You are on page 1of 2

Anthropogenic Global Warming? A major scientic asco.

By Dalcio Kisling Dacol, Ph. D. SCIENTIFIC FIASCO: There is no doubt that carbon dioxide (and other minor trace components of the atmosphere such as methane, NOxxx, etc) is a "green house gas" (GHG - that is, the CO2 molecules absorb energy from long wave length electromagnetic radiation in the atmosphere and re-radiate it thus effectively reducing the rate at which energy from the Earth's surface is radiated back to space leading to a possible increase in temperature) and that its effect in the atmosphere is a warming one. But the real question is how much warming a given concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause. The so-called "greenhouse effect" [the warming of Earth's atmosphere by the selective absorption and reemission of infrared radiation by certain gases in the atmosphere] is dominated by water vapor, thanks to the massive oceans on Earth's surface. The concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere is at least 20 times greater than that of CO2, being much greater in the tropics and being much smaller than CO2 in the polar regions.The oceans and the water cycle constitute, simplifying things a bit, the great planetary thermostat. Existing empirical evidence, both from paleoclimatology as well as the contemporary globally averaged temperature record, indicates that the climatological computer models, which are at the core of the doom and gloom predictions of catastrophic warming, have been grossly overstating the effect of CO2 on climate. Any warming that results from the increase in the concentrations of GHG gases in the atmosphere is likely to be small and benecial. Growing seasons increase in the temperate zones and plants benet from the increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere leading to prosperity for terrestrial ecosystems. During the previous 7 years (2002-2009) we have had global cooling at the rate of 3.6 degrees F per century. Were this pattern to persist by the year 2100 we would be in the thick of a major Ice Age with about one third of the land mass of the Northern Hemisphere uninhabitable. This is the same year Mr. Gore predicts that the East Cost of the USA will be under water and the Great Plains scorched by heat if we don't curb CO2 emissions. In fact since 1995, statistically speaking, there has been no warming trend, even the two super El Nio warmed years of 1998 and 2010 didnt change that. None of the several climate computer models predicted this prolonged cooling trend. Those not familiar with computer modeling of physical phenomena may not fully appreciate the implications of the above fact. Basically to get the correct result at some future time these models must get the correct result at all intermediate times. Pretty much an all or nothing situation. Nobody expects these models to predict all the nooks and crannies of the temperature evolution curves. But if these models are to be used to inuence energy policy, with great economic repercussions, one would expect them to get at least the trend lines correctly. They don't even come close. One major reason for this failure is the poor modeling of the water cycle, specially cloud formation and precipitation due to existing deciencies in our understanding of those phenomena. It is instructive to note that the solar physicists did predict the cooling trend which they expect will continue till at least 2030 because it came just as the Sun switched to a prolonged resting mode in its electromagnetic level of activity which historically precedes cooler climates on Earth. Don't expect the climate modelers who are responsible for the alarmist predictions to come clean and suddenly say "Ooops! We screwed up, sorry." Billions of dollars have been spent trying to demonstrate that human activities were responsible for the warming observed since the end of the Little Ice Age in the early 1800's. For example, just in the USA, between 1989 and 2005, 30 billion dollars were invested in climate research, all of it either trying to establish that humans were responsible for or to study the consequences of what was assumed to be an inexorable warming. At least four generations of academic researchers have now obtained doctoral degrees, professorships and grants based on this assumption of human-caused global warming. Too much is at stake for them to admit their failure. As Upton Sinclair once observed: "It is difcult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it." One would think that a thorough investigation of natural, non-human, causes of climate change would be required in order to determine the extent of the human inuence yet the funding agencies both in the USA as well as abroad were pretty much hostile to this idea and so was UN's IPCC. The program managers were all convinced that humans are the cause and now have too much at stake to change course. It shows an appalling arrogance and lack of due diligence in the scientic investigation of an important phenomenon. This ideological bias led to the greatest scientic asco of the history of science. CONSEQUENCES OF TRYING TO CURE A NON-EXISTING CONDITION: We all know that in medicine a wrong diagnosis can sometimes be fatal. The current demand for a drastic cut in CO2 emissions is the result of such a wrong diagnosis. The cures proposed will cause great harm to the people and the environment. The core question is the replacement of electricity production using coal and oil by wind power, solar power and nuclear power. Since nuclear power is currently anathema in the USA and solar power is currently not widely used for large scale electricity production and oil produces only a very small fraction of electricity in the USA (but still greater than wind) we will concentrate on coal vs wind power. The tiny bit of electricity currently produced in the USA by wind power is heavily subsidized, both by tax breaks and by consumption mandates (government mandates on utilities to have a certain amount of electricity produced by "renewable" means). The dollar value of such subsidies is currently 23 dollars per kilowatt for wind power and 44 cents per kilowatt for coal. That is, wind power is subsidized at a rate 52 times larger than that for coal power. But the main difference is that even if one takes the subsidies away coal power would still October 4, 2010

be protable for the operators and cheap for consumers. If one takes away the subsidies from wind power, for it to be similarly protable to the operators the consumers would have to pay outrageously high prices for the electricity thus produced. But those subsidies for wind power have to come from somewhere. Currently they come from taxes imposed on all electricity produced by coal, oil and natural gas, which means that those subsidies come from the consumers. This is the price of replacing an efcient and economical way of producing electricity by an uneconomical way. Given Congress' inability to remove subsidies and industrial tax breaks once they are established one can expect a continual transfer of money from consumers to wind power operators for the foreseeable future. Thus we will all be forced to pay higher rates for electricity because of a gross exaggeration of the climate effects of a harmless gas which happens to be an essential nutrient for the plants at the base of the food chain that sustains all animal life on Earth. Were this absurd way of producing electricity imposed on developing countries it would ensure their poverty for the foreseeable future. Wind power also has an horric footprint (by footprint I mean the acreage necessary to produce one megawatt of electric power). It is about the same as that of hydro-electrical power plants (including the water reservoirs!). By comparison coal power plants and nuclear power plants have footprints about 20 times smaller (about 10 times smaller if we include acreage for mining coal or uranium). The schemes for electricity production by wind power being bandied about in the press would lead to a drastic reduction of open spaces in the Great Plains and the southwest deserts. If one takes into account the new power lines that will have to be build the impact will be even greater. The implications for wildlife will be catastrophic. Not to mention that the giant blades of those wind power plants transform them into true grim reapers for all ying creatures. Then we have the wonders of "Cap and Trade". Beloved by politicians because it allows them to say with a straight face that they are not taxing carbon, beloved by electricity plant operators because it allows them to charge more for electricity while getting money and emission permits from the government, beloved by Wall Street because it creates a new class of securities which can be traded, speculated, swapped, derivativized, just like in the good old days of sub-prime mortgage abuses. Another scam is "carbon credits" trade, which reminds one of the trade in indulgences by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. A tale: Al Gore wants to y to Bali to deliver yet another sermon to the converted about the evils of CO2 but an inconvenient truth stands in the way: to get there his private jet will have to spill thousands of pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. What to do? Have his Generations Investment Management hedge fund buy some carbon credits from some Dutch rm that promises to invest the proceedings in a palm oil plantation in Indonesia which not only sequesters carbon in the growing palm trees but will eventually produce coconut oil for use as a bio-fuel. The fact that said palm plantation came into being by the bulldozing and burning of thousand of acres of mature tropical rainforest which released more CO2 into the atmosphere than all that will be prevented from release during the lifetime of the plantation is conveniently not mentioned. Nor is the loss of biodiversity entailed by such an operation brought to the fore. Such are the times we are living through. READINGS: If one were to read two books that go against the main grain regarding global warming I would recommend: "The Deniers" by Lawrence Solomon and "The Chilling Stars" by Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder. None of these authors are raging right-wing nuts, ranting libertarians or shills for the oil and coal industry. ABOUT Dalcio K. Dacol: Born in Brazil in 1949, came to the USA to study physics in 1974, got a PhD in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1980. Spent a few years as a post-doctoral researcher in Physical Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry of Princeton University. Since 1985 was a physicist with the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC from where retired in 2009. Politically a liberal and registered Democrat. Religiously an atheist since high school. Has a deep concern for the environment and the fate of all other life forms that share the planet with us. Concerned about the poor, social justice and economic development.