The Earth is on Fire! Gosh, who knew?

Title of new report from the Institute of Food and Resource Economics of the University of Copenhagen: Earth on Fire

Hmmm. “E a r t h  o n  f i r e”. Should be easy to prove. Let’s have a look at the numbers.

Ignition temperature of paper: 451 °F or 233°C

(Source:  Ray Bradbury. * see comments)

Average temperature of the earth: 61.43 °F or 16.37 °C

(Source: National Climatic Data Center July 2009 report – adding 20th century average plus July anomaly)

Yep, spontaneous surface ignition is possible at any moment in your area. Tune to CNN for official global fire emergency news. /sarc

Note the polar bear image on the front cover. Old habits die hard. – Anthony

from Eurekalert

New questions in the climate change debate — essential ethical and philosophical perspectives

Researchers from within the fields of science, the arts and theology add new perspectives to the climate change debate with the book ‘Earth on Fire — Climate Change from a Philosophical and Ethical Perspective,’ now available as an open-access book

IMAGE: “Earth on Fire — Climate Change from a Philosophical and Ethical Perspective, ” edited by Mickey Gjerris, Christian Gamborg, Jørgen E. Olesen and Jakob Wolf.

Click here for more information.

The book aims to show how climate change raises not only a number of questions which can be answered within the scientific domain, but also many issues of a more universal nature based on philosophical, political, ethical and religious views on the world is and how it should be. What is “good “?

The earth is on fire. So we need to both act fast and think carefully about what we are doing. The ethical questions that climate change raises may be new in their global character but behind them are still the well-known, basic universal questions such as what is “being good”, what should we do and who should we consider, how should we prioritise our efforts in a situation where there are more challenges than solutions, and how do we structure the debate of climate change issues so that everybody is heard and the best arguments gain acceptance.

Lifestyle changes are necessary

Associate Professor at Centre for Bioethics and Risk Assessment at LIFE – Faculty of Life Sciences at University of Copenhagen, Mickey Gjerris is one of the editors of the book. He says about our new situation:

“Countering climate change requires large changes to our lifestyle. Ethical thinking offers an opportunity to understand nature in a way which means that we should not only interpret these changes as a sacrifice we have to make but, rather, as an opportunity to establish a relationship to nature where protection of it is seen as a opportunity for man’s further development.”

Science as an integrated part of society

The authors of the book hope that it will contribute to researchers reflecting on the underlying values for discussion.

“It is important to understand that science is an integrated part of society and not an outside factor that can provide an independent description of what is happening while we are politically deciding what should be done”

“Today there is a tendency to lament the politicization of climate change research and to pretend that other researchers have an underlying agenda while you pride yourself on being firmly based on the objective foundation of science. But we all have an agenda, and the debating climate will gain by us recognising this”, says Mickey Gjerris.

Free English online version

The English online version of “Earth on Fire- Climate change from a philosophical and ethical perspective”, Edited by Mickey Gjerris, Christian Gamborg, Jørgen E. Olesen, Jakob Wolf, is free for all to use www.earthonfire.foi.dk. All the authors ask is that readers will share the existence of the book with their colleagues and fellow students so that as many as possible might benefit from it.

The book, which was published in a Danish printed version earlier this year, consists of seven chapters which show how the climate changes are rooted in our scientific, philosophical, political, ethical and religious understanding of the world, and concludes with three cases where the climate debate issues are discussed: CO2 trading, GM crops and biofuels. The cases are addressed by experts who have played a prominent role in the public debate of these topics.

###

“Earth on Fire – Climate change from a philosophical and ethical perspective” can be downloaded from this page: www.earthonfire.foi.dk where you can also read about the various chapters and authors of the book.

For more information, please contact Associate Professor Mickey Gjerris, LIFE -Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen on tel.: +45 35 28 21 65, mobile: + 45 25 37 03 85 or by e-mail:mgj@life.ku.dk

87 thoughts on “The Earth is on Fire! Gosh, who knew?

  1. That picture of a bear playing on a small chunk of ice looks familiar. Isn’t that one from the series showing bears playing?

  2. In 12th-century England weather prediction was considered a crime punishable by death. In some ways, it seems, people had more common sense in Middle Ages.
    Modern savage drives a car, watches TV news, listens to some hogwash iPod music, and pushes meaningless papers around from 9 am to 5 pm in cubicle of some useless institution; none of these things, however, make a human being less ignorant or more honorable than an Egyptian slave or a medieval serf.

  3. So who gets to decide what is science, and who gets to live like kings, while the rest of us pay the price of ‘lifestlyle changes’?
    This is how I read thier solution to save the Earth: Go back to the the Medieval Times.
    We’ll defend our homeland with sticks and stones.

  4. My only comment on all this is…
    Why is ‘natural’ always good?
    Cyanide & ammonia are ‘natural’ I wouldn’t advise ingestion of either.
    DaveE.

  5. Yep, the ignition temperature of paper is not nearly that hot. C an F are mixed up. Things like this are not good for your article,
    REPLY: Typo fixed, A

  6. Isn’t it 451F, like in the title of the movie? I guess they are right, the Earth will be on fire, one day, due to the Sun expanding and consuming all the inner planets or by a large asteroid strike and not as a result of not changing our lifestyle (CO2 emissions etc).
    REPLY: Typo fixed- A

  7. Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451 and I thought it was names that was because that was the temperature that ignited a book.

  8. “”” Mark B (17:57:44) :
    I’m pretty sure that paper ignites at around 450 F, not 450 C “””
    I’m pretty sure it says 450 F up above too, so you may be right.
    George

  9. Hey, anybody know off hand at just what temperature paper ignites? I hate to go looking for it when there is so much expertise at hand.
    ======================================

  10. “It is important to understand that science is an integrated part of society and not an outside factor that can provide an independent description of what is happening while we are politically deciding what should be done.”
    That’s the whole problem with much of climate science, it fails to be “… an independent description of what is happening… “. It is politicized, and that is unfortunate.

  11. I Agree.
    Lifestyle changes are necessary.
    If we all go around in drag, it will surely help the feather boa industry.
    Wait a minute – where do all those poor feathers come from?

  12. At the bottom of the http://www.earthonfire.foi.dk page they say:
    * Please help us improve the next edition: Send comments, ideas, criticism and praise to Mickey Gjerris at mgj@life.ku.dk
    It might be a fool’s errand, but some thoughtful comments AFTER reading the book could be passed on. At least it would test the ethics of the ethicists.

  13. INGSOC (17:57:23) :
    I have a suggestion for another title; “Pants on Fire!”

    Analysis complete.

  14. I can’t believe I’m saying this but…The Earth is not made of paper.
    It is however largely SiO2. Which doesn’t combust at all, because it’s already bonded to two oxygen atoms.

  15. Bradbury? I’m aware of his work.
    (Ahem… Simpsons quote, for the other scifi geeks)
    Yeah, so tempting to respond to the authors… Is this another Salem Witchhunt?

  16. How ethical is it to continually divert attention to a questionable problem like AGW while allowing ignoring polution of the enviroment by toxins and carcinogens, habitat destruction, deforestation, etc.? Big industry and special interests are only too happy to have CO2 play the heavy role while the real damage goes on at an increasing pace.

  17. Discussion is good. We ought to discuss this for at least another three to six years before doing anything rash. We could discuss what to do if Earth cools for 30-50 years and whether or not we can, if fact, do anything. We could discuss how much better it will be to have great amounts of less costly energy if we want to cool folks in Cleveland or warm them in Copenhagen, or feed them in India. Lots of good topics. Let’s get on with the discussions while we wait to see what new variation in climates comes our way.

  18. We must stop our selfish consumption of the precious earth. Every living thing is unique in the universe and we must save each strand of replicating DNA so that life can thrive without humans. Wait… sorry, if there aren’t any humans, I don’t care what happens to the rest of the universe.

  19. Researchers from within the fields of science, the arts and theology add new perspectives to the climate change debate with the book ‘Earth on Fire — Climate Change from a Philosophical and Ethical Perspective,’ now available as an open-access book. . .

    “Open-access” meaning they have no hope in hell of selling any copies, so they’re giving it away.
    What is truly appalling and most infuriating is how these pompous, fatuous fools simply assume the validity of anthropogenic global warming, and either pretend there is no debate, or are completely unaware there is one. And of course to doubt the “Earth on Fire” catechism is to invite divine retribution for failing to recognize “what is good.” Heresy, you know.
    /Mr Lynn

  20. Peter Jones (19:43:19)………. “How ethical is it to continually divert attention to a questionable problem like AGW while allowing ignoring polution of the enviroment by toxins and carcinogens, habitat destruction, deforestation, etc.? ”
    ————————————————————–
    Actually I’d go a step beyond that… How ethical is it to continually cry catastrophe over pollution in the West, without first acknowledging the huge steps that have been taken to address that very problem….?
    The Enviro fascists are fabulists who exaggerate and lie. They see catastrophe where none exists.
    Is not air, water and soil pollution in the developed world better that it was 40 years previously?…. Yes it is.
    Toxins and Carcinogens are nowhere near as deadly as parasites and disease.
    Humans in the so called polluted developed world live the longest lives in all of human history….. So progress can’t be all bad ‘eh Peter?

  21. Doesn’t the above synopsis of this book confirm what so many of us have been saying for so long?
    In fact it is a fine example of the mock-science called sociology. What a wonderful thing sociology is because it requires nothing other than an agenda. Armed with just that, you can address any issue of science or, indeed, any other factual analysis by examining (in reality, rationalising) its effect on your agenda.
    For so long as you have fluffy seals and fluffy polar bears on screens behind you, you can ignore that the former meet a gruesome end in the jaws of the latter because you are presenting an image that is kind and friendly and, yes, fluffy. People do things that might, in one way or another and to even the most minor extent, have a deleterious effect on fluffy things. Immediately the scene is set. Fluffy is good therefore the human activity under discussion is bad.
    “But it makes life better for humans who previously had poor housing, no heating and unreliable sources of food” you bleat to no avail. It is to no avail because even those who are lifted from poverty, disease and malnutrition are human beings and, therefore, in the non-fluffy camp.
    A British blogger to whom I will not link (because: (a) I don’t know how and (b) his language is more than a touch fruity) once wrote of the “lentilisation” of British state education. Where once children learned things and were examined on a combination of their knowledge of facts and their ability to analyse, now they are examined on the extent to which they can expound politically correct arguments and empathise with the emotional responses of “victims” of non-politically correct behaviour. Only the tree-hugging, lentil-eating, tofu-knitting perspective is deemed valid.
    We started with man-made global warming but things really heated up when the world stopped doing so, because at that time man-made global warming turned into climate change and the avenues for promoting the fluffy agenda increased exponentially. In this field it is not lentilisation but fluffilisation that rules the roost. Two legs bad (unless on a bird), four legs good. Actually, forget the four legs good. It’s all about two (non-avian) legs bad.
    From there other agendas are free to flourish, of which national big government and one-world government are the most obvious. Only big government can control those nasty humans. Just as they ignore the natural juxtaposition of fluffy seals and fluffy polar bears, so they ignore the inevitable consequence of concentrating power in the hands of a remote few. And, never forget that the few become more and more remote (and more and more few) because dissent is the enemy and must be suppressed.
    Welcome to the sociologically justified world of fluffilisation.

  22. Somebody needs to get that poor polar bear an agent. If he was collecting residuals for all the times the alarmists have published his picture, he could afford a big refrigeration unit to keep his iceberg intact and have the Omaha Steaks people keep him supplied with his daily protein needs. Hell, he could probably even afford those $100/lb Wagyu steaks that Barack and Michelle are so fond of serving at the White House.

  23. The ‘green’ movement of today reminds me a lot of the flagellant movement of the middle ages. If we punish ourselves enough, then maybe we will all be saved….
    I think of it a lot when I see a Smart car owner that just dropped 20-25K on their de-tuned go kart.

  24. * Interesting thing about the ignition temperature of paper, which I chose as an example of something that easily ignites: not all references agree on the temperature.
    For example the first reference I cited, The Handbook of Physical and Mechanical Testing of Paper and Paperboard – Volume 2 says 450°F which is what I first used.
    The Hazardous materials chemistry for emergency responders, Volume 55
    says: paper is at 446°F
    and a third, Wikipedia
    says: Paper: 424-474°F
    Who to believe? So after a number of comments, I relented on 450°F and went with the common and well known temperature of 451°F popularized by Ray Bradbury in his book Fahrenheit 451.
    I wonder what reference he used back then when he was writing the book?
    Reply: Ahem. It has been clearly demonstrated from the latest ensemble run of GCMs (Global Combustion Models) that paper will ignite in the 424-474° range noted above with an error range of +/- 600° F. ~ ctm

  25. It was pretty hot in the L.A. area today but I didn’t see any spontaneous combustion of newspapers or books. There is a big brush fire going on just North of me……..hmmm.

  26. wattsupwiththat (20:40:40) :
    * Interesting thing about the ignition temperature of paper, which I chose as an example of something that easily ignites: not all references agree on the temperature. . .

    Different kinds of paper probably ignite at different temperatures. My late Uncle Harold would have known; he was a chemist who worked for Champion Paper in Hamilton, Ohio. His Christmas presents came wrapped in the most elegant, shiny, solid-color paper I’ve ever seen. I’ll bet that took a lot to get burning.
    /Mr Lynn

  27. I’m reading a short book on Prohibition and rum running. The attitudes and behaviors of the Prohibitionists are identical to those of the Groonies (Green Loonies). Overstate the problems, oversell the solutions, and create a bigger mess than the original problem.

  28. That polar bear photo cover is screaming out “this is a propaganda; don’t take it seriously.”
    Those people have no shame. No brain neither.

  29. I’m getting extremely frustrated by these doom and gloom scenarios.
    The earth has been warming for the past 100 years, by now it’s increased around .8C in temp and the sea level has risen accordingly.
    Now is there any empirical evidence that this is disastrous?
    Our food production has increased dramatically, I know of no homes (in Australia anyway) being inundated by rising sea level forcing occupants to leave and rebuild, there has been no increase in natural disasters like hurricanes, droughts etc so I can see no problem if we continue down this path for the next century?
    What exactly is the problem?

  30. janama (21:33:32) : You wrote:
    “The earth has been warming for the past 100 years . . .”
    Actually, with a few exceptions, Earth has been warming for about 19,000 years. There are also shorter term variations. And I agree with you, namely, “ What exactly is the problem? ”

  31. These are the typical RC comments which then Gavin shields from response.
    “Craig says:
    26 August 2009 at 9:27 PM
    The problem is that the pseudo-skeptics are a lot better at muddying the water than scientists are at clarifying it. For example, the pseudo-skeptics can point at bogus petitions like the Oregon petition. It has been laughably easy for the denialists to demonize the IPCC because they haven’t even made even a minimalist effort to present their case in a convincing manner. .
    Lou says:
    26 August 2009 at 10:47 PM
    1. The deniers are not interested in winning debates, merely sowing enough doubt to delay action. That’s why they argue online so willingly and, some would say, as relentlessly as the Borg on Star Trek: They’re simply putting on a show for the mainstream voters who happen upon the online “debates”. The current situation is like a fight between a pro wrestler and Frasier Crane (from the US TV sitcom). One wants to put on a show and the other comes prepared with facts and expects to have a civil discussion.
    2. We’re at a hideous disadvantage. The other guys get to talk in bumper stickers and tell people things they want to hear (”don’t worry about CO2, it’s all a bunch of foo foo”), while we have to explain at least some of the underlying science to a mainstream that has very few scientists. (Even worse is the “dentist problem” that Michael Tobis has identified, the people with some training in science or a related field who insist on being “independent thinkers” and denying the evidence.)
    They repeat their tired old nonsense for the 9,000th time, and swarm one web site after another.”

  32. …’an independent description of what is happening’…
    NOAA says if El Nino continues to mature, as now projected, ‘global temperatures are likely to exceed previous record highs.’
    In reality, El Nino has stalled in its tracks, yet the warmists are still hopeful of renewed warming. The Trade Winds are weakening, which should help their cause, but with a blank sun and cold PDO I don’t fancy their chances.
    Those shonky models cannot be relied upon.

  33. While the answer to “what is good” may be what allows organisms to flourish, the answer to the climate change debate is an unsolvable conundrum that lies between the precautionary principle and what science reveals. Until such time as the mysteries of the universe are unraveled, the climate debate will divide humanity along lines that are political, spiritual, moral, or lucrative. The fear of the unknown is like a black hole at the center of our galaxy, consuming all who venture too close.

  34. “Today there is a tendency to lament the politicization of climate change research and to pretend that other researchers have an underlying agenda while you pride yourself on being firmly based on the objective foundation of science. But we all have an agenda, and the debating climate will gain by us recognising this”, says Mickey Gjerris.
    So, “we all have an agenda”, eh? It ‘s always humorous to see a relativist try to argue against the possibility of objectivity by then making objective statements about the rest of the World – and especially by projecting his own disdain for or fear of the Scientific Method upon the rest of the people in the whole World, who all “have agendas”, when, as he admitted up front, he is actually only talking about himself and his own agenda, which seems to be to disparage or disprove the validity of the Scientific Method as a way to determine facts and that, ergo, politicization of Science is also a-ok.
    It’s also humorous to see an “ethicist” say he is going to talk about the ethics of a situation, then suddenly postulate his own particular ethical rules from which there can be no deviation.

  35. FatBigot (20:20:59)
    Gee, FB, sorry I missed your blog prior to this; you really ought to keep writing. I must, however, take exception to your description of sociology. Try not to confuse the mob of agenda-driven fanatics with the discipline: there are in fact a large number of sociologists who make the attempt to understand society and social systems BEFORE suggesting schemes to change it. What is really odd is that the agendists (hmmmph, is there such a word?) who are hell-bent on Statist solutions have their origins in sociological schools of thought that were opposed to everything their descendants now stand for.
    It would be wrong to jettison science in general and climate science in particular because of the antics of Hansen, Mann and Schmidt. The same is true for Sociology. It is capable of explaining so much, including how and why climate science has been captured by anti-science fanatics.

  36. CodeTech (19:35:22) :
    Bradbury? I’m aware of his work.
    (Ahem… Simpsons quote, for the other scifi geeks)

    We science fiction geeks prefer “sf” because “scifi” is so “yesterday.” Mundane/Hollywood/common/ill-informed/alien. “SF” can also mean “speculative fiction,” an alternate science fiction moniker used primarily by those who refer to janitors as custodial engineers.
    Mike
    humble web minion for two World Science Fiction Society conventions,
    2007 and 2009.

  37. My little spot on this planet is rather cooler than it should be.
    Most of this month of August registered 13 to 17 degrees C.
    Last week at 7:00am it was 8C. That was after a clear still night.
    Very little sun this summer in Pembrokeshire. Sad for the holiday crowd.

  38. It is my view that Sociology and Climatology have much in common. Both have plenty of theories which are unfalsifiable, and both have to use ‘fuzzy’ data to deal with massive complex systems.
    Best thing to do with this book would be to burn it, to help mitigate the coming cold.

  39. Reply: Ahem. It has been clearly demonstrated from the latest ensemble run of GCMs (Global Combustion Models) that paper will ignite in the 424-474° range noted above with an error range of +/- 600° F. ~ ctm
    Very robust very!!!!!!!!!!
    451 is the best est. and it has a good sound!
    Blackboard VS openmind
    I love a fight, tammy lost badly however.
    PCM (paper combustion model)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCM

  40. Oh there are some very clever thinkers out there in the big wide world! I admire you all. I particularly liked the Forgone conclusion comment.
    How curious that somebody brings the Borg into the topic. The Borg (a terryfying & frightening fictional life-form created for a tv science-fiction show, so I understand) are a collective, a united group, who all think as one, speak as one, breath as one, act as one, whose sole purpose is to turn others into beings like themselves. Is this not precisely what the UN/IPCC/EU policies are directed at achieving, World Governance, all peoples thinking, speaking, acting as one, to stop Global Warming & to save the planet from humanity? We would all have to obey the Global Government, which, rather like the EU, would be unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable, & thus by default, corrupt! Who would be available to tell it that it was wrong, or had taken a bad decision? It could never be democratic, as enough problems occur trying to have a real democracy & fair & even handed voting systems in countries around the world, what hope for Global elections?
    Anyway, trying to burn some of the paper that comes through my door in my incinerator (please don’t tell the enviro-police, I wouldn’t want to be sent to the re-education camp (brainwashing centre!)) the matches seem to take an age to ignite, & when I finally do get one lit, the paper seems to take so long to catch I end up burning my fingers all too frequently!
    Aren’t those fluffy white bears very good artists? Those lovely sculptures they make in the ice are quite marvellous don’t you think?

  41. LoL@ this: “act fast and think carefully”
    Ready??
    Fire!!!
    Aim.
    “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”

  42. I remember thinking as a teenager many years ago about the biblical prophecy that the world will perish by fire some day. I realized then that perhaps it was actually happening now, (back in 1967) since all the oil we burn in our automobiles is derived from “fossil fuel” which was once the great ancient forests of the world then one could say that the world is actually on fire in each internal cumbustion engine farting about on the planet now. If once imagines the entire planet’s existing forests buring all at once but many times over and over then well, yes , the world is technically “on fire”. I presented this idea to my HS physiscs teacher and he laughed and gave me an A for creativity but then told to tell it to my Sunday School teacher as well. He laughed, too.

  43. Funny thing, Fahreinheit 451 is about a state, a society gone mad (where firemen are charged with starting, not stopping fires) burning “non-approved” books in fact. Seems to me we’re well on our way there. Mix in some brave new world & 1984 in the UK anyway and there you are.

  44. “4. Greenhouse gases
    The most important greenhouse gases are water vapour (H2O), carbon
    dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), CFC (chlorofluorocarbons)
    and tropospheric ozone (O3) (Table 1). It is not possible to rank
    with any certainty the effect of the individual gases with respect to the total
    greenhouse effect. This is, among other things, due to a number of feedback
    mechanisms between the greenhouse gases (Box 3). Basically, the ratio
    between the most important greenhouse gases – water vapour, clouds and
    carbon dioxide – is estimated at 2‑1‑1.”
    Can anyone tell me where that ratio comes from? I was under the impression water vapuor was around 80% or more of the GHE.

  45. “Finally, variations in solar radiation have also resulted in a slight increase in radiation effects in the first half of the twentieth century (Table 1). A handful of scientists claim that these factors together with other natural causes can be the main reasons for the observed climate changes rather than the emission of greenhouse gases”
    A ‘handful’, it seems….

  46. From the authors –
    ““It is important to understand that science is an integrated part of society and not an outside factor that can provide an independent description of what is happening while we are politically deciding what should be done”
    Why not underline and send a copy to Phil Jones at CRU?
    BTW, paper ignites at all sorts of temperatures because it is made of so many different components. Some papers have a lot of clay, some are based on tree wood fibre, some hardwood, some softwood, some on linen fibre or other cloth like silk, some even on grass (hemp, bamboo). Some have polymer/plastic filler. Some have metal particles that glitter. Some have more water than others. Ever tried to flame a wet toilet paper? Given all this, “generic paper” might be a good combustion source to calibrate a thermometer for a weather station.

  47. ‘fields of science, the arts and theology ‘
    arts and theology, that says it all. The biggest reason to question AGW is that the “solutions” being preached to us have been presented in the past for other reasons by people who belong to the same mindset and if it were not for the AGW scare the same “solutions” would be presented for some other reason.
    That does not automatically make AGW false but it just makes me look at it that bit more critically.

  48. AND Auntee Beeb is doing her best for the political environment again, like recycling stories:-
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8223528.stm
    can someone tell me how reflecting light & heat back up into the atmosphere (where it presumably heats it) from low level is going to help the situation?
    Followed by this placed strategically Science & Environment page of the website from 2008 (really up to date these boys),
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7429562.stm
    I think I said a while back now that I once read an online paper by two distinguished non-scientists about Carbon Capture Storage (no longer there online), it was so familiar to me that I got suspicious, & low & behold it was almost a re-write of a paper in the New Civil Engineer journal written several years ago about nuclear waste storage, with a virtual straight substitution of the word nuclear for the word carbon!
    Looks like we’re headed for collective suicide a la the Xhosa people in Africa in the 19th C! The stories are mounting chaps, ready for the Autumn/Winter season!

  49. “Countering climate change requires large changes to our lifestyle. Ethical thinking offers an opportunity to understand nature in a way which means that we should not only interpret these changes as a sacrifice we have to make but, rather, as an opportunity to establish a relationship to nature where protection of it is seen as a opportunity for man’s further development.”
    Another example of someone who, having attained his lifestyle goal, now wants no one else to strive to attain theirs. Kind of like when I first moved to Florida years ago, I found a nice uncrowded place and wished no one else would move there so I could keep my “paradise” all to myself.

  50. wattsupwiththat (20:40:40) : ” The Handbook of Physical and Mechanical Testing of Paper and Paperboard – Volume 2 says 450°F which is what I first used.
    The Hazardous materials chemistry for emergency responders, Volume 55
    says: paper is at 446°F
    and a third, Wikipedia
    says: Paper: 424-474°F”
    Using the above data, I strived to calculate the average global paper combustion temperature. First I needed to solve the Wikepedia issue of such a wide range so I took the median value at 449 F. Then using a complicated code, I added all three temps together which produced a total of 1345. Then, again using the same code, divided that by 3 to get an average of 448.3333333333333333333…. which I rounded to 448.33.
    So by using the 450F level, you have a +1.67 anomaly for the current global combustion temperature of paper proving that global warming is real.

  51. Well, if the “Earth Fire” can be focused easily, I’d appreciate the help. I’ve got a bunch of fairly large stumps I need to burn out, and hosing them down with diesel is getting expensive.

  52. In the run up to Copenhagen will these alarmist, ridiculous pronouncements just get worse by the day? First the planet is on fire and now we are being told we have long since passed safe levels of CO2. IPCC chairman Rajandra Pachauri yesterday gave his personal endorsement to the view that 350 ppm of CO2 is the only safe limit for the planet while stopping short of accepting this as an official target for the coming conference:
    “As chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) I cannot take a position because we do not make recommendations,” said Rajendra Pachauri when asked if he supported calls to keep atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations below 350 parts per million (ppm).
    “But as a human being I am fully supportive of that goal. What is happening, and what is likely to happen, convinces me that the world must be really ambitious and very determined at moving toward a 350 target,” he told AFP in an interview.
    find the whole interview here: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hacayDuUcngLmhNkplHB5VtG5GNw
    and here’s how the 350 movement is taking the news: http://www.350.org/
    I honestly expected the supporters of AGW to accept and understand the fact that the alarmism is entirely counterproductive but I realise now that quite the opposite seems to be the fact. No doubt “Watts up with that” will have a great time with all the nonsense that is coming – 350ppm, the bottom line ? I mean have they ever had geology lessons at school?

  53. What was that 60’s movie they made into a series, where the atmosphere caught fire?
    Oh yes, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
    Full of monsters and silly plots, strange fevers. The writers suffered from cramps.

  54. Generally, the first thing I look towards in a book on ethics and integrity, is ethics and integrity.
    This book, from the cover on, seems to lack both.
    IOW, the book is typical AGW propaganda.

  55. Speaking of paper burning, and temperature; I’m a glassblower, and back in the 70’s apprenticed at a glass company with big gas-fired annealing ovens without pyrometers. The way we judged that the oven was at the correct temperature (something like 850F) was to crumple up some paper, throw it way inside, and count the number of seconds it took to burst into flame. I believe it needed to be about 10 seconds. If it took longer, then it still wasn’t hot enough. I suppose if it burst into flame too soon then it was too hot, but I don’t remember that being a problem.
    I’m guessing it could take a while for paper to burst into flame at 451F (or whatever).

  56. “The book, which was published in a Danish printed version earlier this year, consists of seven chapters which show how the climate changes are rooted in our scientific, philosophical, political, ethical and religious understanding of the world. . .”
    So science only (mis)represents a seventh of their understanding of climate change – who would have guessed it! It gives new meaning to previously mentioned claims that AGW is a pseudo religion, LOL.

  57. hey, do they have the new king james version yet? or is that to be delivered by the goreacle? in gaia we trust!

  58. Geoff Sherington (03:27:56) :
    BTW, paper ignites at all sorts of temperatures because it is made of so many different components.

    But more importantly, in the case of rolling papers, what’s inside it. ;~P

  59. This morning I looked out of the window, being relatively sunny, to verify whether it was the case that London was on fire. It was not. However, from a philosphical perpective, it may well have been on fire, but my existential perception failed to register.. If so, then a Hegelian concept would have to be invoked to vouchsafe for the fact that the streets were indeed on fire, if not empirically so, then at least from a metaphysical perspective.
    Nonethless I evaded these imaginary flames by wielding a certesian perspective, that the mind controls nature. This all left me feeling the grace of God.
    Science, religion, and philosophy of climate in a nutshell.
    Now back on planet earth, where science is a matter of proving the veracity of a hypothesis based on empirical FACTS, in the style of David Hume, I can walk the streets feeling relatively safe, save for the wind, rain, and other such phenomena that seem to occur from the heavens above. All i can say is that fire isn’t included amongst these meterorological phenomena. (Unless the Daleks have arrived)

  60. I would have expected a rather different picture on the cover – maybe forest fires raging, a snip from the movie “The day the Earth caught fire” or possibly Dante’s inferno. However, the picture they’ve chosen suggest that the title of the book should have been “Earth awash with Polar bears”.

  61. @mr.artday (21:25:23) :
    “I’m reading a short book on Prohibition and rum running. The attitudes and behaviors of the Prohibitionists are identical to those of the Groonies (Green Loonies).”
    Groonies. I like that term! That’s going straight into my personal lexicon.
    “Overstate the problems, oversell the solutions, and create a bigger mess than the original problem.”
    Succinct and accurate, particularly the last clause.
    Great post, sir.

  62. JER0ME (03:22:50) :
    “4. Greenhouse gases
    The most important greenhouse gases are water vapour (H2O), carbon
    dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), CFC (chlorofluorocarbons)
    and tropospheric ozone (O3) (Table 1). It is not possible to rank
    with any certainty the effect of the individual gases with respect to the total
    greenhouse effect. This is, among other things, due to a number of feedback
    mechanisms between the greenhouse gases (Box 3). Basically, the ratio
    between the most important greenhouse gases – water vapour, clouds and
    carbon dioxide – is estimated at 2‑1‑1.”
    That 2-1-1 ratio kind of leapt off the page at me as I was giving this thing a quick scan. So clouds and CO2 are essentially equivalent in their effect on the climate. That seems to be somewhat at odds with the information I’ve encountered in exploring this topic, which as I recall indicates that 1 or 2 percent changes in cloud cover would have as much or more effect as a doubling of CO2. But then, I’m not a real climate scientist, so I probably don’t possess the proper level of intellectual sophistication to grasp the subtleties of the argument.
    I’m hoping the lads at RC will provide this opus the samekind of line by line scrutineering and dissection as they have for so many other works related to the climate in the past, but since they probably are in full agreement with it and are ,in fact, responsible for a good deal of the deep thinking presented in it, I won’t be holding my breath.

  63. Where I live a main industry is livestock production. We all know just how much methane these enslaved creatures are contaminaing the atmosphere with. A big greenhouse gas. However, with the high concentrations of methane comes the danger of spontaneous combustion–WHOOM!–methane (and global warming) gone, wow. There are many things that burn quickly, one of them being me. Me, when someone tries to put their hand in my pocket to lift my wallet. I burn, then I turn (on them). Anyone else burn when their money is stolen? That is what will happen with this Cap and Trade nonsense. The vast majority of folks in the US have no idea what is in store for them. For no real reason they want to take our money. Just where will this money go any way? Maybe Al Gore can afford to purchase an entire ocean to sail his overgrown boat on.

  64. When I click on the link to ‘Earth on Fire’ at the top of the article, after a couple of minutes I receive a message saying the “file is damaged” – singed perhaps!
    Would it be possible to refresh the link? Thanks

  65. when talking about water and clouds we’re talking about 2 different things, although water vapour has much more power of absorbtion that c02 – it “absorbs” much more heat than c02. If it were cloudless on a typical summer night, then it would feel colder than if it were not. We assume that c02 levels are the same from day to day. It is the absence or presence of water vapour which has the major effect, so no: C02 is largely irrelevant as a climate feedback. Both vapour and c02 are feedbacks and not forcings however, and this is important to remember: Neither force the climate, and both are dependent on the ambient temperature of climatic factors. Also, because water vapour has a much wider band of absorbtion than co2 and overlaps the same bandwidths of c02, there is consequently much less heat left over for c02 to “absorb”

  66. Oh: Back to the philosophy of climate change in the style of David Hume, who would have looked at the phenomenon both in terms of human reason and human nature. Human reason would have been the side of scepticism, whereas looking at it from the human nature would have gone something like this: “Tis folly and vanity which separates us from the animals”, so since we produce a tiny fraction of c02, obviously we’re extremely important, and so achieve the most monumental effect on the world around us, in proportion to our vanity.

  67. for sake of simplification of the above, water vapour is some 100 times the ghg as c02 and thereby swamps, for want of a better word, any effect from c02. I’m sure that most climatologists know this already, bu ttry to get around the uncomfortable fact by staing that c02 causes more water vapour. What they don’t tell us is that Anthropogenic c02 is 3% of all C02 whereas the other 97% is from natural respiration, decay, oceans etc. All c02 is 385ppm of the atmosphere (less than 0.04%). so put the Anthopogenic level into perspective. In terms of temperature, it wouldn’t make any difference if there was any c02 in the atmosphere or not

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