An ironic juxtaposition of our elders and CO2

A strange juxtaposition in the news today about our older generation, carbon dioxide, and climate change. It seems the past 60 crowd produce less CO2 in their activities than the rest of us. It seems they also believe it affects climate less than say, generation X. Here’s both stories:

From Tom Nelson:

Pew: Among Americans aged 66 to 83, only 22% say that global warming is caused mostly by human activity. Section 8: Domestic and Foreign Policy Views | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

Millennials are almost twice as likely as Silents to say that global warming is caused mostly by human activity (43% vs. 22%).

From the Max Planck Institute:

Individual CO2 emissions decline in old age

Ageing could influence climate change

November 07, 2011

New demographic analysis reveals that the CO2 emissions of the average American increase until around the age of 65, and then start to decrease. For the United States this means that, although the ageing of the population will lead to a slight overall rise in CO2 emissions over the next four decades, the long-term trends indicate that increasing life expectancy will result in a reduction in emissions.

standard Zoom image

Age distribution of annual carbon dioxide emissions of an average U.S. resident
© MPIDR, Emilio Zagheni

For the first time, demographer Emilio Zagheni of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock (MPIDR) has calculated a profile that illustrates the relationship between age and average per capita CO2 emissions. This profile applies to U.S. citizens, as data for this group were easily accessible. But the demographic-economic model developed for the analysis is universally valid, and can be applied to other countries.

Carbon dioxide projections, like those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), depend greatly on future population developments. Most projection models only take into account the anticipated size of populations, but not their age composition, which will change considerably as life expectancy increases. According to the United Nations, the worldwide share of people aged 65 and older will grow from around eight percent currently to around 13 percent by 2030.

Zagheni’s profile suggests that societies with a growing share of elderly people will tend to produce lower CO2 emissions—at least in developed countries with consumption patterns similar to those of the U.S.A. This is because people appear to do less damage to the climate after the age of 65. As they enter retirement, Americans are producing more carbon dioxide emissions than at any other point in their lives: i.e., around 14.9 metric tons per person annually. Thereafter, the amount produced decreases continuously, falling to 13.1 metric tons by age 80. No data are available for higher ages, but it is expected that emissions fall further. The impact of this age group on climate projections will be significant. This is because, while life expectancy in the U.S. is currently (2010) 78.3 years, it is projected to rise to 83.1 years by 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Moreover, life expectancy is expected to be even higher in other developed countries.

In order to calculate the per capita emissions profile, Zagheni compiled figures on how many dollars an average U.S. residents spend at different ages on nine energy-intensive—and thus CO2-intensive—products and services, including electricity, gasoline, and air travel. By assigning carbon dioxide emissions weights to the consumption of these goods, he combined the nine consumption profiles to produce a single CO2 profile.

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Age distribution of expenditures on energy-intensive goods (average values for U.S. resident per… [more]

© MPIDR, Emilio Zagheni

The per person expenditures in the nine areas change considerably over the course of life (see Figure 2). First they increase with age, along with income: middle-aged adults fly and drive cars more frequently than young people, and they use more electricity. But as people grow older, this trend often changes. The elderly spend more on average than younger adults, but a growing share of their consumption is devoted to their health. Thus, a double effect can be observed: health care services generally produce low levels of greenhouse gas emissions; and, as less money is available for energy-intensive goods, older people tend to spend less in these areas. Clothing expenditures start to decline at age 58, and gasoline consumption decreases from age 60 onwards—a sign that older people start to reduce their driving relatively early. However, because they spend more time at home, the consumption of electricity and natural gas rises among the elderly until they reach age 80. Only then does home energy usage appear to reach a plateau.

Electricity and natural gas have the greatest impact on the per capita emissions profile, as CO2 emissions are the highest per U.S. dollar spent for these types of energy. Electricity produces 8.7 kilograms of carbon dioxide per dollar (kg CO2/$), and thus tops Zagheni’s list of climate-killers. This is followed by natural gas, which generates 7.5 kg CO2/$; and gasoline, which produces 6 kg CO2/$. Other types of energy usage have relatively small effects. One flight generates around 2.3 kg CO2/$, while one dollar spent on tobacco produces only around 0.5 kg of CO2.

Will the reductions in CO2 emissions among the elderly alter the effects on climate of the population as a whole? To investigate this question, Zagheni projected future carbon dioxide emissions for the U.S. by creating a model in which the population of around 300 million grew older, but did not increase in size. Results showed that, on average, about one million metric ton of additional CO2 emissions would be produced in each of the years between 2007 and 2050 (see Figure 3). Thus, the effect of age is comparatively small. Total CO2 emissions in the U.S. in recent years have amounted to around 5.9 billion metric tons per year. Moreover, rising life expectancy is likely to lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions in the medium term, despite the declining per capita profile among the elderly. Why is this the case?

standard Zoom image

Yearly average changes in consumption and CO2 emissions of the U.S. population between… [more]

© MPIDR, Emilio Zagheni

It is likely that the ageing of the population will not lead to a decrease in CO2 emissions between 2007 and 2050 because the process is not yet sufficiently advanced. This is despite the fact that the changing age structure will lead to a reduction in consumption of certain energy-intensive goods. For example, on the one hand, the shares of carbon dioxide emissions that come from burning gasoline (around 400,000 fewer metric tons) and wear-and-tear on cars (around 150,000 fewer metric tons) will tend to decrease, because cars are being used less (on average, around -0.05 to -0.7 percent; see Figure 3). On the other hand, this trend will be more than counteracted by increasing consumption of electricity and natural gas (by 0.09 or 0.1 percent per year), that will lead to significant additional emissions (estimates range from around 900,000 or 500,000 additional metric tons).

Overall, the balance in the medium term is expected to be positive. One reason for this is that the baby boomer cohorts, who will turn age 65 in the years to come, are also the age groups with the highest emissions values. This will not change until after 2030, when large numbers of baby boomers will have reached age 80, and reductions in CO2 emissions will outweigh increases. This shift cannot be discerned from Zagheni’s results due to the method used: it produces only a single average value for each of the years from 2007 to 2050. The averaging conceals the possibility that emissions could decline at the end of the simulation period.

Also, Zagheni’s study isolates the effect of ageing but does not account for potential improvements in technology. However, if it turns out that new technologies will be more carbon-efficient in the future, that might even leverage age structure effects for the good of the climate. This could be the case, for instance, if electricity, of which the old use a lot, could be generated and distributed with fewer emissions. The economic models of other researchers show that a reduction in carbon dioxide through changes in the age structure can only be seen after 2050. Then, however, reductions of up to 20 percent could occur.

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61 Responses to An ironic juxtaposition of our elders and CO2

  1. Latitude says:

    ..for the good of the climate

    I’m old enough that this makes me want to blow lunch…………..

  2. Curiousgeorge says:

    I agree that seniors produce less CO2. But it’s a different story for methane. ;)

  3. Millennials are the first to be “taught” the religion of CAGW in school.

  4. oldseadog says:

    Aw, come on, Curiousgeorge, we don’t produce more methane than the younger ones, we just don’t mind owning up to it.

  5. Dr A Burns says:

    If you include the CO2 produced by our kids, the total for older folk will always increase. Reduced population growth is the only way to slow the growth in man’s CO2 … not that there’s any good reason to do so.

  6. Myron Mesecke says:

    People over 60 have been around long enough to have lived through all the different types of weather that the alarmists say are only happening now and is due to man made CO2. The older generations also weren’t as mobile. They lived in the same area their whole lives. So they have witnessed the same weather in the same place time and time again. They have personal knowledge of the weather history in their area. Harder to fool those kind of people. It is the younger generations with no long term history and that move all over the place that are easier to convince that something is wrong.

  7. DirkH says:

    “For the first time, demographer Emilio Zagheni of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock (MPIDR) has calculated [...]”

    I am deeply ashamed that my tax Euros are being squandered on this carbon counting drivel. Please accept my apologies. Somebody should teach Mr. Zagheni how to operate a broom so that he can spend the rest of his life doing something useful.

  8. ManitobaKen says:

    A couple of perfect examples of why to spend some time at WUWT,
    Curiousgeorge’s coffee spray on the keyboard generating observation and Oldseadog’s rebuttal, thanks guys you made my day. :)

  9. Wade says:

    You want to be amazed and saddened at the same time? Go to a high school or college and ask a student a question that begins with these words: “What do you think?” They have been forced fed information and are not taught critical thinking. They are educated but are unable to reason. You cannot control a person who has the audacity to ask why. It is no wonder the younger you get, the more likely you are to believe what you been told in school or seen in a video. Those who promote the AGW know how to play people like a fiddle because they are part of the same group that made the questions “why” and “what do you think” a sin.

  10. Michael Penny says:

    If you look at the graph carefully you will note that the ager range of largest CO2 production is 40-80. The obvious solution is that after age 40 nobody should be allowed to produce any more CO2. /sarc

  11. To,
    IPCC, UNFCCC, GREEN PEACE, CARNEGIE Instituion of science and others; looking forward to hearing from all of you!!!!
    Chair person IPPAN, Kathmandu
    Copy to the director ICIMOD, Nepal.
    Dear Dr. Pachauri and Mr. Algore,

    Challenge to IPCC / UNFCCC, SHAME ON YOU
    Solution to CC and Power Crisis

    Please give me either one scientific reason/ theory that justifies CC is due to gases OR STOP ACCUSING GASES for CC. Just accusation is not science. CC by gases is impossible. Man has disturbed the ‘rain cycle’ causing the ‘climate change.’ No gas can be ‘green house gas.’
    I have also explained that applying the property / theory of standing still water column to the running water condition is the blunder being done in the ‘Hydropower Engineering’ and, its correction can give us unlimited hydropower.
    Please visit devbahadurdongol.blogspot.com for solutions to ‘CC and power Crisis.’
    Summary is attached for your convenience.

    Challenger,
    Dr. Dev
    Email: dev.dangol@yahoo.co.uk

    “Already sent to the addressees, green peace and many others throughout the world”

  12. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    Young or old consider moving further to the South
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NVa.htm

  13. IAn says:

    WUWT is starting to become a pro-sceptic gossip column.

  14. Bill Marsh says:

    OT — It’s official — Nitrogen is now a ‘pollutant’ among with CO2

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111103143243.htm

    “Tropical Forests Fertilized by Nitrogen Air Pollution, Scientists Find”

    I guess that means that 78% of the atmosphere is ‘pollution’. I truly wonder if the people who put out headlines like this really think about what they are saying or how ludicrous it is. I further wonder what they think a ‘pollution free’ atmosphere would consist of or if they are seriously contending that only Nitrogen related to human activities is pollution, while the 78% already there is not?

  15. Smokey says:

    IAn,

    The only honest kind of scientist is a skeptic.

  16. Alternate title for the study:
    “People keep learning as they grow older”

  17. Hector M. says:

    The calculation is very rough, because it covers only a few carbon-intense commodities such as electricity or air travel. But a more complete account of the carbon footprint by age should include indirect emissions. For instance, old people are likely to use more personal care, medical high-tech devices such as CATs and MRI, more ambulance rides, and so on: industries producing such devices and services, and people providing those services would have a carbon footprint. Youngsters do not get an ambulance ride or an MRI scan that often.
    However, the elderly in general are less active, consume less dietary energy in food, are mostly retired from work, and it is thus understandable that, generally speaking, they generate slightly lower emissions. However I do not think this fact has such an overriding importance as to merit a paper (according to the graph, old timers generate much more than people of any age below 50).

  18. Bloke down the pub says:

    For those who didn’t watch it , but have access to BBC I-player I can recommend watching tonight’s Panorama programme. Called ‘What’s fuelling your energy bill’ it quite obviously had no contribution from Richard Black. Instead it gave a forthright view of the impact of green policy of successive governments and provided plenty of rope so that Chris Huhne could go hang himself. Perhaps parts of the Beeb are feeling queasy at the rubbish they have been shovelling.
    Sorry if off thread but deserving of a wider audience.

  19. Ian says:

    Smokey states “The only honest kind of scientist is a skeptic.”

    Absolutely, but this piece doesn’t contain much science. Lots of “coulds” and “mights” but little scientific substance.

  20. I am sure the poor and jobless generate even less CO₂ than elderly people on average. Not to mention the fact their life expectancy is shorter. Therefore the real solution is economic collapse on a grand scale.

    It would be even better if an honest worldwide famine could be generated by decreasing food production to the level of mass starvation (see Holodomor). Of course the irresponsible practice of cremation should be banned, it is much better to sequester the carbon of corpses in the grave.

    / bitter sarc off

    In all seriousness: we are not there yet, but the problem is worked on.

  21. randy says:

    is that right… 14.9 metric tons per year? that is 4.5 trillion tons for the ruffly 300 million in the usa every year…

  22. Sparks says:

    It maybe time to tackle this population statistic and it’s myths and facts, I noticed no one on the “we’re too over populated side” has been pushing their luck, Why did wikipedia change their estimated population totals by continent this year to match this on going statistical model that has been going since the nineteen nineties, this has got to be the most accurate model ever invented.

  23. Sparks says:

    IAn says:
    November 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    WUWT is starting to become a pro-sceptic gossip column.

    What is you context? as apposed to what? where are you coming from?

  24. Sparks says:

    IAn says:
    November 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    “WUWT is starting to become a pro-sceptic gossip column.”

    What is your context? as opposed to what? where are you coming from?

  25. Interstellar Bill says:

    Did they include each person’s breathing?
    4% CO2 at 20 liters/min is 48 liters per hour of pure CO2
    air density is 1.22 g/liter, CO2 is 44/28 times heavier,
    so those 48 liters @ 1.92 g/L mass 92 g
    a little over 2 moles of CO2 per hour
    A metric ton is 1E6 g/(44 g/mole) = 22727 moles,
    or 11,000 breathing-hours, about 15 months to exhale a metric ton of CO2.

    Unless I’m way off somehow, the reason we never hear this little factoid
    is that it would make a metric ton (120 gallons of gasoline)
    not seem so fearsome, or SUVs quite so planet-threatening.

    Thus 7 billion people exhale 5.5 billion tons per year.
    Add our pets and livestock (methane too), so multiply by ….. what?
    Human annual CO2 exhalation probably peaks at ages 16-25 and declines thereafter,
    so plot that along the bottom of the graph , with the opposite trend for methane.
    Then plot the CO2 generated per person 500 years ago, (livestock & wood-burning)
    which evidently would lie between breathing and today’s emissions,
    of course with a reduced lifespan, one of misery and ignorance.

  26. kwik says:

    That institute is in the former DDR?

    Got it.

  27. dcfl51 says:

    “Is there solid evidence the earth is warming ?”

    This is one of those questions that makes me tear my hair out over whether pollsters will ever do anything worth a bean. It is meaningless without specifying a timeframe. I have no idea how I would have answered since the earth has not warmed for the last 10-15 years but the underlying trend has been warming since the low point of the Maunder Minimum.

  28. More Soylent Green! says:

    Is this calculated before, or after, you take away the car keys?

  29. joshua corning says:

    “Millennial generation”

    “Millennial” is correctly spelled as “Pokemon” and pronounced “poh-kay-mon”.

  30. 1DandyTroll says:

    So, essentially, electricity and gas are, what, two natural substances, and here I was thinking natural gas was often times used to create electricity. :p

  31. Ian says:

    In response to my comment ““WUWT is starting to become a pro-sceptic gossip column.”
    Sparks says ” What is your context? as opposed to what? where are you coming from?”

    My context is this type of article is not something I expected to see on a well regarded site such as WUWT. In my opinion such pieces provide ammunition for the pro-AGW proponents to denigrate those who are less sure of the role of AGW in climate change.

    As opposed to blogs such as RealClimate and Climate Audit. I can’t Imagine either posting such an insubstantial puff piece.

    I’m coming from a science background. I’m a PhD qualified biochemist who has deep reservations about the statement “the science is settled” It rarely is on any topic let alone a chaotic phenomenon like climate and weather. Quite sure climate is changing but a lot less sure of the extent to which humans have contributed to this change. I also dislike intensely the smug superiority of the AGW proponents, their snide comments, their use of the term deniers and an apparent inability to exam recognise anything that doesn’t agree with their view. But as Matt Riley points out, we are all guilty of confirmation bias.

    I hope this adequately answers your questions.

  32. Dan in California says:

    Interstellar Bill says: November 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm
    Did they include each person’s breathing?
    4% CO2 at 20 liters/min is 48 liters per hour of pure CO2
    air density is 1.22 g/liter, CO2 is 44/28 times heavier,
    so those 48 liters @ 1.92 g/L mass 92 g
    a little over 2 moles of CO2 per hour
    A metric ton is 1E6 g/(44 g/mole) = 22727 moles,
    or 11,000 breathing-hours, about 15 months to exhale a metric ton of CO2.
    —————————————————————–
    Bill, you don’t need to do all those calculations. Measured CO2 production from a sedentary person (working at a desk) is .97 kg/day. Several times higher while doing heavy manual labor. That’s 30 kg/month or 360 kg CO2 per year per adult person, not very different from your calculations.

    Source: Safety and Operational Guidelines for Undersea Vehicles.

  33. Sparks says:

    Ian says:
    November 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Yes, that sure did answers my questions, thank you very much.

  34. RoHa says:

    Those of us in the methane-producing years are less inclined to believe that the sky is falling since we have already survived the predicted DOOM of Total Nuclear Warfare, Rock and Roll, Giant Hogweed, Eco-spasm, the explosion of the old WW2 arms-ships in the Thames Estuary, AIDS, SARS, Bird Flu, and Y2K, to name but a few.

    We’re doomed, of course, but we’ve got a bit blasé about it.

  35. Francis X. FArley says:

    When I put global warming in the context of weather, Anthony wrote in the local paper that I had fallen into the “weather trap” and that pictures of human suffering following extreme weathers were ” media propaganda” , part of a plot by the liberal media and environmentalists. I believe you’re on the wrong track, Anthony. You are confused about “heat” and the concept of heat. You don’t seem to understand the weather either. If Anthony would tell me what he means by the “weather trap”, I would take it under advisement. What is the weather and what role does heat play in the weather? Just Anthony to reply, please. At 88 I can tell you I do produce less CO2. I ride my bike and have a garden. The CO2 from the compost bins is natural, not from trains, planes or automobiles. FXF

    REPLY: Mr Farley, there’s a good reason I didn’t respond to your recent letter in the newspaper.

    “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference”
    -Mark Twain

    And no, I’m not interested in having a conversation with you here so you can distort it in yet another foolish letter. In fact you’ll probably distort this response, and not include the Mark Twain quote when you write angry letter #604 to the Enterprise Record. – Anthony

  36. Doug Proctor says:

    Only 36% think global warming is happening AND humans are responsible. That says the warmists ARE in the minority … though in charge of the money trough.

    Are the Australians really so different? What happened there could happen here.

  37. Latitude says:

    Ian says:
    November 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm
    ========================
    Ian, there’s a lot of us that get a kick out of the puff pieces….
    ..sometimes you can’t tell the difference……… ;)

  38. Curiousgeorge says:

    RoHa says:
    November 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Those of us in the methane-producing years are less inclined to believe that the sky is falling since we have already survived the predicted DOOM of Total Nuclear Warfare, Rock and Roll, Giant Hogweed, Eco-spasm, the explosion of the old WW2 arms-ships in the Thames Estuary, AIDS, SARS, Bird Flu, and Y2K, to name but a few.

    We’re doomed, of course, but we’ve got a bit blasé about it.
    ==============================================================
    Let me add Kudzu (imported to control erosion) to that list. And the Kudzu Bug ( an asian beetle imported to eat the vine) which loves kudzu, but when that’s gone will turn it’s attention to soybeans. A huge cash crop. I wonder what the cure for the bug will be. Elephants maybe?

  39. Jack Simmons says:

    People over 60 remember the Club of Rome, Limits to Growth, and The Population Bomb. Because of this, they know the lunatic fringe is always out there to try and scare people into desired behavior pattern (give us money, give us power, give us prestige).

    Because of past experiences, they are not as excitable as younger people, recalling how worried they were about past projections of disaster.

    So they are not as inclined to believe the human race has that much effect on the globe.

  40. William McClenney says:

    There are probably a multitude of reasons why younger people are more susceptible to the AGW hypothesis, many are mentioned above (and apologies if I repeat some of them). I boil it all down like this:

    1. With the AMDO and PDO oscillations being on the order of typically 20-30 years, if you were born during the most recent positive cycle, then what you witnessed were mostly warm years. If you have lived through several of them, as I have, then not so easily persuaded.

    2. If you happened to live through and were a part of the anti-establishment 60′s and 70′s brouhaha then appeals to authority carry only so much weight. If you have never witnessed a Nixon/Watergate, Iran/Contra or Clinton/Lewinski style reverse/pretzel meltdown yet then dependence on authority may trump your very own eyes with such as Climategate. The word fool exists for a reason. Many may not yet know, or may never know, what a BS sensor is and how to grow one between your ears.

    3. The entire education system has indeed changed, particularly with regard to k-12 matriculation and college entrance. The emphasis is on educational matriculation not necessarily critical thinking. It is one thing to memorize a thing and regurgitate it, quite another to cogitate it. A good old chem lab can get at this problem.

    4. And so few are even exposed to the scientific method even if they end up being so-called scientists. I work with hundreds of these.

    5. And then there is when we live. The present iteration of the genus homo appears to be genetically burdened. There is the Nine Times Rule which states that the present iteration is nine times more susceptible to rumor than it is to fact. The proof is simplicity itself, just answer the question, accurately mind you, as to which of all mankind’s religions is the correct one?

    An element of this was most recently described in Xie, et al, 2011, “Social consensus through the influence of committed minorities”, PHYSICAL REVIEW E 84, 011130 (2011),

    “We show how the prevailing majority opinion in a population can be rapidly reversed by a small fraction p of randomly distributed committed agents who consistently proselytize the opposing opinion and are immune to influence. Specifically, we show that when the committed fraction grows beyond a critical value pc ≈ 10%, there is a dramatic decrease in the time Tc taken for the entire population to adopt the committed opinion.” http://pre.aps.org/abstract/PRE/v84/i1/e011130

    (paywalled)

    6. So, at best, right out of the gate, there is something like a 10% chance that any of us will ever be able to tell the difference between fact and fiction. And therefore being able to rub more than one fact together at the same time becomes a time-domain variable. Less time, less facts. I offer myself as the example. I tend to doubt that any high-school kid of my era had not heard of the ice ages. But it took a few years of undergraduate geology, specifically sedimentation, paleontology and tectonics before I really integrated on climate. Climate and tectonics controlled what got deposited where and whether or not any era life was deposited and preserved in it. And what a climate story all of that told! That was about 1.4 AMDO/PDO oscillations ago. More time, more facts, more experience, some of that moving on to expertise???

    Yet again it is one thing to have lived it, something else entirely to have understood it. How do you think you are doing? A question best asked at least once per day.

  41. Pamela Gray says:

    I’m so old that I don’t know the code for the X gen, the silent gen, or the mil gen. Can we just go with age span please?

  42. Mike Fox says:

    Well, I dunno about all of that. I’m 65, and I’m doing my best to keep things warm by driving my Yukon to eastern Oregon as often as possible.

    ;-)

  43. Mike,

    Burns, OR, and parts other than the Blue Mountains? The NW edge of the Basin and Range Province? Nice! I was through there a month ago……

  44. Brian H says:

    Argh. Damage to the environment = CO2 emissions. That would be the part of the environment not composed of plants and the animals that live off them?

    Fundamental foolishness is so infuriating.

  45. WUWT comes up with all sorts of drivel funded by the taxpayer. How do we get some of this tax funding for our own more serious climate related studies?

    tonyb

  46. federico says:

    To get some public funding for senseless research projects (in demographic, social and other “sciences”), it helps a lot (not only in Germany), to include some link to Climate Change (=CO2) in grant applications. Specially with the patronage (or co-authorship) by a big name in the milieu, papers will be easily accepted (via pal/peer review) by “highly respected” Journals, and authors will be named henceforth “Climate Scientists”. After such a groudbreaking archivement, nothing stands in the way to get more funding for silly research. I have 2 proposals for intersdisciplinary research with funds guaranteed:
    “Effect of increasing CO2 concentrations on the respiratory behavior of middle-class white farmers over 85 in the mid-west”. (Interdisciplinary research for a group of scientists in Social Sciences, Demography, Medicine, Chemistry, Gerontology, Atmospheric Physics, etc.; paper to be accepted by Science, with 6-7 authors, one of them a member of the National Academy of Sciences).
    “Global warming as driver of German emigration to Norway”. (Paper to be published in Nature, presented by a prominent PIK-”Climate Scientist” and co-authored by two Sociologists, one Economist and a “Demographist”.
    Joking aside, above fake paper titles sound absolutely realistic in view of the junk (“climate”) science appearing almost daily in “respected” Journals; we have seen a lot of them here, at WWUT, e.g. as “crasiness of the week”.. What a waste of public funds!

  47. John Marshall says:

    Another load of CO2 claptrap.

    CO2 does NOT drive climate.

  48. Aunty Freeze says:

    Curiousgeorge says:
    November 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I agree that seniors produce less CO2. But it’s a different story for methane. ;)

    Having worked with seniors in residential and nursing homes I can certainly agree with this. My scientific analysis of the situation is that it is due to the increased consumption of prunes. So I need lots of cash to do proper research into this and then get a campaign going to ban prunes.

  49. wayne Job says:

    Some comments have been a little derogatory of the oft flippant nature of some of the posts on this site. Well, the rather dubious science that seems to be paid for by our tax dollars is in serious need of ridicule.

    Some who profess to be smart at our expense deserve to be held accountable, as this has become impossible a little roasting is a fair thing.

    Do the real science and thinking people will applaud your efforts, take us for fools and the fickle finger of fate will be applied.

  50. DEEBEE says:

    Here’s another reason to trust anybody over 30

  51. Ulrich Elkmann says:

    DirkH says:
    November 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm
    “Somebody should teach Mr. Zagheni how to operate a broom so that he can spend the rest of his life doing something useful.”

    A dangerous suggestion. These folks obviously inhabit a universe where the laws of nature work differently than in our contunuum. Cause and effect are effected by stringing esoteric symbols into incomprehensible formulae and pulling finagle factors out of hats. They can command the elements. They are constantly fighting apocalyptic dangers no Muggle has seen. Allegiance is determined by which House you belong to: Hufflepuff or Slytherin.
    You know what they do with broomsticks there…

  52. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ Pamela Gray says:
    November 7, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I’m so old that I don’t know the code for the X gen, the silent gen, or the mil gen. Can we just go with age span please?

    =======================================================================

    There’s some interesting psychology associated with that kind of “instant soundbite grouping” . Used to be that folks objected to being lumped into a group without their consent. Seems that individuality ( and individual thinking) has gone by the wayside. WUWT?

  53. Pamela Gray says:

    I was BORN in NE Oregon and can be found with the locals every Friday night at the Lostine Tavern.

    There is no better way to spend a day than to walk the banks of the Wallowa and Lostine Rivers hunting for fish. And I do mean hunt. Those rivers change every year, and the fishing holes with it. You can’t just plunk in a hook and expect a fish to find it. You have to read the river, walk the banks, know where the fish like to be, and hunt for them there. Not an easy walk or hunt by any measure. The stretches of river I fish are behind private land or in wilderness areas. Of course, recently, I’ve had to add cougar and wolf awareness to my solo fishing trips. I’m just a little Irish elf and I look like a mid-morning snack to them.

  54. David says:

    As someone in the +60 category, I try to limit my CO2 output as much as possible by resting on the sofa in front of the tv….
    As an aside – here’s a little gem for all you cynics out there. Headline today in our local daily paper (Cambridge Evening News):
    ‘Speed camera blaze blamed on arsonists..’
    Who’d have thought it, eh..??

  55. Dr. Lurtz says:

    How about a new NSF study: “Solution to Global Warming Crisis: Methane/CO2 capture via sofa/couch sequestration techniques.”

    “Pumping into the natural gas pipe line system save the Planet.”

  56. oeman50 says:

    I think the reason there are fewer CO2 emissions from older people is because there is less heavy breathing. I know that is so my own case……

  57. Anna Lemma says:

    Here’s an email that landed in my mailbox the other day..

    ****************************************************

    The Green Thing

    Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.
    The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”
    The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”
    She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

    Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

    We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

    Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right. We didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

    Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right. We didn’t have the green thing back then.

    We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

    Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

    But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

    Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart-mouth young person.
    Remember: Don’t make old people mad.
    We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to tee us off.

  58. Measuring individual CO2 emissions by purchases of airplane tickets and estimates of how much driving one does sounds about as scientific as tree rings. It’s true that chain-saw use probably dies down, as does leaf-blower use.[ I'm not sure about all you people who wnat to make flatulence jokes.] Anyone over 60 will remember the panic over global cooling and nuclear winter in the 70s, and folks in their 80s will recall the hot years in the early 30s. When you have experienced floods, blizzards, temperatures of 20 below and more, been snowed in, and sweltered in Phoenix in the summer— you’re just not too impressed with a climate that supposedly warms by one degree.

  59. Francis X. FArley says:

    Anthony, My last letter to the ER on the subject, I had written once before, was written in hopes of a response, it didn’t matter who. I did get two responses with some name calling and some very bad science. When I wanted to go on with the debate, David Little told me the “debate” had run its course (two letters). I have my own take on global warming that involves “warm air rising”, a phrase you may remember from your highschool physics classes on the weather and the trans- mission of heat. The “warm air” I’m presently talking about is natural, carbon dioxide from respiration and plant decay and water vapor from evaporation of water surfaces and man caused carbon dioxide from combustion. Millions and millions of tons of carbon and water rise into the atmosphere from all over the globe, carried there by a correspondingly enormous amount of energy that was released from carbon and water when they were turned into gases. The scientic term for this process is “convection” the transmission of heat energy through fluid media, in our case carbon dioxide, water vapor and methane. Is this the “weather trap”? Is my science wrong? Frankly, I write my letters with some trepidation. What if I’m wrong? I gave my theory to the scientist who came to Chico recently but I have not heard from him. I believe I pissed him off when I asked at the end why he didn’t use the Keeling Curve in his presentation along with all those fancy graphs he displayed. I wanted him to give me a good argument for global warming which he did not do. FXF

  60. Chuckarama says:

    What they lack in CO2 emissions, they make up for in CH4.

  61. SteveSadlov says:

    All the numbers are a downer. And educational propaganda is making them worse with each generation.

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