Why (Really) is our Planet Warming (II)
June 27, 2007
There have been a few negative responses to my earlier article entitled “Why (really) is our Planet Warming”. What I found fascinating about these responses was the deep level of conviction that I was (am) wrong. There was a propensity of some (not all) to focus more on destroying my credibility than my argument. The three “possibilities” noted in the article are the arguments as put forward by some protagonists of the linkage between CO2 and Global Warming. The rebuttals explain why these arguments cannot logically be correct. Interestingly, no-one seems to talk about Carbon Monoxide – which is poisonous and which should behave in the same manner as the CO2.
Here is my response to one man who was courteous enough to focus on my argument.
Thank you for taking the trouble to write to me and to send me that weblink which I watched with great interest.
First off, I am not a scientist and don't claim to have a monopoly on brains. It’s quite possible – very possible – that I’ve got it wrong. Secondly, it’s also possible that the information on that particular weblink is also wrong. Just because it’s in the public domain doesn’t make it “true”. The information on that weblink also needs to pass the common sense test.
Here’s my common sense argument:
My "key" issue is that CO2 is heavier than air. When dry ice melts, the CO2 gas doesn’t rise, it sinks. Other than dissolving in minute aerosols of water to form carbonic acid that float around temporarily; or by pure CO2 molecules being carried into the atmosphere by adhesion to multiple “attendants” of other lighter than air matter, my common sense cannot accept (understand) how an ever increasing amount of that which is heavier than air can float around in our atmosphere indefinitely. At some point, the water vapour will become saturated, and/or there will be too much CO2 floating around to be supported by attendants – and the heavier than air material will sink back to earth as predicted by Newton’s Third Law of Gravity.
In summary, it seems to me that after saturation has been reached, the surplus CO2 will descend back to earth to join with calcium oxide in our waterways and – eventually - form limestone and other calcium carbonate rocks. That’s my understanding of how CaCO2 rocks were formed over the aeons. CaCO3 (limestone) is one of the building blocks of the world’s coral reefs.
Then there is the issue of “short” wave lengths of visible light suddenly morphing to become “longer” wave lengths of infra-red. It is the short (visible) wave lengths in the colour spectrum which are reflected by the Earth’s surface depending on the albedo coefficient. All wavelengths that do not correspond precisely with the colour of a particular reflective surface are absorbed by that surface – which causes that surface to heat up. What is radiated by the Earth’s surface as a whole is “warmth”, which is not necessarily the same as infrared electromagnetic energy. The reason (again this is my understanding) that the surface of the Earth heats up, is that the molecules which make up the material which is absorbing the electromagnetic energy from the sun become excited. They collide against each other, thereby generating a form of heat associated with friction. It’s possible that this heat is infrared energy, but I’ve never understood it that way. For the arguments to be true, friction heat would have to equate with infra red energy. I would have to accept that by rubbing my cold hands together I artificially create infra-red electromagnetic irradiation. I would also have to accept that the heat trapped under my bed linen at night is composed of infrared energy and that all forms of heat are infra-red energy. (Possible, but not how I understand it)
Then there’s the problem that – let’s accept that it is infra red energy – how would it be “reflected” back or “absorbed” by CO2 supposedly just floating around like a gossamer blanket. Hot air rises does it not? Would not the hot air carry the attendant CO2 higher and higher until it formed an opaque blanket of white which reflected the visible light back towards the sun? When dry ice melts it forms an opaque white cloud. White snow has the highest albedo of all.
(As an aside, the work of Henrik Svensmark may be of importance here. But he is talking of clouds of water vapour, not clouds of CO2 gas).
The problem, as I see it, is that the very essence of science is to “keep everything else constant” so that we can measure one variable at a time. Using that technique, for example, I now know for absolute certain that eggs are bad for my cholesterol – oops, sorry, that eggs are good for my cholesterol. I now know for absolute certain that cortisone will fix my some types muscular pain whilst, at the same time, attack my bones; and yet doctors still prescribe cortisone injections for some types of muscular pain – particularly amongst some of the aged, whose bones were tending towards brittleness in the first place.
I’m not bagging science here. Without science we would be nowhere. But we need to keep our feet on the ground. Science is just as open to prostitution or erroneous interpretation by humanity as is Religion. In the end analysis, I take my guidance from who is making the statement, and what his particular angle and/or level of integrity and/or level of credibility may be.
Right now, I’m having difficulty with the credibility of most politicians. Al Gore seems like a good guy, but he is carrying around too much baggage for me to just accept blindly what comes out of his mouth. When he got onto that scissor lift to make his point, he “lost” me. That was the act of a man seeking to manipulate my mind rather than convince me with hard evidence. Interestingly, his argument focussed almost exclusively on CO2. I can’t remember him making any references to Carbon Monoxide given off by motor car exhausts. Science should be a balanced approach, should it not?
Yes, it could be argued that my particular angle is that I’m promoting my book, Beyond Neanderthal (www.beyondneanderthal.com
But, unless someone can overcome my common “horse” sense with an equally sensible argument, I guess I’m stuck with believing what I believe.
In closing, I draw your attention to an event which is incapable of being dismissed by any reasonable person:
“Recent storms associated with Solar Cycle 22 (the 11-year sunspot cycle that began in 1986) have had an unprecedented impact on electric power systems. The great geomagnetic storm of March 13, 1989, plunged the entire Hydro Quebec system, which serves more than 6 million customers, into a GIC-triggered blackout. Most of Hydro Quebec's neighbouring systems in the United States came close to experiencing the same sort of outage.
In my view, the solar activity since that particular date has been unusually high as the sun moves ever closer to the culmination of a 100,000 cycle of its repetitive movement through the Milky Way – after which that solar activity is projected to wane. As far as I can tell, the projected year of the culmination of that cycle is 2012.
In my view, those who are rejecting the argument that the waxing and waning of solar energy is what ultimately determines the temperature on Earth will live to regret it – provided they survive the coming Ice Age.
I invite you to provide me with a common sense argument that will change my mind. I am not a closed minded person.
Since 1987, when Brian Bloom became involved in the Venture Capital Industry, he has been constantly on the lookout for alternative energy technologies to replace fossil fuels. He has recently completed the manuscript of a novel entitled Beyond Neanderthal which he is targeting to publish within six to nine months.
The novel has been drafted on three levels: As a vehicle for communication it tells the light hearted, romantic story of four heroes in search of alternative energy technologies which can fully replace Neanderthal Fire. On that level, its storyline and language have been crafted to be understood and enjoyed by everyone with a high school education. The second level of the novel explores the intricacies of the processes involved and stimulates thinking about their development. None of the three new energy technologies which it introduces is yet on commercial radar. Gold, the element, (Au) will power one of them. On the third level, it examines why these technologies have not yet been commercialised. The answer: We've got our priorities wrong.
Beyond Neanderthal also provides a roughly quantified strategic plan to commercialise at least two of these technologies within a decade - across the planet. In context of our incorrect priorities, this cannot be achieved by Private Enterprise. Tragically, Governments will not act unless there is pressure from voters. It is therefore necessary to generate a juggernaut tidal wave of that pressure. The cost will be 'peppercorn' relative to what is being currently considered by some Governments. Together, these three technologies have the power to lift humanity to a new level of evolution. Within a decade, Carbon emissions will plummet but, as you will discover, they are an irrelevancy. Please register your interest to acquire a copy of this novel at www.beyondneanderthal.com . Please also inform all your friends and associates. The more people who read the novel, the greater will be the pressure for Governments to act.
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