The Reality of CO2

“CO2 [carbon dioxide] is not a pollutant.”  William Happer, The Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2012, p. A13

“Nobody has ever offered a more succinct indictment of the global warming hoax than H.L. Mencken, who said: ‘The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.’”  F. Swemson, American Thinker, July 16, 2011

“The truth is that CO2 is a beneficial trace gas that exists in such small quantities in our atmosphere, that the idea of it playing any significant role in determining our climate is simply silly.  CO2 comprises less than half of 0.1% of our atmosphere, and only 4% of it comes from human activity.  That’s 16ppm, or 1 part in every 62,500 parts of our atmosphere.  CO2 is plant food, and a key component in all life on earth.  Plants need CO2 to grow and produce oxygen.  They feed animals (including ourselves).  Animals in turn consume oxygen and plant-based foods, and exhale CO2.  Without CO2, nothing could be green!”  Ibid.

“If increases in atmospheric CO2 are the primary cause of warming, why, from the 1940s through the mid 1970’s, was the earth cooling when increases in our use of fossil fuels were at their greatest?  And why is it that Mars and Jupiter, and Neptune’s moon Titan, have all followed the exact same warming and cooling cycles as the earth during the 20th century?  Does anyone think that our SUVs and power plants are causing the same climate change on other planets and moons in our solar system, or is it more likely that the changes there were caused by the fact they we’re all in the same solar system?  I.e., “It’s the sun, stupid!’”  Ibid.

“What is happening to global temperatures in reality?  The answer is: almost nothing for more than 10 years.  Monthly values of the global temperature anomaly of the lower atmosphere, complies at the University of Alabama from NASS satellite data, can be found at the website The latest (February 2012) monthly global temperature anomaly for the lower atmosphere was minus 0.12 degrees Celsius, slightly less than the average since the satellite record of temperatures began in 1979.

“The lack of any statistically significant warming for over a decade has made it more difficult for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its supporters to demonize the atmospheric gas CO2 which is released when fossil fuels are burned.  The burning of fossil fuels has been one reason for an increase of CO2 levels in the atmosphere to around 395 ppm (or parts per million), up from preindustrial levels of about 280 ppm.

“CO2 is not a pollutant.  Life on earth flourished for hundreds of millions of years at much higher CO2 levels than we see today.  Increasing CO2 levels will be a net benefit because cultivated plants grow better and are more resistant to drought at higher CO2 levels, and because warming and to other supposedly harmful effects of CO2 have been greatly exaggerated.  Nations with affordable energy from fossil fuels are more prosperous and healthy than those without.

“The direct warming due to doubling CO2 levels in the atmosphere can be calculated to cause a warming of about one degree Celsius.  The IPCC computer models predict a must larger warming, three degrees Celsius or even more, because they assume changes in water vapor or clouds that supposedly amplify the direct warming from CO2.  Many lines of observational evidence suggest that this ‘positive feedback’ also has been greatly exaggerated.

“We need high-quality climate science because of the importance of climate to mankind.  But we should also remember the description of how science works by the late, great physicist, Richard Feynman:  ‘In general we look for a new law by the following process.  First we guess it.  Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right.  Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience; compare it directly with observation, see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong.’

“The most important component of climate science is careful, long-term observations of climate-related phenomena, from space, from land, and in the oceans.  If observations do not support code predictions—like more extreme weather, or rapidly rising global temperatures—Feynman has told us what conclusions to draw about the theory.”  William Happer, professor of physics at Princeton University, The Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2012, p. A13



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