Thursday, October 05, 2006
Ohhh, I love reading this kind of debunking.I read this article by Patrick Bedard, in the September edition of Car and Driver, while at the Singapore airport a few weeks back, I had a lot of reading to catch up on during the holidays. I know it’s a bit late and certain leftist pests might want to have a whine about it, but I prefer it when they are complaining about something, besides this is too good to let slip.
Unfortunately, there is no link, I got this from the online edition of Car and Driver that is only viewable via Zinio magazine publication software so you’ll just have to trust me. I typed up the whole article, word for word, for your benefit. If I have missed the odd comma and/or apostrophe and got the formatting all wrong, just suck it up. If you want the original article, let me know and I can email you some screenshots, no leftist bludgers please, they can go to caranddriver.com and whistle.
Patrick Bedard - Car and Driver
He’s baack! Just when you thought the scolding was over and it was safe to pull your ear plugs out, Al Gore has a brand-new harangue going. Actually, it’s the same old doomsday prediction he’s been pedaling since he was a senator bucking to be president back in the ‘90s, only this time it’s packaged as a 94-minute film. An Inconvenient Truth previewed at the Sundance Film Festival last January. “This is activist cinema at its very best,” said the official festival guide.
You can guess what activated him; his long-playing paranoia about global warming. He and the mainstream media say it’s a done deal. We’re toast. “Be worried. Be very worried,” blared the cover of Time in April. “Climate change isn’t some vague future problem-it’s already damaging the planet at an alarming pace. Here’s how it affects you, your kids, and their kids as well.”
This is, by the way, the same Time that was telling us as late as 1983 to be worried, very worried, that temperatures were descending into another era of “glaciation.” Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” is that-there’s no tactful way to say this–we gas-guzzling, SUV-flaunting, comfort-addicted humans, wallowing in our own self-indulgences, have screwed up the planet. We’ve hauled prodigious quantities of fossil fuels out of the ground where they belong, combusted them to release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the sky where it shouldn’t be, and now we’re going to burn for our sins. This feverish sort of should-and-shouldn’t evangelism plays particularly well these days among those who are looking for something to believe that carries no obligation to sit in a church pew. Nature has left us no scripture, so Gore can preach it as he feels it. Faith, brother. Don’t even pretend to understand. Anyway, humans, except for the rare enlightened ones like Al Gore, are alien trespassers in nature.
Let’s not dispute the earth’s temperature. It’s warmer than it used to be. As an Iowa farm boy, I learned about the soil we tilled. Most of Iowa is flat, graded smooth by glaciers. The rocks we plowed up in the fields, or plowed around if they were big, were rounded in shape. The glacier tumbled them as it scraped along, and it ground their corners off. The North American ice sheets reached their largest expanse about 18,000 years ago and then began to recede. Within 5000 years they had pulled back considerably but still reached south as far as central Ohio. After another thousand years, however, the U.S. was largely ice-free.
Needless to say, there have been no glaciers reported in Iowa as long as anyone can remember. It’s warmer now. And if it would just warm up a bit more, fewer Iowans would need to trot off to Florida, Texas, and Arizona during deepest winter. The long absence of farm-belt glaciers confirms an inconvenient truth that Gore chooses to ignore. The warming of our planet started thousands of years before SUVs began adding their spew to the greenhouse. Indeed, the whole greenhouse theory of global warming goes wobbly if you just change one small assumption.
Logic and chemistry say all CO2 is the same, whether it blows out of a Porsche tailpipe or is exhaled from Al Gore’s lungs or wafts off my compost pile or the rotting of dead plants in the Atchafalaya swamp. “Wrong,” say the greenhouse theorists. They maintain that man’s contribution to the greenhouse is different from nature’s, and that only man’s exhaustings count. Let’s review the greenhouse theory of global warming. Our planet would be one more icy rock hurtling through space at an intolerable temperature were it not for our atmosphere. This thin layer of gases – about 95 percent of the molecules live within the lowest 15 miles – readily allows the sun’s heat in but resists its reradiation into space. Result: The earth is warmed.
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The atmosphere is primarily composed of nitrogen (78 percent), oxygen (21 percent), argon (0.93 percent), and CO2 (0.04 percent). Many other gases are present in trace amounts. The lower atmosphere also contains varying amounts of water vapor, up to four percent by volume. Nitrogen and oxygen are not greenhouse gases and have no warming influence. The greenhouse gases included in the Kyoto Protocol are each rated for warming potency. CO2, the warming gas that has activated Al Gore, has low warming potency, but its relatively high concentration makes it responsible for 72 percent of Kyoto warming. Methane (CH4, a.k.a natural gas) is 21 times more potent than CO2, but because of its low concentration, it contributes only 7 percent of that warming. Nitrous oxide (N2O), mostly of nature’s creation, is 310 times more potent than CO2. Again, low concentration keeps its warming effect down to 19 percent.
Now for an inconvenient truth about CO2 sources–nature generates about 30 times as much of it as does man. Yet the warming worriers are unconcerned about nature’s outpouring. They–and Al Gore–are alarmed only about anthropogenic CO2, that 3.2 percent caused by humans. They like to point fingers at the U.S., which generated about 23 percent of the world’s anthropogenic CO2 in 2003, the latest figures from the Energy Information Administration. But this finger-pointing ignores yet another inconvenient truth about CO2. In fact it’s a minor contributor to the greenhouse effect when water vapor is taken into consideration. All the greenhouse gases together, including CO2 and methane, produce less than two percent of the greenhouse effect, according to Richard S Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lindzen, by the way is described by one source as “the most renowned climatologist in the world.”
When water vapor is put in that perspective, then anthropogenic CO2 produces less than0.1 of one percent of the greenhouse effect. If everyone knows that water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas, why do Al Gore and so many others focus on CO2? Call it the politics of the possible. Water vapor is almost entirely natural. It’s beyond the reach of man’s screwdriver. But when the delegates of 189 countries met at Kyoto in December 1997 to discuss global climate change, they could hardly vote to do nothing. So instead, they agreed that the developed countries of the world would reduce emissions of six man-made greenhouse gases. At the top of the list is CO2, a trivial influence on global warming compared with water vapor but unquestionably man’s largest contribution.
In deciding that it couldn’t reduce water vapor, Kyoto really decided that it couldn’t reduce global warming. But that’s an inconvenient truth that wouldn’t make much of a movie.
More here and here.
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