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December 2, 2016
1875: The Global Warming Solution
Let’s assume global warming is real. Correct or not, we will start today with that supposition. Assume with me that there is a problem for a moment so that we may discuss tangible solutions.
Let us start by defining our terminology, as the concept of “climate change” tends to drift to fit the data—the true hallmark of scientific rigor.
The argument at hand is that the earth is warming due to greenhouse gases which man is releasing into the atmosphere; most especially carbon dioxide. This has been culminating since around the time of the post-war industrial boom accompanying and following World War II. Since then, CO2 emissions have continued to expand at an alarming rate. Through this anthropomorphic, man-made increase in warmth the average surface temperature of the earth will continue to climb, the oceans will rise, polar bears will need to learn to surf, and all that jazz. Also, potentially, parts of coastal California will eventually fall into the ocean. This is apparently to be taken as a bad thing, but must depend on one’s perspective.
This is a real problem.
Even if it isn’t, there is the famous “play it safe” argument. If we can’t be positive either way in regards to climate warming, shouldn’t we work to reduce our greenhouse emissions just to be sure? Those that argue in this alternative and don’t take it to the logical extreme are not serious people.
The case for global warming, as straightforward as it is, should be equally easy to solve. We simply need to return to the carbon levels of 1940, the front end of our carbon production explosion, and all the anticipated pain will go away. Any other suggestion from trillion-dollar, jet-setting, pretend-you-aren’t-part-of-the-problem climate summits is a half-measure.
So, problem solved. In 2014 humans emitted 35.69 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere . To solve climate change, we don’t have to take this down to zero; just back to 1940 levels. In that year, according to the Carbon Dioxide Emission Analysis Center, human emission was 1.299 million metric tons.
While we will go with it for today, admittedly this isn’t strictly “apples to apples” in its comparison; though it is also not too far off. Climate activists would, here, bring up solar and wind power, and such, as a key difference from 1940. And I would agree if those not-ready-for-primetime solutions were going to solve the carbon “problem” at any point in the conceivable future. If it were to be practical, I could buy the “play it safe” argument that we switch away from fossil fuels.
As an aside, in this regard I somewhat agree with so-called climate advocates. I have faith that technology will continue to improve on its own accord, fossil fuel use will eventually be replaced with more efficient solutions (a process which can be done without government coercion), and this whole thing will be rendered rather academic within a hundred years. Activists will probably claim a successful victory at this point; having done nothing but hold summits that agree to cripple economies.
But the argument—THE argument—is that this needs to be solved immediately; not that we have a couple hundred years of wiggle room. We are already past the date when New York was supposed to sink and landfall hurricanes would be an annual occurrence. Unless we can switch to solar and wind power tomorrow, an immediate reduction in emissions of 96% should just about suffice in their place.
Well, except for the pesky global population.
Since 1940, the earth has added in the neighborhood of five billion people to the planet (2.30 billion in 1940 vs. 7.35 billion in 2015, according to the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs).
Divided by the population, per capita output of 1940 would be .00056 parts per million, per person. Applied against the world’s current population—a mere 220% greater than in 1940—and the average person today could consume .00017 parts per million to be equivalent to 1940 overall emissions. Past this we start pushing into unacceptable territory.
It’s not that we need to return to 1940 levels. To have a serious solution, everyone on the globe needs to return to the average lifestyle afforded by carbon output of approximately 1875. The global population then of 1,325,000,000 divided by the cubic metric tons of emission, a mere 187,000, equates to .00014 parts per million, per person. This is not far off of our target of .00017.
Shouldn’t we do this? You know, just to “play it safe?”
This is pretty good news. If we go back to the carbon output of 1875 we can still have a few trains and everything! Plus, I think stylish pocket watches are reasonably carbon neutral?
To actually be serious about climate change, the average household has to reduce to owning zero vehicles. We also can allow no indoor heating or air conditioning, artificial refrigeration, electrical lighting, computers, or cell phones. Any individual who lives a life greater than this would allow lies to themselves about wanting to save our planet.
Also, farms need to produce foodstuffs without mechanical equipment. Grocers must abandon refrigeration. Long-haul trucking needs to be abolished. Airplanes must be banned. Streets cannot be illuminated at night. Power grids in general should be decommissioned.
Then we will finally be free of global warming.
God forbid that a Stalin-type ends up getting ahold of this notion, as population control is the actual most-serious solution. If climate change exists, ideally we have to accomplish a solution on an individual basis. Each person who does not achieve this “new” lifestyle of 1875 would certainly be a hypocrite.
I might follow. But I suggest we let the leftist socialists go first.
By Matt Ridley (originally in the Wall Street Journal, sent to WUWT by the author)
‘We’ve heard these same stale arguments before,” said President Obama in his speech on climate change last week, referring to those who worry that the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon-reduction plan may do more harm than good. The trouble is, we’ve heard his stale argument before, too: that we’re doomed if we don’t do what the environmental pressure groups tell us, and saved if we do. And it has frequently turned out to be really bad advice.
Making dire predictions is what environmental groups do for a living, and it’s a competitive market, so they exaggerate. Virtually every environmental threat of the past few decades has been greatly exaggerated. Pesticides were not causing a cancer epidemic, as Rachel Carson claimed in her 1962 book “Silent Spring”; acid rain was not devastating German forests, as the…
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The first part is blatantly obvious, no Sun, no life here on Earth.
Even now, science has much to learn about our friendly, life giving killer star.
Here are some of the latest findings that point toward a Maunder Minimum type of cycle in the not too distant future:
Same rules apply to coral atolls anywhere in the world:
Coral islands defy sea-level rise over the past century: Records from a central Pacific atoll
P.S. Kench1, D. Thompson1, M.R. Ford1, H. Ogawa1 and R.F. McLean2
1School of Environment, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
2School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia
The geological stability and existence of low-lying atoll nations is threatened by sea-level rise and climate change. Funafuti Atoll, in the tropical Pacific Ocean, has experienced some of the highest rates of sea-level rise (∼5.1 ± 0.7 mm/yr), totaling ∼0.30 ± 0.04 m over the past 60 yr. We analyzed six time slices of shoreline position over the past 118 yr at 29 islands of Funafuti Atoll to determine their physical response to recent sea-level rise. Despite the magnitude of this rise, no islands have been lost, the majority have enlarged, and there has been a 7.3% increase in net island area over the past century (A.D. 1897–2013). There is no evidence of heightened erosion over the past half-century as sea-level rise accelerated. Reef islands in Funafuti continually adjust their size, shape, and position in response to variations in boundary conditions, including storms, sediment supply, as well as sea level. Results suggest a more optimistic prognosis for the habitability of atoll nations and demonstrate the importance of resolving recent rates and styles of island change to inform adaptation strategies.
Received 22 December 2014.
Revision received 24 March 2015.
Accepted 26 March 2015.
© Geological Society of America
Editor’s Introductory Note: Our planet has been slowly warming since last emerging from the “Little Ice Age” of the 17th century, often associated with the Maunder Minimum. Before that came the “Medieval Warm Period“, in which temperatures were about the same as they are today. Both of these climate phenomena are known to have occurred in the Northern Hemisphere, but several hundred years prior to the present, the majority of the Southern Hemisphere was primarily populated by indigenous peoples, where science and scientific observation was limited to non-existent. Thus we can not say that these periods were necessarily “global”.
However, “Global Warming” in recent historical times has been an undisputable fact, and no one can reasonably deny that.
But we’re hearing far too often that the “science” is “settled”, and that it is mankind’s contribution to the natural CO2 in the atmosphere has been the principal cause of an increasing “Greenhouse Effect”, which is the root “cause” of global warming. We’re also hearing that “all the world’s scientists now agree on this settled science”, and it is now time to quickly and most radically alter our culture, and prevent a looming global catastrophe. And last, but not least, we’re seeing a sort of mass hysteria sweeping our culture which is really quite disturbing. Historians ponder how the entire nation of Germany could possibly have goose-stepped into place in such a short time, and we have similar unrest. Have we become a nation of overnight loonies?
A talk by John Christy on Feb 8, 2010 – AU Hotel and Dixon Conference Center.