Climate Alarmism: Our sanity and wallets need a break

Billions of taxpayer dollars are disrupting our politics, science, energy policies and economy

Guest post by Paul Driessen

Pick up any 40-year-old science textbook – on chemistry, biology, geology, physics, astronomy or medicine – and you’ll find a slew of “facts” and theories that have been proven wrong or are no longer the “consensus” view. Climatology is no exception.

Back in the 1970s, many scientists warned of global cooling – and fretted that a new ice age brought on by fossil fuel use would cause glaciers to expand, wreaking havoc. They predicted every conceivable disaster, short of roving herds of wooly mammoths stampeding through ice-covered streets. (The possibility of cloning a well-preserved mammoth could buttress the next scary ice age scenario.)

Newsweek’s 1975 cover story “The Cooling World” breathlessly reported that, “after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down.” Meteorologists are “almost unanimous” that the trend will “reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century,” it intoned, and “the resulting famines could be catastrophic.”

The CIA, NASA, National Academy of Sciences and many news organizations issued similar alarums. Dr. John Holdren, now President Obama’s science adviser, joined Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich in penning an essay that warned: “The effects of a new ice age on agriculture and the supportability of large human populations scarcely need elaboration here. Even more dramatic results are possible, however; for instance, a sudden outward slumping in the Antarctic ice cap, induced by added weight, could generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history.”

The Chicken Little ice age never arrived. Instead, the new “consensus” view is that our planet now faces fossil-fuel-induced catastrophic global warming. A 2006 Newsweek story conceded that its ice age theme had been “spectacularly wrong.” But the admission came amid decades of Newsweek, Time and even BusinessWeek and National Geographic stories about an imminent global warming “apocalypse.”

The tales of doom remain standard media fare, even as the science continues to evolve – and even as Climategate and other revelations of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shenanigans and duplicity join the dissection of Michael Mann’s hockey stick in reducing climate alarmism and public anxiety over it. New theories about solar cycles, cosmic rays and the dominant role of solar activity in determining Earth’s climate are becoming far more common in books and peer-reviewed research compendia of science-based climate realism.

Cataclysmic cooling? Dangerous warming? Is there something in between that can help initiate real debate, improve our understanding of how our climate works, and let us get on with our lives?

Manmade global warming, climate change and “weird” weather remain the foundation of environmentalist and leftist political agendas for ending our “addiction” to oil, ushering in a new era of “eco-friendly” renewable energy, and “fundamentally transforming” our economy and society. Their power, prestige, control and access to billions of dollars a year for biased research and crony-corporatist energy schemes super-glue their dependency to this issue. With fracking and other new petroleum discovery and extraction technologies proving beyond doubt that we will not run out of oil or gas anytime soon, climate change is really all they are left with. Those realities are driving an extreme policy agenda.

The Democratic Party platform stated: “We know global climate change is one of the biggest threats of this generation – an economic, environmental, and national security catastrophe in the making … The change wrought by a warming planet will lead to new conflicts over refugees and resources; new suffering from drought and famine; catastrophic natural disasters; and the degradation of vital ecosystems across the globe.”

Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) recently told Politico that Democrats would again seek cap-tax-and-trade legislation if they ever control both Congress and the White House. Because Congress rejected regressive climate legislation, the Obama Environmental Protection Agency, under Lisa Jackson, has issued thousands of pages of regulations designed to shut down coal-based electricity generation and impose a true-believer view that carbon dioxide controls the climate and must be drastically reduced to prevent a global warming Armageddon. Meanwhile, legions of subsidized researchers are trying desperately to tie every conceivable phenomenon and event to global warming – even rape and murder!

By making fossil fuels scarcer and more expensive, while spending billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize wind, solar and biofuel energy, EPA’s war on fossil fuels is designed to force Americans to abandon the energy sources that power our economy. The goal is to force Americans to turn to inefficient, unreliable, impractical, expensive, job-killing energy sources that emit less CO2.

At a mere 0.0395% of Earth’s atmosphere (395 ppm), carbon dioxide is truly a “trace gas.” Yet it is the “gas of life.” Without it all life on earth would cease to exist. Many scientists nevertheless insist that plant-fertilizing CO2 has supplanted the many complex and interconnected solar, cosmic, oceanic, planetary, atmospheric and other forces that have always driven climate change – and that a further increase to 0.0450% (from 0.280% or 280 ppm prior to the industrial revolution) would somehow push life and civilization past a “tipping point.”

Many other scientists vigorously dissent from that view. As natural scientist Dr. Willie Soon, meteorological statistician William Briggs and others have pointed out, changes in solar radiation caused by sunspots have changed Earth’s temperature and climate for centuries. Referring to data collected by the University of California-Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project, Soon and Briggs note:

“These peer-reviewed results make it difficult to maintain that changes in solar activity play no or an insignificant role in climate change…. The evidence in BEST’s own data and in other data we have analyzed is consistent with the hypothesis that the sun causes climate change, especially in the Arctic, China and the United States. BEST’s data also clearly invalidate the hypothesis that carbon dioxide is the most important cause of observed temperature changes across the United States.”

Still other analysts have shown that neither average global temperatures, nor tornado and hurricane frequency and severity, nor droughts, rainfall, sea level rise or Arctic climate and weather patterns and events in recent decades differ measurably or significantly from historic norms, cycles or variations.

The hysterical and spectacularly wrong predictions would be hysterically funny, except for one thing. Too many global cooling/warming/weird weather scientists, activists and politicians are using the issue to justify policies that are trashing our economy. Congress and the Obama administration are already implementing draconian laws and regulations that make energy less reliable and affordable, destroy jobs, weaken our national security, make us more dependent on foreign energy supplies, raise consumer prices, and slow America’s economic growth.

The needless regulations are prolonging the recession, keeping unemployment high, impairing civil rights progress, and hurting poor, minority and elderly families most of all. Any conflicts and refugees will result far less from future weather and climate events, than from ill-advised US, EU, UN and other policies that make energy, minerals, food, water, healthcare, and opportunities out of reach for millions or even billions of people.

Our weather has hardly become any “weirder” than what Earth and humanity have faced countless times before. However, the “new normal” in political discourse, scientific research, democratic institutions, laws, regulations and sanity has definitely gotten both weirder and more pernicious.

Contrary to President Obama’s intent, we don’t need to “fundamentally transform” our energy, economy or society. We need to fundamentally transform the system that diverts our attention and resources from real challenges, analyses and solutions.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author or Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.

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31 thoughts on “Climate Alarmism: Our sanity and wallets need a break

  1. Would eveyone please stop perpetuating the incorrect abbreviation “FRACKING” It is the second derivative abbreviation of hydraulic fracturing (first derivative = hydro-fracturing) and therefore is “FRACING”. You can refer to my blog for a primer at http://suspectterrane.blogspot.com/2012/05/frick-and-frack.html
    And if you are interested, the industry-specific term for it is ‘stimulation’ when we are discussing the enhancement of conductivity of a geologic formation by hydraulically fracturing a rock mass.

  2. Precisely,

    The question is how to spread the message. Polling apparently indicates people are much less concerned about eco-hysteria, and rightly worry about jobs and taking care of their families. Government won’t let go of their tool for acquiring more power. At what point will their efforts backfire? And will it be too late since they have been building a network of regulations and laws that may be very hard to dismantle? We need an opposition party, or majority party with some spine to actually close departments, cut the federal workforce by 25% or more, and slash regulations. Unfortunately, what we have are people who typically are satisfied with stability. I’d like to believe Paul Ryan is not one of those.

  3. Reblogged this on YFN Georgia LLC and commented:
    A neat summary of the issue. Doing away with biofuel mandates and eradicating taxes on CO2 produced by agriculture will allow us to get on with feeding the world. We need to increase food production by 50% in the next 18 years; it can be done if we don’t have one hand tied behind our backs by junk science and pseudo-religious ideology.

  4. “As natural scientist Dr. Willie Soon, meteorological statistician William Briggs and others have pointed out, changes in solar radiation caused by sunspots have changed Earth’s temperature and climate for centuries.”

    Would it not be better to reference that or at least say “changes in solar radiation that correlate with sunspots have correlated with changes in the Earth’s temperature and climate for centuries.”

    Herschel found that link with sunspots in the 18th century but proving one causes the other is still a bit of a stretch.

  5. I’m in Luxembourg, one of the capitals of the EUSSR. Most here are very badly infected with this alarmism disease. Some people are beginning to see the light. Others have their snouts too deep in the trough. People are greedy, and do not want to look foolish.

  6. One quibble: There have always been consensus views, but they weren’t ferociously enforced 40 years ago.

    The change came around 1970, when tenure and federal funding took over in academia. Those two factors created huge rewards for orthodoxy and punishments for heresy.

    Before 1970, when you read popular mags like SciAm or academic journals, you’d find clear writing and an open-minded approach to alternate views.

    After 1970, you find turgid superspecialized writing and screechy bigotry toward heretics. There’s no time to stop and think; researchers have to crank out a maximal quantity of maximally fashionable crap.

  7. Global warming and cooling fears are not just a thing of the 1970s.

    A Century of Cycles: Do You See A Pattern Here?

    150 Years of Global Warming and Cooling at the New York Times

    http://newsbusters.org/node/11640

    100 years of global warming & cooling fears

    http://www.mrc.org/special-reports/fire-and-ice-0

    Global warming and cooling from 1300 to the present

    http://www.climate4you.com/ClimateAndHistory.htm

    —————————–
    Ice age articles from the 1970s

    http://anotherviewonclimate.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/time-announces-approaching-ice-age/

  8. Earlier this year WUWT posted an article written by Zombie about a book published in 1977 called ‘The Weather Conspiracy: The Coming of the New Ice Age’ In this book, which I haven’t read in full, are reports from the CIA written in 1974 which include:

    “Leaders in climatology and economics are in agreement that a climate change is taking place and that it has already caused major economic problems throughout the world. As it becomes more apparent to the nations around the world that the current trend is indeed a long term reality, new alignments will be made among nations to insure a secure supply of food resources. Assessing the impact of climate change on major nations will, in the future, occupy a major portion of the intelligence community’s assets.”

    The theme of the book was an impending apocalyptic disaster caused by a new ice age which would affect foreign policy, the cost of fuel and what we eat. It would cause major migration, mass starvation and according to the ‘most optimistic…consensus of the Central intelligence Agency’ a change to all our lifestyles.

    Zombie concluded that:
    “The “solutions” prescribed to solve both Global Warming and the looming Ice Age are exactly the same.” He provides some extracts from the book:

    “Many climatologists believe that since the sixties the world has been slipping towards a new ice age. The only questions in their minds are: What kind of ice age will it be, little or great? How soon will it happen?”

    “In 1975, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences said there was a ‘finite’ chance that a new ice age could occur within a century.”

    “….more than half the earth’s inhabitants could die of hunger, and more than a dozen countries could be wiped off the face of the earth.”

    “In global terms, man contributes a tiny amount of heat to the atmosphere…the sun gives out six thousand times more energy than all man’s power stations, furnaces, engines and industrial complexes put together.”

    The short article and the extracts are well worth a read:

    http://pjmedia.com/zombie/2012/01/31/the-coming-of-the-new-ice-age-end-of-the-global-warming-era/?singlepage=true

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/17/climate-alarmism-our-sanity-and-wallets-need-a-break/#more-71132

    Who is the Grand Old Duke of Climate Change? Any contenders?

  9. Not all old science textbooks speculate that the world may cool.
    I have a copy of ‘Fundamentals of Physical Science’ by Konrad B. Krauskopf and Arthur Beiser (McGraw-Hill, 1971 edition).
    It’s an excellent science book, and interestingly on page 611 is the following:
    ‘Since 1880 the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has gone up by 12 percent. Despite the relatively small proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – only 330 parts per million – it is a most significant constituent because of its ability to absorb solar energy reradiated by the Earth. There is a distinct – and ominous – likelihood that the increase in the average temperature of the atmosphere by about 0.01 degrees C per year since 1880 is due to the increase in its carbon dioxide content over this period.’
    On page 630: ‘the recent sharp increase in worldwide temperatures parallels the increase in the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere that is probably due to the burning of coal and oil.’
    The authors also mention other factors that can influence climate – ‘wind patterns, solar emissions of fast ions, the moisture and ozone contents of the atmosphere, the presence of dust from volcanic eruptions, and ocean currents that involve motions of cold and warm water around the globe.’
    They also point out: ‘And further doubt concerning the effect of the increasing carbon dioxide on climate follows from the observation that in in the past 20 years temperatures have been on the decrease in the far north. Clearly more time is needed to establish whether the decrease represents a temporary fluctuation in a long term upward trend, or the start of a new long-term downward trend. The only certainty on the question of whether man is inadvertently producing a cold future for himself is uncertainty – an excellent argument for trying to moderate the amount of carbon dioxide so casually discarded into the atmosphere.’

  10. I don’t have to tell anyone here that they’ve been at this a long long time
    another prophet of disaster
    who says the ship is lost
    another prophet of disaster
    leaving you to count the cost
    taunting us with visions
    afflicting us with fear
    predicting war for millions
    in the hope that one appears
    Iron Maiden – Die with your boots on – Piece of Mind album – 1984

  11. “We need to fundamentally transform the system that diverts our attention and resources from real challenges, analyses and solutions.”

    Agreed. A fundamental transformation of the world economic system would be a good start. The present one is fubar.

  12. It seems Germany is beginning to have second thoughts. They are now pushing ahead with 16 coal fired power stations, and many more gas ones. There are no plans to fit CCS to any of these, and indeed no laws to mandate this as we in the UK have.

    It is inconceivable that these new plants will be shut down in a few years time, which leads one to the conclusion that they will still be churning out a lot of CO2 in decades to come.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/germanys-dash-for-coal/

  13. “Cataclysmic cooling? Dangerous warming? Is there something in between that can help initiate real debate, improve our understanding of how our climate works, and let us get on with our lives?”

    Unfortunately,in today’s climate,not unless it involves billions of 1st world country tax dollars,and black holes masses of tenures.

  14. Is the elephant in the room here that it wasn’t the subprime crisis that triggered the 2008 collapse but that it was all the green initiatives bills finally coming due and the subprime deal was only the straw that broke the camel’s back? Why else would we still be in recession? Just asking.

  15. The needless regulations are prolonging the recession, keeping unemployment high, impairing civil rights progress, and hurting poor, minority and elderly families most of all.

    Thus you have identified the key groups and current issues that the Democratic Party of the US says they are needed to fight and fight for. Who have pushed for the “climate change” regulations that worsen those situations and harm those groups. “Proving” we need the Democrats to improve that which they have worsened and harmed, and will make even more worse and harm further by fighting for even more “climate change” regulations.

    Bring them in to clean up the mess, then they keep making it larger and messier to justify an ongoing need for them to keep cleaning it up.

    Wait a minute.

    Lawyers justify themselves from the mess that lawyers have made of the legal system. Public school teachers justify themselves by the mess of public education, we need their skills to fix the growing problem. Financial experts due to derivatives and other bewildering instruments of finance created by financial experts, which includes the stocks and commodities markets. Heck, even the public works guys who keep patching the same hole in the road repeatedly instead of repaving, no matter how bad it gets.

    And the plethora of “climate change” consultants, advisers, and purveyors of “solutions” from renewable energies to “carbon credits” to feed additives that make the cows burp and fart less often. Add in the assorted Green groups and researchers who are essentially paid to keep reminding us just how bad the crisis is, according to them.

    Take a crisis, make it worse and make it a career. If a suitable crisis is not available, make one. And hope the suckers never catch on, if you’re charitable enough to believe they could be smart enough. Repeat throughout civilization, wherever enough rubes with enough money to make it worth your while can be found.

    Wow, I just had an epiphany.

  16. Tom G(ologist) says:
    September 17, 2012 at 7:06 am
    Would eveyone please stop perpetuating the incorrect abbreviation “FRACKING” It is the second derivative abbreviation of hydraulic fracturing (first derivative = hydro-fracturing) and therefore is “FRACING”.
    ——————————
    Why isn’t it called fracting? Or better still call it “fracturing”
    cn

  17. Hoser says:
    September 17, 2012 at 7:10 am
    Precisely,
    ……….We need an opposition party, or majority party with some spine to actually close departments, cut the federal workforce by 25% or more, and slash regulations. Unfortunately, what we have are people who typically are satisfied with stability. I’d like to believe Paul Ryan is not one of those.
    ————–
    His name is Gary Johnson. 2 Term republican governor of NM
    Right answers.

    http://www.garyjohnson2012.com

  18. Anthony:

    In reading your article you stated that the new ice age didn’t happen. Of course what you forgot to note is that the reason it didn’t happen was because of those “enlightened” EPA regulations around fine particulate matter. Remember the general “scientific consensus” was that this global cooling was man made – all of those fine particulants that man was sending into the up atmosphere that were blocking out the warming effects of the sun. Of course the EPA had to take immediate action and institute the appropriate regulations to stop men from spewing these harmful particulates into the atmosphere. Alas the EPA was right – we avoided the dreadful global cooling and allowed the planet to return to its normal warming state – oh wait another environmental crisis. Now we are facing a warming climate and certain doom………… To quote Bob Dylan, “when will we ever learn…”

    REPLY: Note who the author is before saying I wrote such and such please… – Anthony

  19. RE: Climate Alarmism: Our sanity and wallets need a break
    Guest post by Paul Driessen

    What we need a break from is constructions such as that posted by Paul Driessen. He wheels out just about every possible “anything but warming” argument but bypasses science.

    One of his worst arguments is this:

    “At a mere 0.0395% of Earth’s atmosphere (395 ppm), carbon dioxide is truly a “trace gas.” Yet it is the “gas of life.” Without it all life on earth would cease to exist. Many scientists nevertheless insist that plant-fertilizing CO2 has supplanted the many complex and interconnected solar, cosmic, oceanic, planetary, atmospheric and other forces that have always driven climate change – and that a further increase to 0.0450% (from 0.280% or 280 ppm prior to the industrial revolution) would somehow push life and civilization past a “tipping point.”””

    Why is it that some sceptics simply cannot address the fundamental science issue that constantly bedevils the debate on climate change – the role of CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

    We know that CO2 is vital to the planetary ecosystem. Its a given.

    But what is its role as a greenhouse gas ? Isn’t that a vital role that is also a given ?

    As I have previously posted, if as Driessen says, CO2 is merely a trace gas which we need not worry about, then nearly 200 years of one of the most important findings of atmospheric physics goes out of the window.

    Without greenhouses gases, we would freeze. The planet would be more than 20C colder than it is – the average global temperature would be sub zero.

    CO2 is an important greenhouse gas that helps keep Earth good for life. Its not the only one, but it is significant. So then if we take CO2 out of the atmosphere, how much do we cool ? There are a range of possibles but not irrelevant as Driessen implies. The Earth would cool by several degrees C.

    So reverse the argument – increasing CO2 will warm the planet. How much ? Again, there is a range of answers, but it is not insignificant if we double CO2, which is likely.

    Thats the core of the global warming debate and its got nothing to do with politics.

  20. James Abbott:

    At September 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm you ask and assert

    So reverse the argument – increasing CO2 will warm the planet. How much ? Again, there is a range of answers, but it is not insignificant if we double CO2, which is likely.

    Firstly, there is a wide range of climate sensitivities used in climate models as reported by Kiehl
    (ref. Kiehl JT,Twentieth century climate model response and climate sensitivity. GRL vol.. 34, L22710, doi:10.1029/2007GL031383, 2007).
    This wide range is used because each model represents a different climate system from each other and from the climate system of the real Earth. And the unique climate sensitivity of each model is compensated by a unique value of assumed anthropogenic aerosol forcing as is shown in Kiehl’s Figure 2 which can be seen at
    http://img36.imageshack.us/img36/8167/kiehl2007figure2.png ]

    However, climate sensitivity has been measured and the measurements show climate sensitivity is much smaller than the bottom of the range used in the models.

    Idso first reported empirical derivations of climate sensitivity for a doubling of atmospheric CO2. He used 8 different methods and reported his results in 1998. His paper can be read at

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/Idso_CR_1998.pdf

    Idso’s “8 natural experiments” provide a “best estimate” of climate 0.37 deg.C for a doubling of CO2.

    Much more recently, Lindzen&Choi analysed ERBE data from the tropics. Their paper can be read at

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf

    Its conclusions include

    “For sensitivities less than 2 deg.C, the data readily distinguish different sensitivities, and ERBE data appear to demonstrate a climate sensitivity of about 0.5 deg.C which is easily distinguished from sensitivities given by models.”
    And
    “Finally, it should be noted that our analysis has only considered the tropics. Following Lindzen et al. [2001], allowing for sharing this tropical feedback with neutral higher latitudes could reduce the negative feedback factor by about a factor of two. This would lead to an equilibrium sensitivity that is 2/3 rather than 1/2 of the non-feedback value. This, of course, is still a small sensitivity.”

    So, Lindzen& Choi find a climate sensitivity of about 0.4 deg.C which agrees with Idso’s finding of 0.37 deg. C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    In other words, the answer to your question “How much?” is
    The rise in global temperature from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration would be about 0.4 deg.C which is so small and insignificant that it would not be discernible.

    The reasons for the trivial effect of a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration are
    (a) the logarithmic effect of increasing the CO2 concentration on global temperature
    and
    (b) the net effect of feedbacks on temperature is negative.

    Richard

  21. From James Abbott on September 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm:

    Without greenhouses gases, we would freeze. The planet would be more than 20C colder than it is – the average global temperature would be sub zero.

    As covered over two and a half years ago in the WUWT post by David Archibald “The Logarithmic Effect of Carbon Dioxide“, the total contribution of all greenhouse gases is 30°C, also 30K.

    CO2 is an important greenhouse gas that helps keep Earth good for life. Its not the only one, but it is significant. So then if we take CO2 out of the atmosphere, how much do we cool ? There are a range of possibles but not irrelevant as Driessen implies. The Earth would cool by several degrees C.

    So reverse the argument – increasing CO2 will warm the planet. How much ? Again, there is a range of answers, but it is not insignificant if we double CO2, which is likely.

    First off, if we took it all out then all life would die, so “we” wouldn’t care.

    But as is easily seen in the third graphic, the CO₂ response is strongly logarithimic, more than half of the heating effect, up to the pre-industrial atmospheric CO₂ concentration of around 280ppm, is accomplished with just the first 20ppm.

    From 280ppm on up, the effect of increasing CO₂ is insignificant.

    So removing CO₂ will cool the planet by almost 3°C, or 3K. But doubling it from the pre-industrial level of 280ppm will have practically no effect whatsoever.

    Thats the core of the global warming debate and its got nothing to do with politics.

    Making people worry that something that’s insignificant will be the greatest tragedy to ever befall the planet? If that wasn’t politics from the start, it sure was taken up quickly for use as politics.

  22. James Abbott says:
    September 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm
    ………Thats the core of the global warming debate and its got nothing to do with politics.
    —————–
    It’s nothing but politics. The few billions the schools and researchers get is chump change.
    The UN wants trillions. It’s the tax breaks. It’s the loans. It’s proving who’s got the power.
    There is no runaway CAGW.
    It’s their game and they’re running away with our money.
    Nothing more.
    cn

  23. It it bleeds, it leads. Journalism thrives on crises. As does the government. So if someone had not created AGW, there would have been some other huckster with another line to bleed off the tax payer money. But like all other manufactured crises, this too shall pass into history to be laughed at by the next generation as just an example of hysteria gone wild.

  24. James Abbott says:
    September 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    CO2 is an important greenhouse gas that helps keep Earth good for life. Its not the only one, but it is significant. So then if we take CO2 out of the atmosphere, how much do we cool ? There are a range of possibles but not irrelevant as Driessen implies. The Earth would cool by several degrees C.

    So reverse the argument – increasing CO2 will warm the planet. How much ? Again, there is a range of answers, but it is not insignificant if we double CO2, which is likely.

    Wrong. CO2 cools the planet. Without GHGs we would parboil. They are the only gasses that can radiate to space.

    Of course, either way CO2 is trivial. H2O’s fluctuations instantly and easily compensate for even the most massive % change in CO2.

  25. …….and that a further increase to 0.0450% (from 0.280% or 280 ppm prior to the industrial revolution) would somehow push life and civilization past a “tipping point.”
    I am still mystified as to why man’s CO2 emissions are compared to the current residual CO2. We know that far greater quantities are created and used by the complex systems in nature. Why then do we not have a full understanding of these systems and whether any CO2 man has added will just be used to produce exactly the same balance point that it had before within a somewhat variable boundary? Why do we persist with this climate scientist driven over simplistic blinkered perception of a complex system?
    I suspect the real reason is that the hair shirt we are doomed placard wavers have just joined up with the climate science fraternity is an unholy alliance sponsored by the world control motivated UN as represented by the IPCC and ultimately paid for by a mostly unwilling public.

  26. @David Cage: You Wrote “Why then do we not have a full understanding of these systems and whether any CO2 man has added will just be used to produce exactly the same balance point that it had before within a somewhat variable boundary? Why do we persist with this climate scientist driven over simplistic blinkered perception of a complex system?”

    I may be a bit off here, but burning fossil fuels leaves a different Carbon 14 footprint in CO2 than newly formed CO2 from nature. This is related to the half life of the radioactive isotope of Carbon found in organic material. The concentration in the atmosphere indicates to some extent how much is from burning or metabolizing fossil fuels. I believe the studies clearly try to make the case that all fossil fuel contributions are due to man. However, there are many many tons of leaking crude into the oceans that are consumed by bacteria which should also leave that same fossil fuel footprint. The point though, is that there are studies that claim they can denote the sources of CO2.

    For the record, I am a climate sceptic. I believe that everything affects something. But absolutely reject the idea that man’s contribution has led to significantly measurable deviations to climate trends.

  27. Mario Lento,

    In addition to natural oil seeps, there are lots of coal seam fires. Some of them have been burning for more than 50 years, emitting massive pollution. Most cannot be extinguished.

    It is estimated [in the link] that 2% – 3% of all airborne pollution comes from these fires.

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