A question on Climate Change


At a party? Out and about? At work? And suddenly you hear some prat mention global warming/CO2/climate change?

Well here’s some quick and easy climo-questions you should feel free to ask in order to strike up/shut down conversation.

Let’s start with the basic three.

1: What percentage of the atmosphere is CO2?
2: By how much did the world warm last century?
3: By how much has it warmed this century?

After that it’s a tough one these days. Too many well-meaning people will already see you as an asshole for merely pointing out the answers – which they don’t know – to these three basic questions.

(If you like, add how much of the total CO2 is man-made.)

And now we’ve got some scowling 10yo in a hoodie.

What if I mentioned polar bear populations over the last few hundred thousand years… or even just the last 50 or so, hurricane frequency and intensity over the last 30 years, sun spots, ocean currents, cosmic rays, solar cycles, the earth’s wobble, the earth’s tilt, the urban heat island effect, dodgy temp. recording stations, how good (?) wind turbines are and the dirty coal power stations needed to support them, the toxins inside solar panels and fuel cell batteries, oh God, the efficiency of nuclear power… fusion? Oh, but where is the HE3? Not the moon!?

Or that even those who DON’T think made made CO2 is a problem, DO think dumping dangerous chemicals into rivers is fucked, or that cutting down the Amazon for bio-fuel is fucked too.

But that the term ‘dangerous’ refers to chemicals that actually endanger us – not DDT, nor common pesticides.

There’s a reason why we don’t have weevils in our food any more. There’s a reason why the old tale of a worm in our apple is just that… old. There’s a reason why that angry kid in Mole’s video gets to wear a hoodie made in China, and why we get to enjoy spring rolls.

There’s a reason why so many get to live so well.

And yet, there’s a reason why so many don’t get to. And it’s not global warming. It’s not globalization. It’s not CO2. And it’s not because of the West.

It’s because some places have not industrialized. In some places it’s because of lack of ability, will, and corruption.

But sadly, in many places, it’s because well-meaning do-gooders have stifled development in poor places under the guise of ‘sustainable development’.

So for some elements of the West to actively push for billions of people to stay poor… under the guise of global warming, is just wrong. And, sure, these people mean well. But they aren’t helping.

They aren’t helping those poor people and nations, and they aren’t helping that poor kid who, thanks to all this AGW hyperbole, has lost his childhood.

In fact, those same people who are blatantly exploiting and terrifying kids – ie. Greenpeace – also actively push for those in the West to sacrifice, to feel concerned, to feel guilty.

For what? Feel guilty for what? Progress? Millions of years of evolution? Guilty because we are the one species on this planet to have overcome?

There’s a difference between exploitation and utilization.

UPDATE

Link added.

4 Responses to “A question on Climate Change”

  1. Alan Kellogg Says:

    The fact so little CO2 warms up our atmosphere so much is testimony to the efficacy of the stuff. What it means is that it doesn’t take a whole bunch more to make things warmer yet. In short, every little bit helps.

    It’s sort of like arsenic; you don’t need a ton of the stuff to get rid of a pound of rat.

    • bingbing Says:

      And that the amount of heat any more CO2 can absorb is pretty much maxed out already.

      That is, the amount of heat it can absorb increases on a logarithmic scale. The big increases have already happened. Even if we doubled the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere – even if we increased it 10-fold, it would absorb virtually no more heat.

    • Alan Kellogg Says:

      bingbing, CO2 doesn’t absorb heat, CO2 blocks heat. It’s sort of like a humane trap, the animal can get in, but it can’t get out. When sunlight comes in it comes in at a wavelength that can pass through CO2. But when it’s later re-radiated it’s at a wavelength CO2 is opaque to. The more carbon dioxide there is, the more effective it is at trapping heat.

    • bingbing Says:

      Then why are we seeing record cold temperatures in Europe? It ain’t anthropogenic CO2 fiddling with the earth’s thermostat.

      From the link.

      According to the US Department of Energy, only about 14.8% of this increase, or 11.88 ppm, is man-made. The remaining 68.5 ppm is caused by natural forces, such as volcanoes and forest fires [26]. From this, researchers have estimated that, when water vapor is taken into account, anthropogenic CO2 contributions cause about 0.117% of the Earth’s total greenhouse effect [25].


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