Truth about Global Warming
Nail-in-the-Coffin News: I feel stupid for not catching on to this earlier, but the entire concept of the Greenhouse Effect is bogus. It violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. See here. Without the Greenhouse Effect, we are left with actual measurements of the insulative properties of CO2, and actual measurements show that CO2 has a slight cooling effect when increased. (See here.)
The Most Important News on Global Warming, Ever: Leaked emails between the very most important and influential people in global warming research have revealed that they conspired to manipulate the data and fool the public. Global Warming is officially a hoax, and the hoaxers have admitted to it. These emails were leaked in November of 2009, and since then, nothing has been produced to refute them, and everything has been shown to corroborate their validity.
Earth-shatteringly Important News: Dr. Hansen, one of the leading advocates of catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming (the idea that the earth is warming, it’s our fault, and we’re all going to die because of it) was on the take from well-known worldwide socialist George Soros. (link) That means, he was paid to publish reports helping the further the causes George Soros supported, such as limiting our liberty and prosperity.
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I’m going to summarize my discoveries on the global warming debate. These are simply my opinions, and there’s a whole lotta that flying around on all sides.
Question: Is the earth warming up?
Answer: As far as we can tell, it is, about 0.6 degrees Celsius in the past 100 years. In the past 20 years, it warmed up about 0.5 degrees Celsius. Keep in mind that anywhere you live in the world, you probably experience temperature variations of something around 30 degrees Celsius, so there is no way you can tell anecdotally that the earth is warming up. For instance, global warming might mean that today is 42F instead of 41F like it was 100 years ago. That is hardly detectable when in any given week, the temperature might vary by tens or even twenties of degrees.
Updated Answer: It appears that the earth has been cooling since 1998. 1998 was an anomaly.
In fact, the data that is used to show the warming and cooling trends has been thoroughly debunked. Whatever data we have is far too imprecise to say whether it is warmer or cooler these days than it was 100 years ago.
Question: What causes the earth to warm up?
Answer: Nobody knows for sure. We have some ideas, but nobody can prove definitely what is causing the earth to warm up. Some thoughts are:
- The sun is getting warmer or more active. A small variation in the sun’s radiation can have a significant impact on the earth’s weather.
- There are more greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere than there were before. These gasses trap more of the sun’s energy in the atmosphere.
Update: One thing we now know doesn’t contribute to global warming in any meaningful way is CO2. That’s right, the one gas everyone points at as the leading cause of global warming has very little effect, if at all, on the global temperature. The #1 leading greenhouse gas is H2O, or plain old water vapor. This has a much more massive effect on the total greenhouse effect, up to maybe a hundred times or more than CO2. No other gas compares to H2O in its ability to trap heat.
Update: The Greenhouse Effect is completely bogus and violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Nothing can “trap” energy. Heat is simply transferred from one system to another. We can only measure the insulative qualities of CO2 and those show that CO2 actually cools the earth slightly. H2O has a much larger effect on the insulative properties of the atmosphere.
Question: Why doesn’t anyone know why the earth is warming up?
Answer: Two reasons that I understand are explained by chaos theory and by our limited understanding of the earth.
Chaos theory says that certain mathematical equations give very different results if you change things only a tiny bit. Our weather models are one such equation. If a butterfly beats its wings in Africa, it can cause a storm in Chicago according to our models. Tiny, minute changes, undetectable, unpredictable, and unknowable, affect our weather more than we can understand.
The other part is that we know so little about the earth and its weather. We are barely able to predict accurately tomorrow’s weather, even with all of our high-tech equipment and advanced theories. We simply don’t understand enough, and what we do understand has so many problems that it is mostly worthless. This is part of the reason why there seems to be a “flavor of the week” in explaining the cause of global warming. One day, there is a pretty good theory (although there are serious flaws.) The next day, someone comes up with a little better theory (although it too has flaws.)
Update: If you are familiar with math, and you look at the proposed models for global climate, you will quickly identify that not only are these equations difficult to solve, but impossible. It’s not a matter of computers or more data, it’s a matter of the whole system is too chaotic to do anything meaningful with. If we adjust something a tiny bit, it may have disastrous effects or no effect at all.
Question: Is global warming bad?
Answer: Nobody can predict this. (See above for why.)
Some say it is bad because it will be too hot to live and there will be no food and our country will be under water. They don’t know for sure, however, and they are only guessing.
Personally, I think it would be good if the earth were warmer. After all, we had a mini-ice age several hundred years ago in Europe that actually killed countless millions of people. And the last time the earth was warmer than it is now, we saw the creation of new societies, like ancient Egypt. I believe that even the Sahara desert might turn into a jungle again, as it was in warmer times.
But I am not a prophet, and I do not have any better understanding of our earth than other scientists. So it is only a guess.
Granted, some guesses about the future are reasonable, but chaos theory and our limited understanding means that we have no way of telling if they are good guesses. In other words, they sound good, but we can’t tell if they are good.
Question: Can we affect the temperature of the earth?
Answer: This is the key to the question of global warming. First, we don’t really know what is causing global warming. If it’s really the sun, then we can’t do anything. If it is the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, then we can probably cut back our CO2 emissions. Once we identify what the real source of it is, then we can make a determination whether or not we can affect it.
I know that you have heard that CO2 definitively causes global warming. The reasoning goes something like this.
(A) The earth has warmed over the past 100 years.
(B) Western Civilization has significantly increased CO2 output due to human activity.
(C) Therefore, Western Civilization’s CO2 output is to blame.
This is a fallacious argument. There are many problems with it. Yes, (A) is true. Yes, (B) is true. But (A) + (B) does not get you (C)!
Let me show you why by making another argument along the same lines.
(A) The earth has warmed over the past 100 years.
(B) My great-grandmother was born 100 years ago.
(C) Therefore, my great-grandmother’s birth caused global warming.
Absurd, isn’t it? This illustrates that people who claim we are responsible for global warming must explain why it causes the warming, not that they are both happening at the same time. Correlation does not imply causation.
Question: Assuming that global warming is bad, and that we can cool the earth by reducing CO2 emissions, should we do it?
Answer: Some people like to run around and shout “ABSOLUTELY!” while slashing the tires of Hummers in dealership parking lots.
We really have take a step back, use our brains, and think about the costs involved. What is the cost of experiencing global warming? What is the cost of cutting back CO2 emissions, enough that we can reverse global warming? Without being able to compare these things, we can’t make an honest decision.
I personally believe that the cost of restricting our economy is much greater than any damage global warming could ever cause. Because of our oil economy, we have become a highly advanced society, able to fight diseases you’ve never even heard of, able to produce enough food to feed the world many times over, and able to create untold wealth and opportunities for countless billions across the world. If we decide to get off oil, it had better either be because we have discovered something better or there is a extremely solid evidence that global warming is caused by oil consumption and that it is going to kill billions of people.
If we leave oil for a worse energy system, then our society will likely collapse, these diseases you’ve never heard of will come back, billions will starve and lose their job, and we’ll by wishing, really hard, that we had our oil again.
Question: Assuming that global warming is bad, that we can reduce the temperature by cutting CO2 emissions, and that it is better to do it than not, how should we do it?
Answer: We do nothing.
Let me explain.
It makes sense for individuals to prepare for storms, to buy insurance, and to eat healthy food. Government doesn’t have to tell us to do these things and we will do it anyway! This is known as liberty, or capitalism. If you have a free economy, any “good” action will be done by choice, not by force. People will, ultimately, make the best decisions for themselves and thus society. If they don’t, they’ll suffer and quickly adapt their behavior to meet the needs of reality.
My evidence is that the US and other mostly capitalistic free societies are some of the cleanest countries, environmentally speaking, while those without basic freedoms are some of the worst. Those countries are incapable of devoting any resources to tending to their environment, and they have no ability to choose between tending to the environment or doing something else. Here, we have both, both the option to help save the earth and the means to do so. That means that it is getting done, and it is being done in the best possible way it could ever get done.
Your evidence will have to come through understanding Milton Friedman and what capitalism really is. You cannot trust what opponents of capitalism are saying about it. They do not understand it, or they would have embraced it. Instead, you must read what proponents of capitalism have to say, and read the studies and research and evidence they have that it works.
Now, I want to address a few fallacies I’ve encountered in this debate.
Fallacy: You’re a stupid stooge for the oil companies.
Reality: That is called an argumentum ad hominem, or an attack against the man, rather than his argument. This is a sign of intellectual defeat. Real scientists NEVER use this tactic. Instead, they address the arguments. I won’t address this not because the answer doesn’t help my point, but because it is completely irrelevant.
Fallacy: People are stupid and we can’t trust them to make the right choices, or even figure things out for themselves.
Reality: Suppose this is true. The logical conclusion is that since you are a person, you are stupid, and we can’t trust you to make the right choices, or even figure out things for yourself.
Obviously, you don’t agree with that statement. So your assumption that people are stupid is wrong and cannot be held by any logical person.
Instead, we have to assume that people are intelligent and we can trust them to make the right decisions and figure things out for themselves, because we’d like to think that we are the same.
By all means, persuade, persuade, persuade, but never remove the right of someone to choose.
Fallacy: CO2 is a poisonous greenhouse gas and we should eliminate it from the atmosphere.
Reality: Yes, it is poisonous. Yes, it is a greenhouse gas. But CO2 is the foundation for life. Without CO2, we would all die! There would be no plant life, no food, and we would starve to death.
In fact, some people think that the increase in CO2 is the reason why we have enough food to feed everyone. Remember in the 70′s when it seemed we were going to run out of food? Well, it turns out farms across the world are far more productive because there is more CO2 in the atmosphere. (This is an investigated fact.)
Besides, whether or not a gas or a chemical or a behavior is “bad” has nothing to do with the global warming debate.
Update: CO2 is not a Greenhouse Gas. No such magical substance exists.
Fallacy: All scientists say that global warming is bad and that it is happening and that we have to stop emitting CO2 right away or we are all going to die terrible deaths.
Reality: First, all scientists do not say that. Most scientists disagree with one or more of those statements. Second, even if all scientists agree, it doesn’t mean they are right. That is called argumentum ad populum, and is another logical fallacy. (Just because everyone, or the majority, agree on something doesn’t mean it is right.) If you want to know if they are right, examine their arguments, follow their logic, and see if it is sound. Arguments and logic stands on its own feet, without the need of consensus or experts to support them.
Fallacy: The Bush Administration is suppressing certain reports that are not critical of global warming theories.
Reality: This may or may not be true. But it is irrelevant to the global warming debate. Is President Bush evil? No matter what I say, I couldn’t convince most people to change their opinion on that question. And the truth is, President Bush being evil or not has absolutely zero to do with the global warming debate. So what if he is evil? Does that make global warming a pending catastrophe? Conversely, if he weren’t evil, does that make global warming a potential boon to mankind?
Note about comments: Comments are allowed, and encouraged, where they will either bring in better insight than what I have above, or bring up questions or fallacies I do not address. As I incorporate the comments in this page, I will remove them.