you ran away in shame.

Herman-"Not to ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Herman-

"Not to SUV-loving conservatives, who love to belch filth into the air that I breathe. Nor to George W. Bush, who as governor of Texas didn't give a damn about how dirty Houston's air was."

Predictably off-topic, inane, and uncreative. The Global Warming hype, by the way, has nothing to do with dirty air. It is all about the money, which is the hidden demand behind all this crap. It's about collective mind control with the use of an elusive cause.

With Herman, LaMedusa, its ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

With Herman, LaMedusa, its all about justifications - no matter how irrelevant - for his hate. That's all there is to Herman.

Amusingly, no one has told Herman that in fact greater air pollution in the form of aerosols would be a negative forcing for warming - in other words, that more real air pollution would actually reduce warming.

JPM100link h/t www... (Below threshold)
Clavius:

JPM100

link h/t www.QandO.net

Great link, thanks for the comment. I don't read Q&O too often.

And the point is great -- this is about science. In science, we learn things, and hence change our minds based on the influence of facts.

So back to DJ's original great post, if they didn't have an agenda, they wouldn't try to stop debate on it.

Barney is a real horse's ar... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

Barney is a real horse's arse, isn't he? Insulting people and then demanding they apologize. That is what fat losers do when they can not present evidence to the point of the post.

There is no evidence that shows causation between man made activities and global temperature change. Look at the raw data from the last 100 years and anyone with a decent education and intellect will see cyclical trends up and down that are not correlated to manmade events, but are somewhat correlated to solar events.

Now go back to blowing Al Gore Barney.

Jeff's question in #16 rema... (Below threshold)

Jeff's question in #16 remains unanswered: Which year since 1998 has been warmer than 1998?

It's unanswered, naturally, because the answer is "NONE!" In fact, we seem to be in a minor cooling trend since at least 2001.

AND YET, "greenhouse gas" emissions have increased every year . . . so much for the speculation about some direct correlation, eh?

The simple fact is no one really knows what factors really determine global temperature, or its trends. There certainly cannot be said to be a crisis existing, though, when the current temps are falling. None of which matters in the least to the alarmists.

They don't care whether what alarms you is true or not, so long as you are sufficiently alarmed to allow them to grab control over major parts of the economy "for the environment's sake."


They don't care wh... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
They don't care whether what alarms you is true or not, so long as you are sufficiently alarmed to allow them to grab control over major parts of the economy "for the environment's sake."

It's not just concern for the environment that moves the elite global warming proponents, it's something they call economic justice. The plan is to tax western industrialized nations and transfer that wealth to poor countries. Of course, the people in charge of this carbon tax will be some U.N. committee, and like other U.N. committees, the carbon tax committee will be both corrupt and controlled by 3 world countries. Many liberals support this goal either because they believe the fiction coming out of the IPCC (another corrupt U.N. committee), or they want to topple the U.S. as the leader of the free world, if not destroy it as a first world nation. However, the elite global warming proponents and their liberal supporters have two problems.

First, nature is not cooperating. The world temperature as measured by satellite shows the global temperature stopped warming in 2000 and declined sharply in the last 6 months. Also, scientists are starting to wake up to the fact that they are being used to give credibility to a belief system (deep environmentalism) through the use of junk science.. They are realizing that once again science is being controlled by "religion" and they are starting to speak out and rebel by publishing more and more peer reviewed studies that undermine the IPCC's position.

Second, big business is now finding ways to spin the global warming hysteria to make money. The people who run big business are far better at making money then environmentalist committees and they will find ways to suck money out of any carbon trading scheme the U.N. can devise. In the end the big international oil companies will also be the big international carbon trading companies. The rich will continue to get richer and the poor will continue to get poorer.

By interfering with cheap energy production the elite global warming proponents will create a lot more poor, cold and hungry people. Way to go dumb asses!




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