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Why should Chatham County spend any money on a committee on Climate Change?

February 21st, 2017 · No Comments

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Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:35:53 -0500
From: chathammatters
Subject: The Science behind Global Warming, and should Chatham County have a Climate Change Committee?

In 1543 Nicolaus Copernicus published his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), which formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe, this model was based on direct and repeatable observation.  This challenged the established “scientific consensus” at the time which placed earth at the center of the universe.  Galileo Galilei later, through direct observation confirmed the Helio-Centric theory and argued for its adoption.  As you may know, he was tried by inquisition and placed under house arrest for defying the “scientific consensus”.

Science, until recently, has been characterized by the following, a Theory does not become Fact until it can be observed, measured, and those observations can be repeated by others, or it remains a Theory.  This is different from Belief, which doesn’t rely on observable measurements or facts, as was the case with the Earth-Centric model, the “scientific consensus”.

In order to understand the scientific theory of Global Warming, now being called by it’s proponents Climate Change, it helps to have some level of understanding of the observable and measurable science behind the theory.

Here is what we know of the science (that is what is actually measurable and repeatable and can be reproduced by others).

Carbon Dioxide is a trace gas in our atmosphere at .034 to .040 percent of the atmosphere, depending on where on earth you are.  .034 – .040 equals 340 to 400 parts per million.  To put this in perspective Nitrogen is 78%, Oxygen is 21%, Argon is .9% and the remaining .1 percent are the trace gases which include CO2, Neon, Helium, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, and Ozone.

If you have had any basic science, you will know that Animal life breathes in Oxygen and breathes out Carbon Dioxide , and that Plant life consumes carbon dioxide in the process of Photosynthesis which also produces Oxygen.  This trace gas in our atmosphere, carbon dioxide is absolutely essential to life on this planet, without it, we would cease to exist.

Carbon Dioxide is also a heavy gas compared to other atmospheric gases, as such it stays lower in the Troposphere (the lowest level in the atmosphere).  Toward the higher end of the troposphere you will find water and water vapor, this has traditionally been called the Greenhouse layer, it is what keeps our planet from turning into a great big ball of rock and ice.  As Solar Energy hits the earth, some of it is absorbed, but most is reflected back up and out, the greenhouse layer thankfully reflects a large enough percentage of that back toward the surface to keep our planet from freezing.

Carbon Dioxide is not by itself a greenhouse gas, but the Global Warming theory says that it may, through a mechanism called Forcing, somehow enhance the Greenhouse layer to make it more effective.

Carbon Dioxide has several sources, Volcanic Activity, Forest Fires, Animal Life exhaling CO2 after inhaling oxygen (this includes humans), and the burning of fossil fuels.  Volcanic Activity and Forest Fires account for 97% of all CO2 produced annually, while the remaining 3% includes Animal life and fossil fuel burning. Of this 3% it is not clear yet what percentage is exhaling and which is fossil fuel burning.

When plant life consumes CO2 in greater quantities than are produced annually, the level of CO2 in our atmosphere goes down, likewise the opposite is true, when we have more volcanic activity or forest fires etc. compared to the quantity consumed by plant life, then the quantity in the atmosphere goes up.

According to the global warming theory, there should be a direct correlation between levels of CO2 and average temperature.  About 20 years ago, there were around 26 computer models of the theory predicting the correlation between CO2 and temperature.  Were they right?

There was a period of time when the average temperature was going up, although not anywhere near the minimum range of predicted increase according to the computer models.  Then in 1998, the warming simply stopped, global warming proponents have called this the Pause. Average temperatures have been flat until the last two years, then we see an extremely slight warming well within the margin of error since, statistically speaking, no warming.  Interestingly, the data set used by the federal government to show the slight warming the last two years has been exposed repeatedly for having been adjusted (to use a charitable description).

Many explanations have been put forward for the pause, but the one which has gained the most favored status is that the Ocean has been absorbing the heat, so is it?  Well, according to all of the fixed temperature gauges throughout the world, it isn’t warming.  However NOAA, under the Obama administration decided to start including temperature from ships, since temp gauges on most ships are near the engine exhaust.. to no one’s surprise.. instant warming..

What about historically?  Isn’t it much warmer now than it has been in the past?  Aren’t we at historically high CO2 levels?  Actually, no.  Our planet has been through many ice ages and warm periods, we are currently at a fairly low end of the historic temperature record, we are also at a fairly low end of CO2 level.  Here is a link to several charts which show what the temperature and CO2 records have been over much of Earth’s history.

Is it good or bad that we are at historically low temperatures and levels of CO2?  Is it good or bad if one or both go up?

Plant biologists will tell you that we are actually at dangerously low levels of CO2, in fact if we go below 150 parts per million plant life cannot sustain itself, clearly this would be catastrophic, therefore we definitely don’t want levels any lower than current levels.  But what about higher levels?  Throughout most of earth’s history, CO2 levels have been much higher than the current 340 to 400 parts per million, they have been closer to 3,000 parts per million, and as high as 5,000 parts per million.  We as humans are perfectly acclimated to 3,000 parts per million, in fact, in giving mouth to mouth, we breathe CO2 out at 5,000 parts per million – this saves lives.  Calling CO2 a pollutant is at best disingenuous if you know the science, and simply ignorant it you don’t know the science.

The benefits of higher levels of CO2 are considerable as plant life becomes more efficient therefore can sustain a larger population per acre of farmable land, then with lower levels of CO2.

Generally, the colder the climate the more difficult it is to sustain a population, shorter growing season, requiring more land to be cleared for farming to make up for it.  Warmer climates can even have multiple growing seasons on the same land.
Additionally, the energy requirements for maintaining habitable dwellings are much higher in colder climates then warmer.

Very few of you (or more likely none of you) will ever read the papers which the scientists contribute to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – United Nations), and to be honest it does require a reasonable deep level of understanding of the science to get what they are actually saying.  But if you are so inclined, it is worth digging in to, you may find that the idea of the “scientific consensus” to be somewhat poorly informed.

Since there isn’t a measurable correlation between CO2 and Temperature and there appear to be mostly benefits associated with higher levels of both Temperature and CO2, then why should Chatham County spend any money on a committee on Climate Change?  The answer is self evident, It shouldn’t – nor should it promulgate any policies based on the theory of Climate Change.

Which is it to be, Science (measurable and repeatable, based in fact), or Religion (based belief and false “scientific consensus”?  Which will you be?.

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