I’m not saying there’s no such thing as anthropogenic (caused by human beings) climate change. So please don’t think my disagreeing with Al Gore’s science means I don’t think mankind is causing a climate crisis or that I don’t support his valiant efforts to stop it. We are causing an atmospheric catastrophe and I can prove it. But it is not happening exactly the way Al Gore thinks it is.
Al Gore’s theory is that carbon dioxide (CO2) will cause an irreversible global warming. And it’s just that, an unproven theory. There are however other theories that include hard evidence which show CO2 has nothing to do with changing climate. In fact the head of his research team James Hansen of NASA published a report in August of 2000 titled “Global warming in the twenty-first century: An alternative scenario.” In it he outlines a totally different perspective on atmospheric science as it relates to short-term gases being the primary cause of changes in weather patterns instead of long term gases like CO2 .
What Hansen and his team, along with many others in the scientific community, discovered is that ground level ozone forming pollutants called VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), along with the forming of low level ozone itself, and then methane, have an affect on atmospheric water vapor that causes dramatic changes in our climate. These are called short-term gases. Their science was recently published a report titled “Climate Projections Based on Emissions Scenarios for Long-Lived and Short-Lived Radiatively Active Gases and Aerosols.” It explains the short term gas theory in detail while it has been adopted as the foundation of our new greenhouse gas policy platform.
CO2 takes a hundred years to break down in the atmosphere. It is a long term gas whose effect if it caused global warming would happen to the whole planet at once. Short term gases affect the regions they pollute until they cease to exist. If the climate change problems we’re having now were the result of a global warming process caused by CO2, once we passed the point CO2 is actually causing us problems, we wouldn’t be able to fix it. Once CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere, it stays there for a hundred years even if we stop all of our CO2 producing activity. Our lives depend of our ability to create CO2 emissions so we couldn’t stop producing it even if we wanted to. So that scenario is definitely a bleak one.
So it’s lucky for us that CO2 has a low reflective capacity for absorbing the sun’s rays. In most serious scientist’s minds, it’s never been thought to be the main culprit in producing weather pattern changes. There’s evidence that climate change caused by short-term gases is increased in regions with much higher carbon dioxide emissions. But then these are regions that pollute excessively with short-term gases as well. However you look at it, the latest recommendations from the most respected climatologists in the United States, Drew Shindell, is to reduce emissions of short-term gases to stave off the regional changes in weather patterns that we’ve been witnessing over the past decade and a half.
The key to the science that supports the theory that CO2 causes radical changes in climate show that throughout time there have been global warming events before mankind had the ability to cause it. Soil samples from those periods show there were higher CO2 ratios in the atmosphere then than at any other times. So when charted on a graph in a timeline of rises and falls in temperatures and atmospheric CO2 accumulations, you see clearly that the CO2 scale travels up and down right next to temperatures changes.
To many who have used the climate change issue more for political reasons than concerns about our future, this is conclusive evidence that CO2 causes climate change. But the truth is that short-term gases break down to later become carbon dioxide after they have finished reacting in the atmosphere with water vapor, the suns rays, and each other. Short-term gases are fuels that haven’t been burned efficiently by us that react and burn in the atmosphere eventually becoming CO2, which is what spent fuel becomes. So looking at the CO2 as the cause of the warming is like looking at gunpowder residue as if causes explosions.
History of CO2 politics
I’ve followed the global warming debate closely since the 1980’s. It was quite a spectacle. There were all kinds of theories, some about coming ice ages and others about global warming. It was a strange time because everyone was coming to Washington for leadership on issues that no one knew enough about to tell our leaders what horse to bet their money on, which gases would cause climate changes and whether it would be a warming or cooling event. I even followed the evolution of the short-term theory of how weather patterns would be effected by methane, VOCs, NO’s, low level ozone, and their effects on water vapor reading about it in the Washington Times.
About the time I thought the first climate change debate was settled, our political leaders and their counterparts in Europe overwhelmingly came out accepting the CO2 theory of James Hansen as the science we were going to follow in deciding future regulatory guidelines for dealing with climate change issues. I was, to the say the least, very surprised. It gave me a feeling that perhaps I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was. The writer who had been covering the stories I had been reading also editorialized how he had bet the race to save the world from pollution was going to head in a whole other direction than it did. In fact CO2 was at the bottom of the list of suspects for causing climate change before it was reigned in as the main villain.
The theory that CO2 would cause a global warming didn’t make any sense from the beginning. It wasn’t even part of the debate when it came out the victor. But then science is really not something that is open for political debate. Our leaders however don’t see it that way while our scientists get much of their grant money from them. Politicians can’t decide what facts science should bare out about reality any more than the church can. But once they do, we’re stuck with whatever direction they choose to go in because politicians don’t admit they are wrong, accept Allen Greenspan. But he was appointed, not elected. I think there was one other political figure who admitted a mistake once but I forget who he was. The rest are born free and clear of sin and intend on dying that way no matter what they do while alive.
CO2 theory about making money
But really they made no mistake. They knew what they were doing and why from the beginning. They chose CO2 because all greenhouse gases eventually become CO2, and then there’s also CO2 itself. The greenhouse gas debate on the 1980’s was really more like a guess game of asking politicians whether they wanted to tax more or less. Since there’s more CO2 to tax than anything else, of course it was the greenhouse has of choice. Once they made their decision, real science had to work around their politics because not only do they not admit when they’re wrong, as soon as they came up with a plan to tax the air we breathe, they borrowed and spent the money they planned to make off us before laws were passed to collect the revenues. So we have to move in the wrong direction now to pay for the programs that taxes on CO2 were supposed to support. It’s more complicated than that but much of the world’s economy has invested in directions that CO2 politics has given the impression the economies of the world will be heading in the future.
Since Republicans generally support big industry, they weren’t going to take a stand against the CO2 theory by proving what really causes climate change because it would mean telling their friends in the corporate world to stop polluting the country with short-term gases. Since Democrats like to follow the Europeans around like they are the true leaders of the free world, with European countries having already begun forming policies around limiting CO2 emissions, they weren’t going to tell them they were wrong and knock them off their royal pedestals.
The third world feeds a starving EU economy
So the EU invested heavily in a CO2 free “green” society with its industries being built or retooled with the latest CO2 limiting technologies. Then they came out with the Kyoto Protocols which would have limited global CO2 emissions by creating a worldwide carbon trading index run much like stock futures or commodities trading indexes on Wall Street. Under that model, industries that achieved low CO2 emissions could earn credits they could sell to those who couldn’t.