What to make of a learned man, adept in the statistical manipulation of data in the social sciences, putting forth the suggestion that maintaining, instead of removing, trees in the area controlled by his homeowner's association contributes to nullifying the deleterious effects of carbon dioxide when it comes to global warming?
"Trees help to combat the greenhouse effect: Global warming is partly a result of excess greenhouse gases that are created by burning fossil fuels and the destruction of the planet’s tropical rainforests. Heat from the sun is then reflected back from the Earth and trapped in a thickening layer of gases, thereby causing global temperatures to rise.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the most prevalent greenhouse gases, but trees are effect at absorbing CO2, removing and storing the carbon and releasing the oxygen back into the air. In fact, an acre of mature trees absorbs an amount of CO2 in one year equivalent to that produced by driving an average car some 26,000 miles."
First, the phrase global warming is an emotionally-charged phrase that has been widely used by the mainstream media in a pejorative manner which implies the phenomena produces adverse effects on our planet. Second, perhaps the term “global climate change” would be more accurate as we can see historical cycles of both global warming and global cooling. Including vast periods of time in which man had no effect on global climate.
Second, it appears that the author agrees with the hypothesis (and it is only a hypothesis) that global warming is partly the result of excess greenhouse gases. It should be understood that the largest of the greenhouse gases, water vapor, is part of nature’s self-regulating mechanism. There is little scientific proof that carbon dioxide is a significant driver or proximate cause of global climate change. In fact, the science suggests it is not. Consider that the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide lags the rise in temperature by 600 – 1000 years (depending on the dataset used). This suggests that carbon dioxide is not a causal agent.
This rise in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide can be easily explained. As ocean temperature rise, dissolved carbon dioxide is released to the atmosphere and accounts for the rise in the atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. The reverse is also true, when the oceans cool they are able to absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and atmopheric carbon dioxide levels decrease. Consider opening a cold Pepsi on a warm day, watch the bubbles of carbon dioxide escape to the air. Presto! Your own science experiment for the day. And one might suggest that it is natural for the planet to warm after it emerges from the Little Ice Age into an interglacial period.
Then there is the issue of radiative heat dynamics. “Heat from the sun is then reflected back from the Earth and trapped in a thickening layer of gases, thereby causing global temperatures to rise.” Perhaps we should consider an alternate theory which is more reflective [pun intended] of the apparent phenomena. That is, the layer of greenhouse gases does not cause global temperature to rise, but merely delays cooling. This can be observed in the tropics where high humidity (water vapor) delays cooling and it appears that the temperatures are hotter than (what)? The temperatures are not hotter than the time of peak solar influence. While retained heat by the ground, buildings, non-vegetative heat may make humans uncomfortable, it is a short-term and non-lasting phenomenon. One that may be immediately erased by the next rain. Remember, we are speaking of vast areas and global measurements, so who is to say that a particular temperature measurement is not offset by another one in another geographical location.
The truth is that we do not know what the global temperature should be other than in reference to a “black body” calculation of a planet without an atmosphere. Then the calculations get dodgy as we add solar output, the distance of our planet from the Sun, the planet’s rotational dynamics, volcanology and plate tectonics, deep ocean currents and other factors. So complex is this chaotic system that it may never be accurately modeled – somewhat like the stock market where short term cyclic effects may be seen, but not with reproducible regularity as it pertains to individual stocks.
Implicit in the homeowner’s statement is a series of unproven assumptions. One, that carbon dioxide, a necessary component of life on this planet, is adversely affecting the global climate. Two, that a rise in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is a negative consequence of man's activities.
Sort of surprising, as tree growth and all of its positive effects would be greatly facilitated by an increased carbon dioxide concentration. And that more people are disadvantaged from cold, than are disadvantaged from warm climates. Of course, with the exception of polar and desert regions which feature extreme conditions.
Because temperature and other weather conditions may be directly observable and measurable with some degree of precision, the complexity of a chaotic climate system which produces such observations may indicate that an algorithmic solution to modeling the phenomena may not ever be fully known, or produce meaningful results with any degree of certitude.
So why do we continue to find computed global climate data to a undeserved precision of a tenth of a degree, when the actual precision is plus-or-minus two degrees celsius, a signal well within the noise of historical and apparently natural climate variability? Even knowing that some temperature raw data is erroneous or missing and the datasets have been statistically manipulated.
Because it lends credence to the "science" which itself is being manipulated by special interests to produce public policies favorable to their ideological agenda. We have seen indications of this manipulation in the e-mails of the proponents of global warming (Google: Climategate). We have seen indications that peer-reviewed literature has been manipulated. We have seen indications that the models used to predict catastrophic consequences are immature or highly flawed. And since when is the output of a dodgy computer model with suspect data accepted by the scientific community as fact.
Might a dose of commonsense suffice in this situation?
Commonsense that tells us that irrespective of actual weather consequences, the cost of adverse climate event in terms of human lives, property damage and remediation dollars are actually a function of inappropriate building sites, lax building codes and zoning policies which allow for greater population densities in known hazardous areas.
Commonsense also tells us that improving our infrastructure will do more to mitigate effects of this damage than allowing an enlarged and increasingly incompetent government to make public policies for that benefit themselves and the special interests who fund their campaigns and keep them in power.
Commonsense also tells us that our planet has been hotter, colder, with greater atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and lesser levels of carbon dioxide. And there is an indication that higher levels of carbon dioxide and higher temperatures were beneficial in some regions.
While we can observe a wind-driven storm surge over five feet, we must also wonder what additional damage might be done to adding two to three inches to that surge. Because in some areas, that appears to be the amount of sea-level increase along certain coastal areas. Of course, being rational, one must also wonder if that increase in sea level measurement may be attributable to the increase in silting and bottom sand caused by that natural run-off and erosion cycles or tectonic plate shifting that raises the seabed.
I think we have more to fear in the short term from short-sighted politicians and others who have a mantle of authority than we do in long-term global climate change.
Bottom line ...
No man-made effort to mitigate the global climate will be apparent for hundreds, if not thousands of years. By that time the natural cyclic nature of our global climate may have reverted to another Ice Age. And, who among us can state with any degree of certainty that what is being labeled global warming is not beneficial in prolonging the interglacial period and preventing the onset of another Ice Age.
I can't say. The models can't say. The politicians can't say. And the science remains clouded. [pun intended]
What I can say, is that there are politicians that will do or say anything to gain or maintain power, acting on behalf of special interests who do not necessarily have the greater good in mind when they propose their self-benefiting agendas.
I would stop all of the nonsense. Vilifying climate skeptics without realizing that the scientific method is a continual, controlled process of skepticism. When one puts forth a hypothesis, tests that hypothesis against empirical observations, confirms the hypothesis and leaves it to others to determine whether the results are reasonable, reproducible and irrefutable.
While science is not performed by consensus, politics is ... and that's the problem. Those who gain the majority of power or votes tend to dictate to the minority their version of the truth. Which may not be beneficial to your health, our economy and our way of life.
Let us deal with what is most important. Our economy, our decaying infrastructure which desperately needs repair or replacement, rational building techniques and zoning codes, reducing pollution, providing clean drinking water and sanitary facilities to those who currently do not have access to these fundamental requirements of life, and growing enough food to feed starving people.
Unfortunately, the democrats, socialists and communists exist by creating and managing scarcity. They create and exploit man-made disasters in order to increase their political power. They are about population control and believe that we need to conserve everything for the next generations – something that peaks to the creation and regulation of scarcity.
Time to open your eyes and take actions. Tell the faux-environmentalists who are using our own laws and institutions to destroy America from within. And it appears to all be going according to plan. Read your history books.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS