Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The 15%

Only 15% of Americans do not accept global warming, but it is a really loud 15%.


Likely, I have the same problem. I expect that it is a very small, but loud group that does not accept my work.

Modern Luddites. I know one person that wrotes scathingly of me, is proud of having being descended from a Luddite. They were a small group, that marched, threw rocks, vandalized and burned some factories, and accomplished very little.


Unknown said...

I wish people would quit being distracted by "global warming". I have not counted how many facts prove or disprove it, but face it, you CAN find facts that "disprove" it or that say we are slowing down the next ice age. Frankly I think we do not yet have the science and computing power to model all the many factors in global weather prediction.

BUT, and this is the big BUT, why does it matter? It is a no brainer to me that we should reduce waste, consume less and reduce pollution.

I listened to a very convincing argument that said the "pro-global warming hype" has actually backfired, since when scared people will buy urban assault vehicles, personal generators and stockpile food. This guy was pretty convincing that we should have a more "we can do this" model, pointing out how little changes (like more energy efficient light bulbs) when multiplied by millions of people really can make a difference. In other words. We can fix this. We can all do our part and with science and invention, find solutions.

But if the ice cap does melt, I am looking forward to my house becoming ocean front property :)

Aaron said...

What part of "human caused global warming do you not agree with"?

Every young chemist does the experiments and calculations that prove the concept of CO2 acting as a greenhouse gas. It has been proved millions of times by students at low accuracy and hundreds of times by chemists at very high accuracy.

And the concentration of green house gases in the Earth's atmosphere has been increasing since ~1900. Again, something that has been measured over and over by chemists and more recently by satellites. As a chemistry student in 1970, I had to measure and compensate for the CO2 in the atmosphere as use spectrometers to measure detect other compound. There is simply no doubt about the CO2 in the atmosphere, and the fact that it is increasing.

Where is the CO2 coming from? CO2 is produced by living things and volcanos. We know when volcanoes go off. For living things to have produced as much CO2 as we are seeing the mass of living things would have had to increase hugely. It has not.

However, a huge number of people, over an extended period of time, have been extracting huge amounts of coal, oil, and gas out of geologic repositories, and they have been burning it. Do the mass balance, and this is the carbon we find in the atmosphere. and much of the greenhouse gas effect are things not found in nature, but are waste streams from industry.

It is not a matter of how MANY facts prove or disprove, it is a matter of what is correct, and what is wishful thinking and wrong.

Millions of people make a living sucking oceans of oil and mountains of coal out of the ground. Changing your light bulbs is like knitting socks for the "boys fighting over there". It is good, and it makes you feel good, but even a great many of warm, hand knit socks did not kill Hitler. Rather it took a war, with guns, bombs, blood, sweat, and tears. AGW is a worse enemy.

It matters because we are still pumping oceans of oil out the ground and burning it into CO2 that is a greenhouse gas.

Sea level matters because a great many factories at at sea level - including the ones that produce fertilizer and pesticides. If farmers cannot get fertilizer and pesticides, do you think they can produce cheap food for you? Can you grow food for your entire family (without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides). The factories that make (repair) parts are often at sea level. Can you make a new set of tires for your car? This flows down to every service and product. You may not need tires, but the trucker that brings all the stuff to you does. But then, he will be at home trying to grow food for his family. Without the truckers, Walmart is out of business. Without repair parts, your power company cannot maintain its system, and you lose power and gas. Then you have to cook your home grown food on a wood fire, not just for a day or two, or a month or two, but for a long time, until we can restore $ trillions and $trillions of lost capital.

Along the way a lot of people, with many valuable skills will die. That will make the restoration of capital more difficult.

The big truth of global warming is that a little prudence now can save a lot of pain later.

Some will say, "Well, that is all in the future!" True, but anyone that has watched children grow up knows that the future arrives before you are ready.

When I was a chemistry major, everyone in the department was a Republican, because Republicans did "hard science". We were very careful to get our facts correct. The Democrats were over in the humanities were facts were softer and fuzzier. Things have changed, and now it is the GOP that is 'fuzzy'.