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Religion or Science

January 31, 2012

I don’t normally write about global warming, but the energy policy of the United States is being adversely influenced by people who believe that CO2 is causing global warming.

Targeting a cut in CO2 emissions is distorting energy policies, and preventing market forces from selecting the best energy alternatives.

As a boy, I remember the Hudson River freezing and ice chunks accumulating along the river’s banks.

At the same time, the ice on Lake George was thick enough to allow automobiles to race on the lake.

I have seen that there has been warming, and, personally, I know no-one who claims otherwise.

At the same time, it’s clear to me that CO2 isn’t the main cause of warming, and is probably only a small, if not tiny factor in warming.

This is where CO2 becomes part of a religion, because there is considerable scientific evidence that CO2 is not a major cause of global warming.

My motivation in writing articles is to provide Americans with factual information about energy issues, because so much information in the media is factually incorrect – and even worse, distorted by an obsession with CO2.

Think for a moment about the recent major news stories about energy. There is the Keystone pipeline, the EPA’s efforts to close coal-fired power plants, the outcry against fracking because it supposedly releases Methane, a green house gas, the adoption of renewable portfolio standards (RPS or RES) and a push for electric vehicles.

The motivation behind each of these stories is an effort to cut CO2 emissions.

It makes no difference that fracking, the Keystone pipeline, coal-fired power plants and other such activities are good for Americans, by providing low-cost, readily available electricity, natural gas for heating homes and less dependence on oil from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

Just so you know, I have never received contributions from any corporation, so I’m not being influenced by any oil or coal company. In fact, I criticize the coal industry for not doing more to inform people about why ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants are a huge improvement over traditional coal-fired plants.

There isn’t enough space to describe all the reasons why I have concluded CO2 emissions are not the main cause of warming, but I will mention a few, and then, hopefully, people will do additional research to reach an informed judgment – relying on science, whichever way it leads them, rather than blindly accepting the global warming religion.

First, temperatures were at least as high as they are today in 1100 AD, when Greenland was settled. This was followed by the Little Ice Age when the river Themes and canals in Holland froze over. The story, Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates can prove to the casual person that there was a Little Ice Age. Similarly, the painting of George Washington Crossing the Delaware shows huge ice flows near the end of the Little Ice Age.

The Little Ice Age ended around the beginning of the industrial revolution, when CO2 emissions became greater. What we have seen since then has been a rise in temperatures as we emerged from the Little Ice Age – and coincidentally, an increase in CO2 emissions, which does not establish a cause and effect relationship.

Next, computer programs predicting global warming from CO2 show a “fingerprint” of higher temperatures over the equator. Satellite readings of atmospheric temperatures over the equator show no such rise in temperatures – in other words, the “fingerprint” for global warming is missing.

Interestingly, temperatures have not increased, and possibly declined, over the past dozen years.

Then, the idea that global warming causes severe weather doesn’t stand the test of research. I have been through a number of hurricanes and typhoons, including the 1938 hurricane on Long Island where the water rose over the bulkhead twenty feet behind our house, but I have seen no increase in the severity of hurricanes during my lifetime. My research of the records showed that more large hurricanes hit the U.S. during the first half of the Twentieth Century, than the last half.

Decade

All Category 1-5

Major Category 3,4,5

1900-1909

15

6

1910-1919

20

8

1920-1929

15

5

1930-1939

17

8

1940-1949

23

8

1950-1959

18

9

1960-1969

15

6

1970-1971

12

4

1980-1989

16

6

1990-1999

14

5

21st Century

   
2000- 2009

23

7

Hurricanes that hit mainland U.S.

Source for 20th century storms: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Landsea/deadly/Table5.htm

Source for 21st century storms

http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/index.html

http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/2011/index.html

I mention these items because the research is easy to do, and anyone with a genuine interest in whether CO2 is a villain, as proclaimed by Al Gore, can search the internet for the same things I did.

For those who want additional scientific information it can be obtained at http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/2009/pdf/CCR2009FullReport.pdf

People will criticize the Climate Change Reconsidered report for extraneous reasons. For example, the publisher, The Heartland Institute, has been accused of receiving large amounts of funding from Exxon. Whether they have or not, and I don’t believe they have, is no reason to ignore the information in the report. From what I have seen, the information is reliable, scientific information.

Also, there have been personal attacks against the authors, but, again, the ad hominem attacks shouldn’t keep people from reading the report and determining for themselves whether the information is accurate.

Ad hominem attacks are the tool of cowards.

Our nation depends on having a plentiful and reliable supply of energy. Market forces can help us reach good decisions about how to use our natural resources.

Distorting the market with regulations about CO2 emissions hurts our country and threatens our children’s future.

This is why I write about energy issues. My personal commitment is that everything I write is factually correct.

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