Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Fact vs Fiction - A "politically Incorrect View" - Ironic? I think so...

Goodness me i just realised i have previously tried to explain my views of global warming on my blog, but did a rather dreadful job of it. Then i thought, just now, 'Ha i have a great piece of writing on just that that i did for English recently!' And so, here is my A grade piece on global warming. (not to boast or anything . . .) You'll be pleased to know, as an aside, that i believe all this blog writing has helped me in my already stronger form of writing: the opinionated piece. Much easier do i find it to compile a piece containing my opinions and beliefs than craft a good creative story.

Fact Vs Fiction - What Will We Risk Our Economy On?
Recent years have shown the development and climax of a Great Fear over the problem of global warming, carbon levels in the atmosphere and climate change. Already world and regional summits have been held and world leaders have promised to spend time and money on cutting national carbon emissions, while the individual tries to do their bit by planting a tomato plant or cycling ten minutes to work. And it’s all due to the environmental frenzy sweeping the world to become the greatest, most useful fad.
Sorry, did I say useful?
I do not by any means claim to possess All Knowledge attached to the subject, but I do mean to make the point that global warming fanatics - believers, call them what you will – need a closer look at the numbers and a nudge – no more of a shove – in the opposite direction.

“The normally begin thus: ‘How does this come about?’ But does it do so? That is what they ought to be asking.”[1]

Indeed they should, although our generation has already answered the question of ‘how’- or so they think – and now searches for ways to slow even stop global warming occurring, before we melt in 10 years time. However, they ought to be asking does it really, will it really, have the effect we think? No. Could you do anything if it did and you tried? No. The effort would be as negligible as an ant pushing against a concrete wall. You may as well just climb to the top and enjoy the view – the amazing view of carbon cycles and the atmosphere and what’s really happening to stop us dying.
I empathise with Michel de Montaigne; things believed because of the sheer number of believers, and those numbers made of ignorant fools, that we should be saying it is not like that, but that if we do, we will be seen as ignorant and it is hard to ‘stiffen your judgment against widely held opinions.’ People are opposing these views though. Over 19,000 American scientists have signed a petition urging the U.S government to reject the Kyoto Protocol because they believe anthropogenic carbon dioxide causes no catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere. That’s their basic reason, and it actually well sums up why we should be ‘stiffening our judgment’ against the view of the Earth’s catastrophic heating.
Firstly, how do I define this widely held view of global warming? From experience I have gathered that people believe i) the ‘greenhouse effect’ will cause the Earth to heat up to a point causing, eventually, death for its inhabitants; ii) that man-made carbon dioxide produces most of the carbon in the world atmosphere, hence anthropogenic (man-made) carbon dioxide causes the greenhouse effect, and thus if we reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the greenhouse effect will be slowed and life on Earth saved. Problem found, solved and forgotten.
And it makes sense.
If we “conveniently” ignore the basic figures.
And basic scientific fact.
Let’ start out big and then hone in on the details.
Firstly, “Global Warming”, the process that supposedly spells Big Trouble for the human race, has actually been happening for ages – since the time of the cave men, more or less continuously and slowly. It is a normal state in the world that occurs between ice ages, and is exactly what should be happening. Be worried if it’s not - it more than likely means another ice age is on its way.
Secondly, the “greenhouse effect”, the process that is supposed to be causing global warming, helps to moderate temperatures on the Earth. In fact, the warming due to the greenhouse effect is limited mainly to night time temperatures; day time high temperatures are negligibly affected. Without the greenhouse effect, the average temperature here would be minus 18 degrees Celsius – and we’d be frozen stiff. It’s generally accepted that the greenhouse effect is also the primary cause of global warming, but it’s not. The primary cause of global warming is instead, believe it or not, ‘orbital eccentricities of Earth and variations in the Sun’s output.’[2] Other main causes are atmospheric (i.e. the greenhouse effect: yes it does come in second) and tectonic.
Thirdly, carbon dioxide, known as the main contributor to the greenhouse effect, has had so many wrong things attributed to it, I almost feel sorry for the diatonic gas; I almost don’t know where to begin. Its main trespass these days is its position as the main greenhouse gas and the cause of all out problems.
Any scientist who tells you that is ignoring the 95% of the greenhouse effect that is the result of water vapour – and they’re probably not associated with climatology at all. Water vapour is the reason day time temperatures are so negligibly affected by the greenhouse effect. When held in suspension, water vapour (commonly: clouds) makes for good thermal insulation, but almost as good a reflector as well.
So how much carbon dioxide actually makes up the total amount of greenhouse gases? About 3.618%. How much of the atmosphere actually comprises of carbon dioxide? About 0.04%.
As an aside, carbon dioxide doesn’t actually stay in the atmosphere. It is continually being recycled by trees (which use it to make oxygen, without which we would cease to exist) and the ocean. (Without carbon dioxide, the trees would kick it off pretty quickly.)
The intriguing thing about popular greenhouse theory is that it states the earth’s temperature correlates directly with the amount of carbon dioxide. In the face of these statistics alone that fact is highly disputable, but historically there has been much more CO2 in the atmosphere than exists today, and if we follow popular greenhouse theory, in those times the Earth should have been exceptionally hot.
But it wasn’t – it was no hotter than now. (But alas, if we follow popular theory they’d have no reason to be hot – less man-made carbon dioxide you know!)
Which leads me to my last happy point about carbon dioxide: as humans we are sadly blamed for all of the supposed destruction that will one day collapse in on our once proud heads. Fortunately, if all that is generally believed - except for this last point - were true, it would not be our fault. You seem man-made carbon dioxide is in such minority that all the promised cuts in emission will do nothing to help the world and everything to damage our economy. The amount of anthropogenic carbon dioxide that actually contributes to the greenhouse effect is 0.117%. Next to nothing. And besides statistics, there’s other inferential proof. One is that after World War II, there was a boom in industrialization but – a global temperature drop. Another is that recently mid troposphere temperatures (the place to measure if you want to see CO2 having an effect) have decreased slightly as carbon dioxide levels increase. Another? Ice core records suggest that the correlation between temperature and CO2 is actually the reverse of popular belief: carbon dioxide follows temperature changes. If we believe our politicians and the media, something seems to be missing, but on the above evidence, everything fits. Carbon dioxide acquitted and cleared of all charges?
Catastrophic global warming theory is a product of our society and the power of a ‘multitude of believers’ swaying those few left undecided by sheer number. There’s so much proof to the contrary of what those people believe that no one could condense it into two pages (but I try to please). To all misguided souls in the world, please think for yourself and find out the facts! This Great Fear isn’t so frightening after all.

[1] “The Essays: A Selection” - Page 352 - Michel de Montaigne
[2] “The Global Warming Test” – http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/GlobWarmTest/A3b.html – Monte Hieb

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