A response to those who still believe in anthropogenic global warming at City of God. This post responds to the question of how much man’s contribution is to total greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and whether human reductions in greenhouse gas emission would have any effect on the greenhouse effect.
CO2 is not an issue at all because it is not by any means the most important green house gas; H2O is. Water vapor in the atmosphere causes a noticeable difference in green house effect whereas when there is no cloud cover, it’s as if a blanket has been lifted, causing the earth’s heat to radiate into space. Thus, when all there is are other green house gasses and no water vapor there is little noticeable green house effect. Yet to stop the green house effect of water vapor would require the abolition of evaporation. The theory of anthropogenic global warming is straining the gnat, by fretting about CO2, and swallowing the camel, by ignoring H2O.
FC: In layman’s language, can you describe the role played by water vapour in determining atmospheric conditions?
TB: Water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas. This is part of the difficulty with the public and the media in understanding that 95% of greenhouse gases are water vapour. The public understand it, in that if you get a fall evening or spring evening and the sky is clear the heat will escape and the temperature will drop and you get frost. If there is a cloud cover, the heat is trapped by water vapour as a greenhouse gas and the temperature stays quite warm. If you go to In Salah in southern Algeria, they recorded at one point a daytime or noon high of 52 degrees Celsius – by midnight that night it was -3.6 degree Celsius. That’s a 56-degree drop in temperature in about 12 hours. That was caused because there is no, or very little, water vapour in the atmosphere and it is a demonstration of water vapour as the most important greenhouse gas.
If it is green house gasses that we are worried about then, what is the plan for dealing with water vapor? If we want to “do something” about the Green House Effect, we must abolish evaporation. Since that can’t be done, nothing significant can be done to stop the Green House effect, period.
Now mankind is not the only contributor to CO2 in the atmosphere. Indeed, Peter Foster in the National Post mentions that humans contribute only about 1/20th of the CO2, and the rest is caused by nature.
Consider this: Let’s say that you, your wife and children are overspending by $100,000 per annum. She (H2O) overspends $95,000; your children (non-man-made emissions) overspend by $4750; you overspend by $250 (man-made emissions). You offer to cut your overspending by 50%– your family now overspends by $99,775. This won’t effect in the slightest your family’s budget woes. It is not a perfect analogy but at least it attempts to deal with the magnitude of the numbers. If man reduced his greenhouse emissions to nothing, the overall green house effect would change by completely insignificant numbers (less than 1/4 of one per cent). The more people that believe this hoax, the more I think we are entering into a kind of anti-intellectual age of anti-reason, a new Dark Ages. At very least, people are just not good at math anymore.
Imagine if a financial planner came to you and said, I have this really risky investment, a gold mine in Timbuktu. If you invest $100,000, you could lose everything. But the rewards are great and, if all goes well, you might just make $125 per annum. You would laugh at him, because you could bank the money at ING and make $1000 per annum with no risk of losing the $100,000.
This is a very simple math problem. Michael Crichton in his novel State of Fear suggests that if the problem were seen in terms of football field, man’s contribution would be one inch of 100 yards. He has developed the math much better than me; man’s contribution to the problem is about 1/3600; i.e., .028% vs. 99.972% caused by nature).
Note: Foster wrote: “During his CNN interview, Mr. Gore went through his usual parade of extreme weather factoids, technological wonkery and green stimulus fantasies, while spouting blatant untruths. Asked about the relative contribution of humans to atmospheric CO2 emissions, he claimed that they put up “the majority” (in fact, they are estimated to contribute about one-twentieth).”
The above article is based on comments I made at Craig Carter’s blog.