How much will we cool the planet?

Aractus 21, July, 2011

In my last entry I talked about how climate change is real, but CO2 can only be partly responsible – if at all. I personally don’t agree that CO2 is contributing to global warming at all, and after studying the science I concluded that the most it could have contributed of the 0.7 deg. trend is 0.1-0.2deg.

0.2 IF you take the EGE (enhanced greenhouse effect) and pit the blame solely on CO2; otherwise it’s 0.1, at most. And this is echoed by NASA’s simulations which put methane plus black carbon as contributing more-or-less the same as CO2.

I am not an environmentalist by nature, but I still believe that protecting the real environment is far more important that CO2 emissions and the like. I’m aware that western nations, such as Australia, claim to be anti-whaling (while global whale populations are stable); yet are actively involved in over-fishing the global salmon and tuna stocks (who’s global populations are rapidly declining). This is similar to hunting on land; there are an abundance of kangaroos in Australia and even with hunting in place in certain regions every year government sanctioned culls are put in place. If, however, we were in the situation where there were only 2 million rather than 25+ million, then we’d put real limits on hunting.

Julia Gillard claims that only the “big polluters” are going to pay the carbon tax. Well if you count CO2 emissions as pollution then that would be true; but it isn’t the “polluters” who are going to pay for it at all; it is the CO2 emitters. This does nothing whatsoever to curb REAL pollution, only to curve the political pollution of CO2 emissions!

The atmosphere is 78.08% Nitrogen, 20.8% O2, 0-4% Water Vapour (Average 1%), 0.93% Argon, 0.036% CO2, 0.0018% Ne, 0.0005% He, 0.00017% Methane, 0.00005% H2, 0.00003% N2O, and… finally… .000004% O3.

Out of the minor GHG’s (greenhouse gasses) about 99.5% of our GHG emissions are CO2. 96.7% of CO2 emissions are natural, and 3.3% are the product of burning fossil fuels and deforestation (in other words, caused by mankind).

We, that is – Australia – contribute 1.32% of the man-made total, or if you prefer, about 0.04% of the total CO2 emissions each year. By the way this is what we’re taxing – make no mistake – the 0.04% of yearly CO2 emissions that we contribute. It will do absolutely nothing whatsoever to change the composition of the atmosphere, nor to reduce the continual build-up of atmospheric CO2.

For argument’s sake let’s assume that 100ppm of atmospheric CO2 was caused by humans, that’s 26% or so. Assuming that an increase in CO2 lineally increases its greenhouse effect (this is the assumption made by climate scientists), That would make us responsible for 0.01% of the total amount of CO2, if we had been an emitter since the early 1800’s.

Clearly even those who believe in man-made climate change would know with certainty that any measures we take here to limit our emissions is purely political and is unable to affect the climate in any appreciable way.

Now let’s take those numbers and look forward. We’re supposedly facing a two degree temperature rise this century. Let’s assume, for argument’s sake, that climate scientists are right and that the warming trend is solely based on GHG’s. Out of the EGE let’s assume that CO2 contributes 47%, that methane, black carbon and CFC’s contribute the rest. That reduces the amount that CO2 will be responsible for from 2 degrees to less than 1 degree Celsius.

We will contribute, over the next 100 years, 1.32% of that. 0.012408 degrees Celsius. To put it in perspective that’s about 1/80th of a degree, and considering that it’s representative of our contribution towards less than one degree from CO2 and ignores the other emissions that contribute the remainder of the effect; so really the net result is that our part of CO2 emissions account for some 1/160th of the warming trend over the next 100 years. Oh yeah, and that’s IF (a big if) the greenhouse effect is what is causing global warming.

It gets worse. What if these carbon limits only reduce our CO2 emissions by say 80% not 100%? Then it would mean we’d achieved in reducing the overall global warming not by 1/160th but by 1/200th!

The Aussie economy is hanging by a thread. We are bankrolled by our mining sector. It alone is keeping us out of recession. Is it really worth completely fucking up our economy in order to reduce CO2 emissions? I don’t think so.

Yes I’m a climate sceptic; No I’m not an idiot!

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