Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We need to have a realistic debate on "climate change".

"Our" government is once again proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are few intelligent adults among its members. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to label carbon dioxide (CO2) a pollutant. If they succeed, perhaps we can convince all the employees of the EPA to stop breathing, since CO2 is a direct byproduct of that activity. In fact, a certain level of CO2 is ESSENTIAL to breathing, as its percentage of content in our lungs is what triggers exhaling.

CO2 is supposed to be causing runaway anthropogenic (man-caused) global warming. But there has been a net COOLING over the last ten years, even though CO2 levels continue to climb.

Man does belch a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere - but it only amounts to about 1.2% of the total atmospheric CO2. A little more than 55% of that is sequestered through various processes.

My chemistry and physics classes were long ago, but from recent readings has been somewhat refreshed. Accordingly, from what I've read various places, water vapor accounts for 95% of all greenhouse warming, with CO2 providing 4%, and all the rest of the greenhouse gasses making up the other >1%, dominated by methane (CH4).

Carbon dioxide, methane, sulfates (H2S, H2SO4, H2SO3), and in some cases aerosols (airborne particles) are constantly being emitted by volcanic action, among many other things. A large,lengthy volcanic eruption can put more of these greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in a matter of days than human beings can do in a decade.

Before the EPA declares carbon dioxide or methane, both natural byproducts of natural processes, pollutants, there needs to be a very vigorous, very extensive debate. Sixty days isn't long enough to even build a bibliography of all the data collected in the last 50 years on Earth's climate, much less how and why it changes. We see "through a glass, darkly" only a portion of the variables that can - and do - have an impact on the climate of the Earth, nor how all the different variables interact.

We have a difficult time predicting the weather three days in advance, yet "computer models" claim to be able to predict what will happen a hundred years in the future.

Until we know how the climate (not weather) is probably going to react to interacting variables such as solar forcing, cosmic rays, sunspots, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, changes in the amount of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane in the atmosphere (both natural and anthropogenic), and dozens of other variables, making monumental decisions that will affect every person on the planet, based on partial and poorly-understood "evidence", may very well do far more damage than doing nothing.

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